County Championship Week

Perranporth Golf Club played host to the Men’s County Championship Week during the week of 14-20 May, with Tehidy Park representation ensuring silverware returned to the club.

The week as ever opened with the Royal Cornwall Goblets, in which TPGC had five pairs playing, and James Barnard partnered by David Bailey got the club off to a flying start by posting a winning score of 41 points. Their score belied their own start; just two points after the opening three holes, but then the following 15 holes would prove to be very profitable as they secured the trophies.

The Amateur Championship commenced on the Wednesday with a 36-hole medal, in which 69 of the counties top players would do battle for the top 32 spots, which then turn to match play on Thursday. The four players from TPGC, Matt Lock, Rob MacGregor, James Barnard and Andrew Clotworthy would all secure safe passage to provide a 100% qualification success rate.

The examination would prove to be somewhat harder on Thursday morning, with MacGregor the sole survivor after a 19th hole win over Jack Mewton of Truro. In the afternoon he would face Richard Jasper, who defeated Clotworthy earlier in the day, and after a hard fought battle it would prove to be a good day for Jasper against the Tehidy contingent as he squeezed through to the quarter finals with a last hole victory.

As the Amateur Championship continued on Friday (see Cornwall Golf Union website for details) the Lawrence Cup, an 18-hole individual stableford was staged for all members of Cornwall Golf Clubs to play in, and with a score of 37 points the ‘ever young’ Clotworthy would top the leader board at the close of play to bag the trophy.

The Saturday would witness the conclusion of not only the week itself, but also the A and B Team Club Championships in addition to the Amateur Championship. TPGC had representation in the A Team, facing Bude in the morning semi-final, and after an intensely competitive match TPGC would prevail with wins from Richard and Peter Simmons (2&1) and also James Barnard & Tom Chapman (19th) having been 2 down with three holes to play. In the game involving the pairing of Rob MacGregor and Matt Lock a half was agreed, with the match already won, their game standing at all square after 17 holes.

St. Mellion would stand in the way of the Tehidy Park team as they sought to win back the trophy last won in 2014, and what a match it would prove to be. Whilst ahead in all three matches for most of the afternoon, clear water was never established, and by the time the games stood on the 17th tee Barnard & Chapman held a two-hole advantage, with the remaining two games stood at all square. Barnard & Chapman would close out their match on the 17th (2&1) with the pairings of Simmons & Simmons and MacGregor & Lock both winning the 17th hole to establish one-hole leads playing the 18th.

St. Mellion were not finished, and a birdie against the Simmons brothers on the 18th hole would send that game into extra time! All attention turned to MacGregor & Lock; could they close out their game on the 18th hole and secure the title? With his approach shot MacGregor would fire long and through the back of the green. St. Mellion found the putting surface, 15 feet from the flag. Lock nudged a deft shot to within five feet of the flag, after which the St. Mellion pair putted to within inches of the hole for a safe par. MacGregor now with a five foot putt for the title as the crowd looked on (except for Rob’s mum who couldn’t watch). The crowd included Matt Lock’s caddy, none other than the Club Captain, David Ryder, the colour draining from his face……..but fear not as MacGregor stroked home the putt to the delight of the Tehidy Park support and that of the Simmons brothers who were looking back from the 19th fairway.

At the presentation the Captain remarked that he was very much relieved and also proud to be associated with the talent within his team and might just celebrate with a couple of ‘jars’ tonight !

Conor Wilson would close out the perfect week for his home club, Perranporth, in regaining the Amateur Championship he won in 2015, following his victory over Jared Mortimore of Truro Golf Club.

Well done Perranporth Golf Club and the Cornwall Golf Union (Chris Pountney in particular) and we’ll see you all at West Cornwall in 2018.