Hottest day of the year on Saturday for Day1 of Surrey National’s Club Champs. We were perhaps due a good weekend after a fairly ropey June and the timing was spot on… very hot (~31-32C?) and quite humid but at least the course was not suffering the same Euro heatwave which may have dried things out too much.
Cracking job by the greenkeepers
Frist off I think all would agree that the course was in fantastic nick.
Ali and his boys had clearly put in a huge amount of work during the week and it really showed. Fairways all looking sharp, greens cut and ironed (both days), and even the bunkers presented well (as much as they can be!). Huge thanks to the greenkeepers from all who played over the weekend and I’m sure the Vets are going to have a good day Monday.
We were off the 1st for a change this year, not sure if that worked for me due to usual the blockage of the 3rd. At least after that hole the pace evens out somewhat. I can see why (as the 12th can also cause a delay) but it certainly a challenge for all abilities having to wait for 10mins before knocking it over the water… or into the water of course.
Gabrielle, Mass and myself were off at 8.08 just before the temperature really picked up. Fairly ropey start for myself and Stu. Gab was hitting the ball a country mile and very straight. I managed to put a decent back nine together after a poor front to return with a gross 79, Stu was steady as ever backed up by some great putting for a solid 76, Gab unfortunately came unstuck on 3 holes which cost him in the end.
The fantastic greens, humidity and medal pressures perhaps all helped spread some scores out. A few cards were tucked quietly away over drinks at the end – the inevitable odd 10’s and a 11 were all mumbled about. Stupid game! Jay and Sam returned the lowest scores of 75 on the day, with Scotty one behind with Mass and Declan in with 77. Well done GP on his 78, where were you Sunday mate!
Overall a good turnout for Day1. Qualifying for the top24 scores usually varies from 83 up to about 87. The heat and quality greens perhaps contributing to the score of 89 making it through to Day2 and saw 12 Swashies out of the 26 qualifying. Well done all.
Bit cooler for Day2, certainly less humid… great weather for golf. Greenkeepers had again been out early cutting and ironing the greens. We had some non-qualifiers out off the 10th whilst Day2’ers headed out to the first.
Pins all changed for Day2, some cheeky positions but the scoring was generally maintained by the qualifiers, couple slipped down a few but conditions perhaps a smidge friendlier.
Myself, Jack, the always Beefy Tomas Austin were out at 8.24 in 3rd to last group. We also had our usual Day2 spectator of Mr Austin Senior wandering around on the 5th supporting Tom.
All steady golf from us 3, we had a good 3ball, all quite chilled and supportive of course as we went round seeing what-would-be. We each hit the turn at 2over gross improving on Day1’s scoring. Jack was steady, I managed a few birdies to offset a few bogies and Tom secured a 2 on the 13th and a long 25footer downhill on the 15th to keep in there. We were all never really that close but I was a bit gutted take the only double on the last to cost me a decent round but we all have a good fun Day2 round. Thanks both.
As the two final groups came in we saw quality of the golf come through in approaches to the 18th. Jay booming it easily over 300yards off the tee and Scottie nailing a long putt to remove all thoughts of a similar one last year which came short! Great putt under pressure mate.
As it turns out, despite leaving a ball on the lip on the 18th, young Sam came out on top 3clear. Sam hitting the ball absolutely miles – we heard from Scottie that whilst Sam hit a driver and just a 7iron over the water into the par5 5th… Scottie said “ah woodn’t have minded tho, boot ah hit a 8iron to layee oop!” (translation services available).
So great job Sam, Club Champion 2019….very solid golf under pressure.
And well done all for getting through a tough two days of golf to both qualifiers and non-qualifiers. And of course we go through it all again next year and meanwhile can all enjoy the course in great condition.