Kent Golf Union

2009 News Archive

December

Eric Green ericgreen

It is we great sadness that we inform members of the death of Eric Green.

Eric joined Eltham Warren Golf Club in 1957, enjoying a continuous membership of 50 years or more, he was Captain in 1972, taking a keen interest in Club affairs. A House Member of Royal Blackheath Golf Club and an honorary member at both Sidcup and Romney Warren golf clubs. It was at Eltham Warren Eric met up with David Neech; David suggested maybe Eric might be interested in County Golf.

In 1978/79 he was elected to the Kent County Golf Union, when Tom Dilks-Page was President, Jack Aisher, Vivian Barton, Bill Doole and many more distinguished names associated with County Golf, served on the Committee at that time. Eric gave unstinting support for 30 years serving as Colts Manager, Chairman of Finance.

He served as President from 1983 to 1988; during that time Eric and Evelyn, along with the camera, were ever present on the golf course. Many of the photographs taken over the years were on display in the Kent County Golf Union marquee at Royal St Georges during the Open Championship. Eric was always on hand to give a running commentary as to when and where they were taken. Whatever the weather he was never seen without a collar and tie, setting an example to everyone. Players and Committee, all over the County, respected him.

Eric was elected to the English Golf Union, serving on many Committees with distinction. He served as Chairman of the EGU Finance Committee for 5 years, guiding and assisting with the purchase of Woodhall Spa Golf Club and the Estate, which is now the headquarters of the English Golf Union.

For many years Eric and Evelyn tramped the fairways, photographing and recording the many incidents during each England President's year of office. These were put together in an album that Eric presented to each outgoing President on his retirement. Many of these albums are kept at the EGU headquarters, reviving many memories for many people.

Eric was extremely proud when he accompanied two-man England team to play in the Australian Amateur. No doubt due to Eric's exceedingly strict routine of no girls, but plenty of drink, the Team was very successful. Warren Bennett become the Australian Amateur champion and together with Colin Edwards won the team event, Colin later became Captain of the England Men's Team.

One of the many other interests Eric had was the Royal Marines Association, City of London Branch, which was very dear to his heart, where he enjoyed the companionship and derived great pleasure from the meetings. He served in the Marines for only 2 years, but was a long-standing member of the Association, acting as Treasurer for many years. He was extremely proud to take part in the many celebrations, particularly the visit to Zeebruger each year to commemorate the Marines victory and to march whenever able on Remembrance Day.

He will be remembered for his meticulous attention to detail and dedication to whatever task he was asked to undertake.

In 2007 Eric was presented with the Gerald Micklem award for Services to Amateur Golf, a fitting tribute to a man who had served golf for over half a century.

The funeral was held at Eltham Crematorium on Friday 11th December at 10:15

Eric's wife has asked for family flowers only. Donations may be made to "Help for Heroes" or Macmillan Cancer Support

to be sent to:

Mrs E Green
50 Green Lane
Eltham London
SE9 2AG

 

15th November

HINGE TROPHY

Royal Cinque Ports. Five Juniors from the 15 entered are included in the top 25 to go through to the Final Qualifier at Littlestone on 10th January, joining the 5 already through from Prince's. In both pre-qualifiers, Juniors headed the field and at Cinque Ports took the first 3 places in a total field of 44. It was an event with a little more drama than one might have expected.

Matthew Hart (Ashford) headed at the turn with a well played 2 under par 33, pressured by Daniel Byrne (Dartford), Damian Smith (Mid Kent) and, on his home course, Lee McCaughan, all one shot off. Bunched on 35, Juniors Alex Dixon (Chestfield) and Jack Colegate (Deangate Ridge), Robert Riddell (Royal Cinque Ports), Paul Watkins (Redlibbets), Martin Farbrace (Sene Valley) and Peter Newman (Sittingbourne & Milton Regis). Dropping four shots on the way in for 40 cost Hart the lead as Smith, Riddell and Watkins slipped out of contention with 39's. Farbrace and Newman moved into the 40's and McCaughan struck disaster with three double bogeys. Dixon moved top with 2 under par 34 to be followed by Chart Hills Junior Connor Fletcher closing with the same score after a front 37, whilst Colgate finished to par the course. Byrne's 38 kept him in the prizes. After another good start, 'Trials Regular' Newman lost the pace, dropping 6 shots. With the line drawn at 79, Lloyd Nutley (North Foreland) was last through, whilst club-mate Junior Billy Thomas at 6's and 7's kept his card despite a 97.

31 October

JON BELL CROWNED FALDO SERIES CHAMPION 2009

Jon Bell (Royal Blackheath) emerged victorious after a scintillating final round of the Faldo Series Grand Final in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Watched by Nick Falso, the 18 year old from London led from the first round. He contended well with hot, humid conditions to card a one over par score of 73, enough to claim outright first place.

Bell commented: "It's been a wonderful event. Having Nick here has made it a very special week for me; I've loved every minute. Being in Brazil has been a totally different experience for me - the people, the surroundings, the culture - it's all been great. Having a man of Nick's calibre here to take clinics and learn from makes this a very different tournament".

Faldo commented: "It has given me immense pleasure to host what has been such a successful tournament. I want to congratulate all of the players and in particular our new champion Jonathan Bell. I would also like to thank all of our sponsors. To have such an iconic city as backdrop for our event has made it very special. Overall the tournament has been a resounding success and I congratulate all of the finalists for their conduct and enthusiasm both on and off the course. I shall look forward to meeting many of them next year and wish them the very best of luck for the forthcoming season".

18th October 

KENT COLTS WIN THE EGU SE GROUP COLTS LEAGUE FINAL AT BARTON-ON-SEA

The EGU SE Group Colts County Final between Kent and Essex was held at Barton-on-Sea Golf Club in Hampshire with its magnificent views over The Solent and the Isle of Wight. Essex, as current English County Champions and competing in their 6th consecutive Colts Final, started favourites in many neutrals' eyes.

The first morning foursomes pairing saw Rob Clark and an out of sorts Liam Burns lose 5&3 to Matt Southgate and Reece Philips. However, Kent victories by Liam Harper and Michael Saunders, Jon Bell and Dan Byrne and Charlie Wilson and Kevin O'Connell saw Kent 3 to 1 ahead at lunch.

In the afternoon singles, at just 16, Liam Harper led the Kent side out and gained a 2&1 victory over the much discussed England 'A' player Matt Southgate. A further win by Michael Saunders and a half by Liam Burns put Kent just needing a further point from the remaining four matches still out on the course. A strong position for Kent. However, with Charlie Wilson losing to an impressive Jack Winer, Kent's hopes appeared to rest on Danm Byrne, who was 1 up with 2 to play, as the rumour machine had Kevin O'Connell and England U18 Jon Bell both down. With the supporters now just following the one match Dan Byrne unluckily lost 17 to a par to make the match all square. On the short par 3 18th Essex's Reece Philips holed a birdie putt on the island green to win his match for Essex. A blow for both Dan and Kent. However, as seems to be his style, Kevin O'Connell hung in, fought back and then gained a well deserved 2&1 victory to give Kent the 6 and a half points it needed for the title. A fine win for Kent over a very competent Essex team.

A fitting finale perhaps in 2009 for Kent's two most successful Colts this year. Liam Harper winning all his eight matches and Kevin O'Connell winning seven out of his eight matches. "The boys done good".

Kent thanked the EGU for organising the event, Barton-on-Sea members for allowing the use of their Course and Essex for the excellent and sporting match. Most importantly Kent thanked their players, both those at the Final and those who played in previous roundss who put so much effort into achieving this success.

The County thanks also to all supporters who came to Barton-on-Sea to see Kent become 2009 EGU South East Colts Champions.

18th October

HINGE TROPHY AT PRINCE'S

The first of the qualifying rounds for the Hinge Trophy, traditionally at Prince's Dunes and Himalayas circuits, hosted 43 entries and, as last year, brought a new Junior contender into focus. Sadly however, the Junior entry was significantly below the record 24 of last year. Leading after nine holes at 2 under par 34, Tom Bayliss (Birchwood Park) and Richard Gremo (Whitstable & Seasalter) were shadowed by Matt Cozens (Littlestone) on 35, with Lee Meakin (Canterbury) and Jordan Godwin (The London Club) holding 36. However, as Bayliss and Gremo slipped out of contention with closing 39's, Cozens moved to the lead adding a second half 34 to total 2 under par 69, followed by Shane McCaughan (Royal Cinque Ports) and Scott Mutter (Rochester & Cobham) both adding 35's to their 37 openings. A 36 from Godwin kept him in the prizes to oust Mark Haffenden (Langley Park) by one shot, despite a closing 34 and finishing with Bayliss, Gremo abnd Nick Panting (Rochester & Cobham). Keith Fullagar was last man in the 25 to go through to Littlestone on 10th January 2010.

Liam Sutton (Etchinghill) on 71 had done enough to better Bayliss and Peter Walter (Sundridge Park) on count-back for forth place.

Results: Gross - M. Cozens 69, S. McCaughan 72 (on count-back over S. Mutter and J. Godwin).

Nett - M. Cozens 69, S. McCaughan 69 (on count-back over R. Gremo), L. Sutton 71.

16th October

KENT DINNERKENT DINNER

For the ninth consecutive year, the County Committee called on the Wildernesse Golf Club to provide the venue and services required for the Annual Dinner and it was no surprise that they again hit the jackpot with a wholesome meal and an evening enjoyed by a record attendance of 165. In his sixth and final term of Office, Chris Reynolds and Matt Haines were among Kent President Ian Burton's guests and the County guests included Roy Case, Immediate Past President fo the EGU, the Presidents of Sussex, Surrey, Middlesex, Essex, Hampshire and Dorset, the Captain of Wildernesse GC, a representative from Shepherd Neame and guest speaker Ian Irving.

Opening the evening, Roy Case expressed appreciation of Kent's valued input to the EGU over many years, naming and thanking those who have and some still are, continuing to assist in fulfilling key roles in the administration of both the EGU and Kent Unions. He said there had been great changes to the golfing scene over the past 10 years, no doubt with more to come, and exampled the potential merger of the EGU and ELGA. Acknowledging the current financial difficulties confronting all Clubs, he was sure that they would respond accordingly. He offered congratualtions to those Clubs and players achieving success at County and National level, awarding Centenary plates to Bexleyheath, Mid Kent, Sheerness and Walmer & Kingsdown for achieving their centenaries, wished Kent success in the coming year and finally on behalf of the guests thanked the County for its hospitality throughout the day.

In response, Ian Burton gave a brief history of Roy's progress in the EGU from 1984 as Chairman of Selectors for the Boys teams to his Presidency. As Chairman, his influence had guided the Boys Teams to 10 Home International victories, 4 European and 3 World titles and assisted in the career development of many current professionals. He is a recipient of the Micklem Award.

Turning to Kent, Ian thanked the Team Managers for their dedication and enthusiasm that had brought honours to the Colts and Seniors, the latter outstanding in twice winning the SE League, the Southern Counties Foursomes four times and this year regaining their title of National champions. He named individuals and their achievements, putting much credit down to the County coaching schemes and organisers from regional to national level. Golf development and Partnership had made great progress in the 2-3 years of its inception with Kent winning two awards.

On behalf of the Committee, Ian exoressed a sincere appreciation to the Clubs providing venues for matches together with practice facilities that enable the many events organised throughout the year and wished all Clubs and their Members good fortune through the coming year. The 1st December would end his sixth and final year as President and he took the opportunity to thank Past Presidents and Committee members for their guidance and loyalty given over his time in Office. In closing, Ian presented the outstanding trophies and diplomas to Clubs and individuals.

Ian Irving ended the evening on a note of quality humour leaving no-one disappointed.

6-8th October

SENIORS COUNTY FINAL AT TANDRIDGE

Whilst slipping out of contention in the preliminary round of the EGU Southern Counties Foursomes at Royal Cinque Ports in July and finishing the Southern Section of the South Eastern League in third place, the Seniors bounced back to find the 'Jewel in the Crown' by regaining the English Counties Seniors Championship from Cheshire on 6 - 8th October at Tandridge. Over the last four years, the holders had beaten Kent three times, the last by a narrow margin, but after halving the morning foursomes on the final day at Tandridge, Kent took control of the singles to win four out of six games and defeat Cheshire by 5 1/2 - 3 1/2, the same margin by which they beat Lancashire to take the title in 2007.

Team: Andrew Stracey, Chris Hurst, Chris Reynolds, Ricky Moore, Dave Jessup, Roger Salmon, Sam Smale, Howard Moxon and captained by Nick Allen. A great team performance.

KENT ORDER OF MERIT AND JUNIOR ORDER OF MERIT

The finish of the County and Junior Orders could hardly have been closer. From eligible scores entered by 151 players, Liam Burns (Sundridge Park) with 134 points beat Clubmate Tom Beaumont by one point to retain the coveted Malaya Bromley Mercedes Benz Trophy.

For a second time the Junior Order produced a tie; this year between Jerome Titlow (The London Club) and Alfie Plant (Rochester & Cobham) on 159 points. On a revised ruling, Plant was declared the winner based on the number of highest and second highest places achieved. He was joint winner last year tying with Charlie Wilson (Littlestone). Scores were entered from almost 200 players and a number of Juniors also entered the County Order.

15th September

MEMBERS AUTUMN MEETING

Sheerness

The decision to change the afternoon format of the Autumn meeting from an 18 hole foursomes to a 9 hole greensomes, albeit leaving the morning singles over 18 holes, may have part contributed to the very low turnout of 32. Leading the singles through 9 hols on 20 points Paul Macinnes (Wrotham Heath) was tracked by Brian Elliott (Rochester & Cobham) on 19, and William Fisher (Walmer & Kingsdown) and Robert Hope (Knole Park) both on 18, but all slipped from the prize list as Walmer & Kingsdown clubmates Colins Waters and Mike Seaward added to their front 9 to total 35, but to be pipped at the post by Colin Burns (Hemsted Forest) with 36 to win the Challenge Cup. Also to finish on 35 points Macinnes joined Seaward to lose out on count-back.

Taking advantage of local knowledge, Richard Whitington and Brian Barrett on 20 points won the greensomes for the Starter's Trophy by one point over Burns and John Spruell (Sundridge Park), third going to Steve Thouless and Cliff Sales (Kings Hill & Birchwood Park).

 

13th September

KENT JUNIOR FOURSOMES

The final of the Junior Foursomes produced an exciting contest as Jordan Hicks and Dominic Driver (Knole Park) finished 'all square' with Luke Spooner and Frankie Beale (Sidcup) to raise tension and place the onus on Zachery Marsh and George Benner and Tom Russell and Tom Crowland to decide the issue. Fortune favoured the two Toms in bringing Sidcup home by 2 holes. KENT AMATEUR FOURSOMES

Mid Kent

Mid Kent have suffered as losing finalists on no less than four occasions since 2002, three in the last consecutive years. this year on their own track, they hoped to go one better and beat opponent finalists Lamberhurst to take the trophy. They made a good start when Neil Pattison and Damien Smith beat Gary Collins and Gary Coldwell by 4 holes but tension mounted as Alan Austin and Adrian Harris in the second pairings responded for the visitors, eroding Mid Kent's lead finally to take 5 holes from Ian Whitehead and Darren Smith for Mid Kent to suffer a fifth time as 'losing finalists' by a one hole aggregate.

 

12th September

HSBC WEE WONDERS NATIONAL FINALS

Kent player Harvey Byers (10) finished in a tie for second place at the HSBC Wee Wonders National Finals at St. Andrews. Byers was 5 shots back after 2 rounds, one place behind the eventual winner Mark Power from Northern Ireland. Harvey made 4 shots back by the final hole but ending up losing by 2 when Power birdied the last. Byers who was pushed back to third on countback qualified for the event by winning local and regional events. He has now been selected to represent a Wee Wonders GB & I team at the US Kids World Championship at Pinehurst, America next Summer. A fantastic achievement!

10th September

KENT SENIORS v HAMPSHIRE

Brockenhurst Manor

Kent's hopes that Dorset would topple Hampshire to leave them in with a last chance against the League leaders did not materialise and Hampshire's successful close to the season, defeating both Dorset and Kent to gain maximum points, pushed Kent into a disappointing third place in the League.

In a highly competitive but low scoring match, Kent opener Chris Reynolds and Andrew Stracey squeezed out Martin Farmer and Nick Rogers on one-hole verdicts, but Chris Hurst and Ricky Moore then fell 3&2 and 2&1 to Tony Haire and Vic Bourgoise. Dave Jessup's 3&1 to beat Mike Kirby moved Kent on but Hampshire responded with 3&1 and 2 holes from Peter Williams and Mike Heritage over Same Smale and Ian Mason. When Howard Moxon beat George Wirgman 2&1 to level the match, Kent's final League position rested with Roger Salmon and Chris Buckley but sadly both lost out by 'one-holers' to Peter Groocock and Norman Barnes. A Championship well won by Hampshire with the decider 'down to the wire'.

Result: Hampshire 6 - Kent 4

 

8th September

VETERANS CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP

Kent & Surrey

Rochester & Cobham and Woodlands Manor emerged the Finalists from 49 Clubs in the 6 man, 4 ball matchplay knock-out Championship. Woodlands Manor were looking for their first win whilst Rochester & Cobham have twice added their name to the T.D. Page Cup and seeking a third. Mike Davis and Stuart Retour drew first blood for Rochester & Cobham, beating Chris Buckley and Alan Smith 3&2 and Dave Wingrove and Mick Adams made early settlement to the tie in beating Charles Burton and Chris Bates 4&3. In the third game Bev Taylor and Bill Kent fought to save some pride, going to the last before John Hopley and Derek Pettet completed a sad day for Woodlands Manor.

Result: Rochester & Cobham 3 - Woodlands Manor 0

 

7th September

OSCAR ASH CHAMPIONSHIP

Faversha

Following last year's lowest ever attendance of 40 for the 36 hole, 4 - 12 handicap event, an entry of 54 for the 30th in the series eased tension on the Championship Committee. A first round 2 under par 68 that proved the best gross of the day, set Sidcup's George Crow 4 shots clear of a tightly packed field headed by Jason Green (North Foreland) on 72. Defending his title, Toby Simmance (Sheerness) was 10 off the lead. In the afternoon, a second round par moved Green to 142 and to change positions with Crow who slipped dropping 8 shots on the morning for a 144 total. Thanks to the sub-par, however, Crow survived in second place, 3 shots clear of Paul Speed (Bearsted) who following his 75 with 72 for 147. The nett scores produced the same prize order, with Speed getting a count-back over Ian Betts (Langley Park).

Jason Green takes both Scratch and Handicap Cups.

 

3rd September

MAX ORRIN

Max Orrin (15) played in his first England under 16s match against Spain at Heswall Golf Club this week. He and Harry Casey halved their foursomes match and Max won his singles match 5/3. The team won 9/3 with a great time being had by all. Max followed on from this and came forth in the North of England Boys Championships at Heswall playing in gale force winds and driving rain at times. A good follow up to winning the South of England Boys at Yeovil two weeks ago.

THE CECIL LEITCH LEGACY

Charlotte Cecilia Pitcairn Leitch was born in Silloth on Soleway on 13th April 1891. She had no formal golfing instruction but went on to become simply the best Lady golfer in the world. She dominated the game around the time of the First World War, transformed the way ladies played, and in the process won a record four British, five French, two English and one Canadian championship.

In an era where ladies swung prettily, Cecil (as she was popularly known) hit hard, long and straight, with a distinctive swing that was moulded by the need to reach the narrow Silloth fairways and 'handkerchief-sized' greens. Since then, the club hs produced a stream of County champions that continues to the present day. Renowned as the first woman with an uninhibited swing of which many men would have been proud she promoted the casual look on the golf course. She was the first woman to dress comfortably to play golf.

The Leith connection was an important factor in bringing the Ladies British Stroke play Championship to Silloth in 1972, followed by the Ladies British Amateur (Match play) Championship in 1976 and regular national women's events thereafter including English Ladies Championships in 2000 and 2007.

She associated herself with the principles of the National Playing Fields Association and served on the executive and management committees for almost 50 years. She was made a Vice President of the Association in 1967. She served for a similar spell with the Kent County Playing Fields Association. Highly regarded in America as the first great woman golfer, she was elected to the American Golf Hall of Fame in the same year.

The Cecil Leitch 5 club Tournament instituted in 1957 and played thereafter on Kent's finest courses attracts around 3,500 men and women golfers each year with over 185,000 having taken part since those early days. This is the only fund raising event organised by the charity and all proceeds go towards assisting with the many sports grants and bursary awards made to young sports men and women throughout Kent. The Kent County Playing Fields Association is grateful to Wrotham Heath Golf Club for granting permission to stage the competition at their club in 2010.

Paul Peacock

 

28th August

U13 v SUSSEX V SURREY

After a really thrilling morning in which all the side pulled well together, we succumbed yet again to all powerful Surrey in the pm. The weather was tough with high winds blowing. We fielded 3 new lads: Jamie Twiner, Alex Boughton and James Lynch. They did exceptionally as a trio in their first outings. Of the other members of the team, shining stars are the regular contributors to our tally: Bobby Twiner, Matt Sutton, Ollie Daws, David Arnold.

I felt a great sense of disappointment as the day went on, however, as fatigue seemed to set into our team. The euphoria of taking Surrey to the cleaners in the am was very short lived.

 

27th August

MEMBERS SUMMER MEETING

Rochester & Cobha

With a near maximum entry of 67 from 23 Clubs, the Summer meeting was a substantial improvement over the attendance at the Kings Hill Spring meeting.

In the morning singles Colin Burns (Hemsted Forest), Graham Walker (Sittingbourne), Bill Kent (Woodlands Manor) and Richard Boiston (Rochester & Cobham) led the field on 21 points over the front nine but Burns, Walker and Boiston then slipped over the closing holes to let in John Hill (Sittingbourne) and Roger Bowles (Woodlands Manor) both finish on 39, with Hill getting the benefit of the count-back. Kent then added 20 to make a winning total.

In the foursomes, Bearsted's Albert Miller and Peter Freeman with 41 points had a close call to beat Keith Whitehead and John Bullock (Rochester & Cobham) by one shot, with Colin Burns and Peter Webb (Hemsted Forest & Tenterden) taking third place on 37.

Presentations kindly made by Club Captain Roger Barratt.

 

26th August

KENT U16 v SUSSEX v SURREY

The day began very well for Kent boys winning 7 matches and halving 1 of the 10 matches. A great start considering the windy conditions. Morning honours going to C. Fletcher and M. Collins, J. Dorrell and H. Saunders and T. Lee & B. Gillon all taking maximum point from the Foursomes.

Unfortunately, once again we faded badly in the afternoon singles. Great double point performances from C. Fletcher, M. Collins and C. Haughey.

Kent's players of the day were clearly Connor Fletcher and Mark Collins with additional praise going to Henry Saunders who battled back from being 4 & 3 down in the singles to gain a half in both. Well done to all.

Result: Surrey 36, Kent 29, Sussex 25

 

25th August

EGU SEG JUNIOR FOURSOMES

Surrey are the winners of the EGU SEG Junior Foursomes with domination of all four sessions in this unique competition. This was a very close competition between Surrey and Sussex until Sussex ran out of steam in th last session. The two bottom counties, Bedfordshire and Norfolk are relegated next year and Middlesex and Essex return to the competition at Redlibbets, Kent.

Four of the Kent lads played their last competition as juniors and we wish Jordan, Levi, Joe and Dan all the best for their futures in golf especially at Colts and 1st Team level. Thanks must also go to Ian and Joy Burton for their unstinting support over the competition days and to Steve Mitchell PGA for his hard work getting the lads prepared.

Again this was a truly excellent competition and extremely well run by the SE EGU Group officials and referees. The host Club, Thetford, had offered great facilities and provided a course that was a 'true test of golf'. All the golfers were a credit to their respective counties.

 

23rd August

KENT V HAMPSHIRE

The match against Hampshire was of huge significance. Victory would guarantee a rare SE England league championship for Kent, and even a draw would probably have meant that we would still be able to finish top of the league.

The absence of the highly successful and ever reliable Liam Burns was an obvious blow, as was the return to the US collegiate circuit of Tom Sherreard and Jordan Gibb. Additionally, newly selected Walker Cup team member Matt Haines's focus was again on a higher plain. Nevertheless we arrived at the little gem that is The Wildernesse Club full of hope and expectation.

The first surprise was how little the Kent players knew the course with several that has never played there before, together with many that had only been there 'years ago', it quickly became obvious that home advantage may not be as strong as it possibly could have been.

The morning foursomes started with a surprising loss for one of our 'bankers', Jonathan Bell and Dave Jessup Jnr. However, the 1st team then welcomed back Rob Clark to the fold after too many years in the wilderness (pun definately intended) as he proceeded to accompany the County Champion to a comfortable morning victory. Next up the previously unbeaten 1st team partnership of Saunders & Harper suddenly found themselves in a precarious position of being one down on the 17th tee. However, a brilliant approach shot to the 17th green by his regular partner enabled Saunders to sink a birdie putt and the match went on to be halved at the 18th. Thereafter, Levi Johnson and Jordan Godwin proved to be no match for their experienced opponents and we dined in the knowledge that 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 score could probably have been worse.

Champion Jason Barnes then acceded to his right to lead his County off in the afternoon, but a disappointing loss meant that yet another 'banker' had not gained a much needed point. However, making a welcome season's debut for Kent, England international Jonathan Bell showed why he is so highly rated by his Country as he eased to victory. Jordan Godwin however then reminded us that he is only a newcomer to this standard of golf, and when he was pitched against one of the opposition's top players he found the going to be too tough. The middle order was performing well and the tail was beginning to wag. Saunders, Clark, Harper and Johnson were all marginally in front, whilst the dogged Jessup was down but as we know and expect from 'DJ' he was never out. Michael Saunders was playing the former English Mid Age Champion, Martin Young and when he raced to a 4 hole lead, an impressive scalp seemed imminent. The experienced Young managed to pull a couple back, but Saunders still found himself ten feet away, 2 up with five to play and with two putts to maintain his lead. An inexplicable three putt reduced the lead to only one and with his confidence clearly dented, Michael Saunders went on to lose the game on the 18th hole - this was to prove to be a defining moment in the whole match. Liam Harper continued to impress and to enhance his reputation as 'find of the year'. Playing against a +4 handicapper Liam cruised to victory and showed what a great team member he is and what a superb match player he has become. Rob Clark maintained a one hole lead playing the 13th and Johnson and Jessup were still alive. However, all of a sudden Sussex had reached the magical total of 6 1/2 pointds and the match was over!

Whilst the day was disappointing in a way, we seemed to lose a match that we were in control of, that did not reflect the three years I have spent as Captain. My thanks go to all the players who have played in the first team during that time, all of whom have always given 100% effort and commitment. Special thanks must go to Paul Page, the County Coach. The best thing I did during my tenure was to recommend to the Committee that we employ Paul. He has been dedicated, enthusiastic and totally professional in everything he has done.

Finally, I would like to wish my successor, Pat Donaghey, every success and I hope that he is able to take that extra step and bring home some much deserved silverware.

 

16th August

KENT COLTS V HAMPSHIRE COLTS

As joint league leaders Kent v Hampshire at North Hants promised to be a tense and hard fought match for the EGU SE Colts League South Section Title.

In the morning foursomes with two matches going down to the 18th Kent has an excellent start with wins by Saunders/Harper, O'Connell/Wilson, Beaumont/Clark and a half by Byrne/Godwin. A 3 and half to half lead at lunch for Kent. Whilst not under-estimating Hampshire, Kent hoped that this lead would be sufficient.

In the top singles Hampshire's Neil Raymond fought back against Michael Saunders to win on the 18th but this was counter-balanaced by Liam Harper winning 7&6 and Rob Clark getting a half with good up and downs on 17 and 18. Kent's lead was now at 5 matches to 3 and just needing one more victory for the title. However, Hampshire fought back with wins by Elliott Groves, Sam Robertshaw and England Boy Colin Walsh to balance the match 5 each. Kent were relying on either Kevin O'Connell or Tom Beaumont to get the final point to see them home. With O'Connell holing a fine putt for birdie on 15 to be 2 up down 17 and with Beaumont all square the match appeared to swing in Kent's favour. However, with Hampshire's Chris Harrison winning 17th against O'Connell to take the match down to the 18th, Tom Beaumont had to settle Kent's nerves winning 17th to be dormie. With wins down the last by O'Connell and Beaumont, Kent won 7 matche to 5 and their first Colts league title for 6 years. A victory made possible by the morning foursomes.

Both counties thanked their opponents for the very tight match played in excellent spirit. A special mention was made to North Hants Golf Club and their members for hosting the match at such very short notice.

Kent will represent South Section at the EGU SE Colts League Final at Barton-on-Sea on 18th October.

 

14th August

KENT YOUTHS CHAMPIONSHIP

The 41st medal play 36 hole Championship attracted the maximum 36 players permitted by the host Club, and the conditions on the day promoted some excellent performances including 12 sub-par rounds. Michael Saunders (Dartford), placed third last year in a three-man play-off, led the morning round on 2 under par 68, with Jack Read (Royal Blackheath), Max Orrin (North Foreland) and David Tottman (Redlibbets) in close company on 69. Freddie Price (Royal Blackheath) and James Nelson (Westerham) held pars, holding off a group of five on 71.

In the afternoon, Saunders sparkled with a round of 63 comprising 8 birdies, 9 pars and one bogie. The dropped shot left him one short of equalling the Course record set in the Championships by Knole Park's James Edwards in 1998, and equalled by Faversham's Nick Olson in 2003. Saunders will have cause to remember the 4th hole that cost him 3 shots on the day. Read, Tottman and Nelson fell out of focus in the upper 70's and although Price added 71, he lost position as Alex Dixon (Chestfield) 65, Ryan Bowers (Sundridge Park) 64 and Sam Shearer (Rochester & Cobham) 69 moved up. A creditable performance from Mark Wear (Knole Park) 66 to improve on his first round 78.

Results: Youths Champion M. Saunders 131, R/U A. Dixon 136, 3rd R. Bowers 137

Handicap winner: R. Bowers 133, R/U M. Saunders 135, 3rd A. Dixon 136.

The County are indebted to Knole Park for the long standing and continued support of the Championships and to the Club Captain Roger Barratt for making the presentations.

 

10th August

KENT U18 V SUSSEX U18

This very much diluted fixture with the omission of the Surrey team due to lack of players, was played in good spirit at Lindfield Golf Club in Sussex. The absence of many of the County U18 players due to the British Boys at RSG meant that both sides had the opportunity to 'blood' new lads at this level. Jerome Titlow (Junior Champion), Max Orrin (England U16 selection) and Freddie Price (U16 Kent Champion) all had their first games for the U18's amd all performed well. Jerome along with Lewis Kerr were the only Kent players to get maximum points on the day. Max had a rather nervous finish to his singles when he was well in control after 15 holes but then made a very credible half. Freddie gelled well with Jerome in the morning foursomes, which were curtailed to 9 holes - so a 4/2 result was outstanding. Alfie Plant and Jay Kelly produced the good point in the morning foursomes winning on the last. The pairing of Lewis Kerr and Jamie Guppy, both from Littlestone, battled hard also for a good win in the morning. Josh Kenny and Casey Rossiter-Legg were the other points scorers in the afternoon. Josh was 2 down with 3 to play and won through in very difficult conditions and driving rain. Casey was always in control of his match with an impressive short game on his last 2 holes.

Following the meal the captains of the respective teams Reiss Jordan and Jerome Titlow gave thanks to Lindfield GC for the use of their facilities for the day and the team managers for their hard work and valued support of County golf. I would like to thank Dave Oldcorn and Mike Chaston for their presence and support of the Kent Team on the day.

Paul Cannons (U18 Team Manager)

 

10th August

SOUTH KENT CUBS CHAMPIONSHIP

On a warm and overcast day at the Weald of Kent Golf Club 34 players assembled for the 6th playing of the South Kent Cubs Championships for the Pocknell and Woolmer Trophies for under 13's and under 10's. With 5 single figure handicappers in the U13's the lowest being Oliver Daws off 5.

The U13 scratch championships for the Pocknell trophy was won by Bobby Twiner (Shooters Hill) with runner-up David Arnold (Littlestone). The U13 Handicap Championship for the Woolmer Trophy was woner by Jamie Twiner Shooters Hill to keep it in the family with runner-up James Lynch (Royal Blackheath) and Ainee O'Connor (Sundridge Park) 3rd, our only girl competitor.

The U10 scratch championships for th Pocknell Trophy was won by Jack Holland (Faversham) with reunner-up Richard Cheetham (Sittingbourne) and Harvey Byers (Langley Park) 3rd. The U10 handicap championship for the Woolmer Trophy was won by Connor Bell (Royal Blackheath) with runner-up Riley Donovan (Royal Blackheath) in his second event aged 7 and Rhys Brown (Faversham) 3rd. In addition to these, there were 5 age group prizes.

Thanks, as always, to Weald of Kent for their continued support of this event.

 

8th August

COLTS V DORSET COLTS

On a lovely summer's day Yeovil, whilst somewhat remote from Kent's perspective, proved to be an excellent venue for Colts league match against Dorset. Kent had two newcomers in Matt Cozens and Joe Harper joining a settled Colts team with Rob Clark making a welcome return.

In the morning foursomes Kent appeared to be heading for a 3 to 1 lead at lunch but some inspired scrambling by Dorset's Matt Walker and Luke Joy meant Rob Clark had to hole a 12 footer to get a half when a win looked more likely. A lesson perhaps.

The afternoon singles worked more in Kent's favour with good wins by Liam Burns, Michael Saunders and Charlie Wilson. The remaining matches all came down to 17 and 18 with an excellent fight back by Liam Harper to beat Dorset's highly rated Luke Joy. Wins by Kevin O'Connell, Rob Clark and Joe Harper sealed Kent's success. Dorset's John Welch beat 16 year old Matt Cozens on the 18th.

Excellent debuts by Matt Cozens and Joe Harper showed that they are well equipped to compete at this level. A special mention to Liam Harper who, even after England duties until Saturday morning, showed at 16 what an excellent prospect he is.

The County thanked Dorset for the fine match, Yeovil's members for the use of their course and the Club's staff for all their help and hospitality. Yeovil is a fine venue. Shame is could not be closer to Kent.

 

4-5th August

SOUTH ENGLAND BOYS OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP

Max Orrin (North Foreland) wins the South England Boys Open Championship under difficult conditions. Well done, Max!

 

3rd August

KENT U14 V ESSEX V SUSSEX

The venue was Bexleyheath GC in its 100th centenary year. Another great day attended by the Presidents of Essex and Kent and the Club's President. The Club went to great lengths to ensure the very best of hospitality and suppliled marshalls and ball spotters to keep us on the right track. It was much appreciated.

Am foursomes were shared with some terrific matches and all square at morning's end. Close tussles then throughout the pm over the very tricky Bexleyheath course, which was in superb condition. Sussex put in a tremendous run in the singles but Essex pipped us all, as our last two men came home victims of great play by the Sussex last pair.

Special mention must go to two Kent players; Oliver Daws in his second match again scored maximum points, a fine prospect indeed and Alex Young continues to shine with 7/8. Another good showing from Bobby Twiner 6/8.

A thrilling day of fine golf and glorious sunshine but a 'bridge too far' at the final hurdle.

 

2nd August

KENT V SUSSEX

The Kent team arrived at this magnificent West Sussex Course with a team that had never had the pleasure of playing there before and in the knowledge that any County side missing 3 international players (Haines, Bell and Sherreard) would understandably not be at full strength.

Match day began, as ever, with the foursomes and with County Champion Jason Barnes leading the way with his partner Liam Burns. A closely fought encounter resulted in a narrow victory for our top pair. The next 2 games seemed to be heading Kent's way but both games went to the 18th with Sussex taking the upper hand. In the back match O'Connell abnd Byrne lost heavily against the erstwhile (just) English Amateur Champion and the avuncular Scott Nightingale.

Trying to anticipate the opposition's afternoon line up, Kent's management team took the slightly risky decision of putting O'Connell and Byrne out no. 1 and 2 for the singles. Unfortunately their day ended early as they found themselves matched against 2 of Sussex's strongest players. Relying on a strong middle order performance, the next few hours proved to be exciting, traumatic, fascinating and nail biting! Firstly Liam Burns won a closely contested game at the 18th. then the increasingly impressive Liam Harper eased past England A squad's Ben Martin but Michael Saunders lost heavily. Jason Barnes halved his match as did Levi Johnson. Finally Jordan Gibb managed a tight 2/1 win and the match was drawn.

This was one of the most exciting County matches I have ever witnessed, with the Kent players performing magnificently to the end.

 

31st July

SC SENIOR FOURSOMES

All things come to an end, our hold on the Foursomes Trophy slipped at Royal Cinque Ports. We lost in the morning to Hertfordshire by 3 games to 2. However, we beat Middlesex by 4 1/2 to 1/2 in the afternoon to avoid the dreaded 'wooden spoon'.

Conditions for the day were perfect, the morning had virtually no wind, a rarity for RCP, two of the loosing teams were locals who would have preferred a 25 mph wind to sort the men from the boys.

In mitigation we were missing 4 of our regular team players; one of which Dick Seamer has intimated that he does not want to be selected until he has had the operation to his other knee and he is back to full fitness.

Perhaps it was the absence of the team 'mascot' (the President) who usually inspires the Seniors to great things. At least the Chairman of Finance will be pleased as the final is in Somerset.

 

29th July

KENT U14 V SUSSEX V SURREY

After a very good morning session in the pouring rain, our team of experience and first-timers showed real positive attitudes and came away leading by a narrow margin over both of the other sides. It goes without saying that the team were up for it and relished the opportunity to shine. The pm started well with 14 points coming from the 5 matches but the tide was beginning to turn with Surrey moving menacingly into the home stretch. A couple of no pointers were our downfall despite heroic last ditch efforts by the remaining four or so groups. Particular mention must go to our new caps Oliver Daws 8 points from 8, Bobby Twiner 7 points from 8 and Marcus Sewell 6 points from 8. Team captain Jake Spearpoint along with vice-captain Jason Green always showing their worth, as did Alex Young 6/8. Although disappointed on the day, the team showed good signs of bonding and we hope for a better result in our next outing to Bexleyheath.

 

26th July

KENT JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP

A full field of 72 from 32 Clubs with handicaps ranging from +1 to 18, including 38 in Category 1, competed the 36 hole Championships. Freddie Price (Royal Blackheath) took the honours at lunch with 3 under par 65 to lead Connor Fletcher (Chart Hills) by one, followed by Max Orrin (North Foreland) and Jamie Howell (Dartford) on 68. The London Club's Jerome Titlow and Jordan Godwin and Rochester & Cobham Club-mates Michael Puddy and defending Champion Alfie Plant chased on 69. In the second round Titlow shared a best of the day 64 with Matthew Sheehan (The London Club) for a total 133 to top the Board, followed by Pant 65 and Fletcher 68 for 134. As Price slipped the lead dropping 5 shots on the morning, and Orrin, Howell and Puddy moved into the 70's, George Parker (The London Club) following a morning 70 added 65, thanks to a birdie/eagle spasm, to squeeze over Price on count back, but outside the prizes.

The team prize went to The London Club with the best 2 of 3 nett scores over 36 holes counting from Titlow, Parker and Godwin.

Matthew Sutton's (Etchinghill) gross 145 off 10 was good enough to win the Handicap prize.

Championship Cup and gold medal - J. Titlow 133, runner-up and silver - A. Plant 134 on countback pver C. Fletcher bronze.

 

14th July

SEG JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP

Held at Sundridge Park. In an entry of just over 80 Category 1 players with handicaps ranging from +2 to 4, the eleven Kent entries included six under the age of 16. Against a course par 71, the best of the morning, a 68, came from Chobham's under 16 Greg Payne (scratch) with Kent's best a 71 from 1 h/c Alfie Plant (Rochester & Cobham) and 72 by Canterbury's Levi Johnson (scratch). Whilst Payne slipped to 4th spot with 74, Johnson improved on his first round by 5 shots for the best of the day 4-under par 67 to total 139 for the Championship by a 2 shot margin. Plant's 77 placed him Kent's second best.

 

11th July

MENS COUNTY QUALIFYING

An expectant Kent 1st team travelled to the impressive setting of Aldeburgh Golf Club in Suffolk in an effort to win the SE England qualifying event for the first time in many years. Missing only Jonathan Bell (representing England in the European Boys') the team, on paper, was extremely strong. Arriving on Thursday afternoon, two days before the event, the players soon found why this course proudly boasts its status as the 65th best in the Golf World ratings. Rarely had the players encountered a course with a par of 68 and a standard scratch of 73, with no par 5's and an abundance of heather and gorse. Whilst drivers were needed to cope with the very long par 4's, accuracy off the back tee was essential as an errant shot would almost inevitably result in a lost ball.

The first practice eround on Thursday was used to familiarise the players with the course, although this was hampered by torrential rain late in the afternoon. On Friday players were instructed to play a medal round under competition rules. Unfortunately, early during the round Liam Burns somehow injured his left knee leaving him unable to continue; it was obvious that he would not be able to complete 36 holes the next day and so he left for home and treatment. The loss of Burns (+3) was an obvious disappointment and reduced our combined handicaps to only +16!!

On Saturday the team publications revealed that each of the 11 counties had persuaded all of their star players to attend. With a plethora of international players, including many Walker Cup hopefuls, the field represented the 'Who's Who' of SE England amateur golf. Closer inspection suggested that the 'Big 4' were probably Kent, Surrey, Hampshire and Sussex with the others possibily not having the strength in depth to achieve success. However, the form book was quickly re-written when Essex returned a hugely impressive first round total of just 412, just 4 over par. This score included a magnificent 65 from England's Dale Whitnell setting a new course record, which included a 6 on the 1st following a lost ball!!

Kent's combined total of 441 was extremely disappointing and left us 29 shots behind the leaders and incredibly in 10th place at lunch. Kent's best morning score was from Michael Saunders (72) and included disappointing performances from the out-of-form Sherreard (73) and over golfed Haines (73).

Essex enjoyed a 9 shot lead from Sussex and Hampshire at lunch, and Surrey's total of 430 which included a 79 from England Elite Squad's Andrew Cooley, probably represented a step too far for the County who clearly considered themselves to be the firm pre-match favourites.

In the afternoon as the breeze increased, the course began to dry out and conditions became even more testing. With only pride to play for, the Kent team did return more credible scores, with the newly crowned County Champion Jason Barnes leading the way with an acceptable 70. However, Tom Sherreard continued to struggle (75 and aggregate of 148) despite the assistance of County Coach Paul Page on the bag, as did Dave Jessup Jnr (72).

An early return of 80 from their first player home caused some Essex hearts to beat faster but this was matched by a 79 from Sussex and a 83 from Hampshire as the course was beginning to make some very good players look extremely ordinary. However, in the end the Essex team proved to be very worthy winners with a magnificent effort, clearly punching above their weight and winning for the first time since 1975.

The overall result from Kent (8th) was, to say the least, frustrating, but from speaking to those who caddied in the afternoon there was no lack of effort and endeavour from all our players.

Thanks, as ever, to the President, Allister Raffael and Pat Donaghey all of whom agreed to caddy in the afternoon and made the effort to support the team in this important event. So it's over to next year's Captain in the hope of achieving a better result.

 

6th July

KENT SENIORS CHAMPIONSHIP

The low turn-out experienced for the Championship continued with 49 just 3 more starters than last year. Par was trice threatened early in the morning round, but conditions throughout the day took scoring to CSS +1, then +3 over standard scratch, and bringing 5 NR's. First round leaders Chris Reynolds (Littlestone) and holder Chris Hurst (Pedham Place) on one over par 73 led Peter Cowell (Rochester & Cobham) 75 with 76's from Chris Stenning (Nizels) and George Pooke (Eltham Warren). Reynolds and Hurst had kept remarkably close with 35 and 38 in the morning nines, and the afternoon proved no different with no one being able to separate them, each having 38 and 41 for a two round total 152, despite a quadruple bogie from Reynolds, bringing a sudden death play-off won by Reynolds at the first replayed hole. With Cowell 83, Stenning 81 and Pooke 82 dropping Robert Whitington (Sheerness) and Ricky Moore (Westerham) moved into the top four on 154 and 155.

In handicap John Spruell (Sundridge Park) took the Cup on count-back over Ian Jones (Southern Valley) with Stenning taking third.

 

2nd July

KENT SENIORS v SUSSEX

A very hot day at Tenterden saw the team through against Sussex by 8 matches to 2. Sussex have lost all four of their league games this year.

The shock of the day was the loss of Chris Reynolds, normally our most reliable player, to fellow England International, Doug Arnold. The course was very dry and the ball was running a long way. However, the greens, if you could hit them, were holding so that the course was not as tricky as Knighton Heath where we played Dorset last week.

The teams were well looked after by Tenterden staff both in the restaurant and bar.

 

26-28th June

KENT AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIPS

The Club, captained in 1982 by the current County President, hosted the 78th event in this Mid Kent's Centenary year. The Field of 72 from 32 Clubs, with the holder and three past Champions, included 10 Juniors, and with balloting at 2.5 the lowest ever. The standard of play on an excellent course and in ideal playing conditions was high, with 25 sub-par rounds and the current Course record of 65 beaten in the opening 36-hole stroke play qualifier, firstly by Jason Barnes (Chart Hills), then again by 64's from Clubmate Tom Sherreard, Liam Burns (Sundridge Park) and Terry Crawley (The London Club).

Opening the first round to top the leader board on 6-under par 64, Barnes was followed by Burns on 65, Kevin O'Connell (Shooters Hill), past Champion Lloyd Godwin (Rochester & Cobham) and Darren Timms (Mid Kent) on 66, with Michael Saunders (Dartford) and Charlie Wilson (Littlestone) on 67 and Jordan Gibb (Deangate Ridge) on 68. In the second round, a double bogey for 69 cost Barnes the lead as Burns moved top with his 64 to total 129, win the qualifier and the Scratch Cup. Benefiting from 65, Gibb took second place over Barnes and Sherreard's 64 after a first round par, moved him fourth counting ahead of O'Connell and 70's from Saunders and Wilson and 71 from Godwin put them joint 6th. Crawley recovered well from an opening 74 to score the fourth 64 of the day. Darren Martin's 65 (Sittingbourne) showed a 14 shot improvement on the morning.

The cut-off for the top 16 to go through to the Championship match-play stages came at 142 with Matt Williams (Sittingbourne) last in, and for the second 16 and the Hetherington Salver at 145, with Nick Panting (Rochester & Cobham) just doing enough to qualify.

Fourteen teams entered the Team Championship and for the fourth consecutive year, it went to Sundridge Park with Burns, Hedges and Tom Beaumont taking a count-back at 417 over Chart Hills. The Club will represent the County in the English Club Tournament in September.

In reaching the semi-finals of the Championship, Burns had put out Godwin 4&2 to meet Sherreard who, after a 19th hole win over Jack Laws (Sundridge Park) back in the first round, beat Sam Shearer (Rochester & Cobham) 3&2. In the second semi Wilson progressed beating another past Champion Danny Curtis (Knole Park) by a surprising 7&6 to meet Barnes who had piped Jessup by one hole in the second round. More one hole wins followed by Burns and Barnes to set up the Final where Barnes 3 up after 9 held firm to win 3&2.

In the first semi-final of the Hetherington one hole wins by Junior Nick Buckland (Sundridge Park) and Rob Clark (Faversham) over Junior Ross Crockett (Westgate & Birchington) and Alex Collins (Deangate Ridge) brought them head to head with Clark winning 4&2 for a place in the Final and in the second semi Adam Hedges (Sundridge Park) beat Timms 2&1 to face Clark and proceed to win the Salver 3&2 with Clark only able to take the first hole.

Results:

Championship Winner - Jason Barnes, runner-up Liam Burns

Salver winner - Adam Hedges, runner-up Rob Clark

Scratch Cup (36 hole gross) - Liam Burns 129 (65, 64)

Astor Cup (36 hole nett) - Kevin O'Connell 130 (64, 66)

Simpson Cup (36 hole gross under 25) - Liam Burns

Club Championship - Sundridge Park 417 on count-back

Albeit with the largest Club membership, this might have been a 'roll call' for Sundridge Park, 'sponsored' by Burns were it nor for the major and timely intervention of Barnes.

The County President presented a KCGU Centenary Plaque to mark the Club's achievement.

The Kent County Golf Union would express its gratitude to Mid Kent Club staff and members for the overwhelming hospitality and assistance rendered over the period of the Championships, and to the Club Captain, David Newnham, for his presence throughout and the presentation of the trophies.

 

21st June

KENT V DORSET

Ashford Golf Club was honoured to welcome competitive 1st team County golf to their course for the first time since any of the members could remember.

Kent's first pairing of England squad members Jason Barnes and Tom Sherreard were far too strong for the Dorset pair and they sprinted to an early lunch with an 8&6 victory. However, the next two foursomes matches went to the 18th hole, and with Kent victorious in both, lunch was even more palatable knowing that a 4-0 lead would be difficult to overturn.

In the afternoon Walker Cup hopeful Tom Sherreard surprisingly found himself two holes down with three to play, but class prevailed as he won the 16th, 17th and 18th for a 1 hole victory. The middle order wobbled a little, with debutant Dan Byrne noticing the difference as he stepped up to 1st team golf and with Michael Saunders losing on the 18th and the unwell Jordan Godwin also losing despite a spirited performance, there were slight worries as the half point required for overall victory seemed slightly further away. However, there was no need to worry as wins from Levi Johnson, Dave Jessup Jnr and Jordan Gibb secured a relatively straightforward victory.

The margin of this victory could prove to be important as the league this year might be decided on the number of games won (assuming that we beat Hampshire and Sussex). This match was played in a friendly atmosphere and was well supported by County officials and Ashford Golf Club members.

 

17th June

SENIORS V DORSET

Everyone in the 6-man team were feeling the effects of the previous two days competition. They were joined by four others to make up the team of 10.

Knighton Heath was very dry and as a strong wind was blowing it was virtually impossible to get the ball to remain on the fairways, coupled with the fact that only one member of our team had played the course before, gave the Dorset team a distinct edge of which they took full advantage.

Nice to see Dick Seamer back, he was 4 up at one stage, but all square on the last tee but a birdie on the last hole saw him through.

Commiserations to Howard Moxon who being 4 up with 5 to play could not withstand the late charge of David Blackhouse and therefore lost 1 down.

Dorset were very pleased to win as they had never beaten us before, perhaps it was 'a bridge too far'.

 

15-16th June

EGU SE GROUP SENIORS' QUALIFYING

The drive down to the East Sussex National GC on the Monday was uneventful, if slightly long being rush hour. We all arrived in good time to meet Paul Page who gave us a talk through the holes on the West course.

The first day scoring was not fantastic, apart from Chris Reynolds who shot 73, due to the strong wind. The controversy of the day involved Ricky Moore who, having driven a ball into the water, proceeded to 'practice his dropping technique'. We were convinced that he was going to be disqualified, as it turned out he was cleared of any misdeed and so we ended the first day 10 shots leaders over Essex who were our nearest challengers.

The second day dawned with less wind, the same difficult pin placement, but it made no difference to our team who increased their lead over the field to 21 shots. A special mention to Dave Jessup who ended with the lowest 36 hole gross score 139 beating Chris Reynolds by 1 shot.

We will be at Tandridge GC for the final on 6th to 8th October.

 

8th June

CHRIS REYNOLDS

ENGLISH MEN'S SENIORS CHAMPION 2009

A level par round of 72 at Moor Park was good enough for Chris Reynolds to finally land the English Men's Seniors Championship.

It gave him a 54 hole tally of 224 and saw him finish a stroke ahead of his Littlestoe clubmate Andrew Stracey, who returned 77, and two clear of Andrew Carman from Coventry with 76.

Having finished second and third in previous championships, Reynolds was naturally delighted. "I'm absolutely thrilled to win my national title," he said. "I'm also delighted that my clubmate Andrew was second. It has been a great day for the Kent boys."

 

26th-29th May

US KIDS JUNIOR EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS

14 year old County golfer, Jake Spearpoint, has won the US Kids Junior European Championships in Gullane, Scotland. 37 countries entered the event with almost 500 Juniors of different ages battling for contention in their age groups. The three day tournament gave Jake a shared score of 229 in extremely windy conditions. The 3 way play off came to an end when Jake secured a birdie putt on the first hole. The County winter coaching scheme has certainly paid off with thanks to Andrews Reynolds of Royal Cinque Ports and Steve Mitchell of Etchinghill. Jake has now been given a 5 year exemption to all US Kids tournaments including the World Championships.

 

24th May

KENT COLTS v SUSSEX COLTS

Kent Colts welcomed Sussex to Canterbury on a warm and sunny day perfect for golf. Sussex, who defeated Kent easily last year, started favourites as is expected of the current league champions. The new 2009 Colts format of up to 3 under 25 year old players plus 5 under 21's saw the return of Liam Burns and Jordan Gibb back to Colts golf.
The morning foursomes appeared to be heading towards two matches each with Liam Burns/ Jordan Gibb and Michael Saunders/ Liam Harper having the slight edge over their Sussex opponents. Burns/ Gibb winning 2 and 1 and Saunders/ Harper 4 and 3 with the outstanding distance putting of Liam Harper stunning the very strong Sussex partnership of Jack Bartlett and Peter Tarver-Jones. In the third and fourth matches Levi Johnson/ Jordan Godwin and Dan Byrne/Kevin O'Connell struggled with some wayward hitting coming through the turn both well down. However, the fighting qualities of both Kent pairs turned the tide and a clean sweep of all foursomes appeared possible at one time. The final two matches both coming down the 18th hole with Byrne/ O'Connell winning 1 up and Johnson/ Godwin 1 down. A well fought morning session with Kent leading 3 matches to 1.
Expecting Sussex to react in the afternoon singles Kent put Levi Johnson, on his home course, out first and Levi led the way with an excellent 6&5 win putting Kent further ahead. However, easy wins for Sussex Peter Tarver- Jones and Chris Jess brought the match back onto a knife edge. Kent youngster Liam Harper at just 16, showed what an excellent prospect he is with another fine 4&3 win. With Jordan Gibb and Jordan Godwin fighting hard but both losing on 17th green brought the match back to 5 all. With the tension rising Kevin O'Connell continued his undefeated singles record for Kent Colts with another fine victory bringing the match to 6 to 5 in Kent's favour. In the final match on the course Kent's hopes rested on newcomer Dan Byrne getting at least a half in his match against Ashley Rees. From the 14th hole Dan put together an amazing run of 4 birdies to win 2 up on 18th. A great result Dan in his first Colts league match.
The final score being 7 matches to 5 for Kent and a great result for the home team. Kent wished Sussex well in their remaining matches and thanked Canterbury Golf Club and their members for their support to county golf.

 

10th May

KENT v SURREY

Royal Wimbledon provided a fantastic venue for the match. Both sides enjoyed putting on the true and fast surfaces that were running at 11 on the stimpmeter!

Matt Haines and Jason Barnes halved their morning foursomes as did Liam Burns and David Jessup. In both of these matches Surrey holed out with good 'clutch' putts on the 18th of three and four feet respectively. Michael Saunders and Liam Harper continued their winning run for Kent by triumphing 4 & 2. They have now won 5 out of 5 for the 1st team! The 'new caps' Jordan Godwin and Levi Johnson lost on the last to the experienced pairing of Mark Booker and Simon Crockett. 2 all at lunch and all to play for!

Matt Haines, although well under par, came up against some great golf from Jake Shepherd and lost 4 & 3. The books were balanced in the second singles when Jason Barnes holed a 35 foot putt on the 18th to edge out Mark Booker by 2 holes. The match looked in balance as it often does and the 'new kids' Jordan Godwin and Levi Johnson helped Kent's cause by winning





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