Slater is 'amazed' at Fullers London Pride Gold Medal triumph
Ian Slater from the North Downs club in Surrey kept his nerve and his lead, despite an hour’s stoppage for thunder, to win the Fullers London Pride Gold Medal at a sweltering Woodhall Spa.
He followed up his first round 37 Stableford points with 35 for a convincing win on 72, three better than Darren Humphries from Shropshire & Herefordshire, who also closed with 35, and four clear of third placed Kevin Waterhouse from County Durham with a second successive 34.
“This is amazing,” said 44 year old Slater. “I’m over the moon. I never expected this at all. I came here just for a great weekend on a great golf course and this happens.” (image © Tom Ward)
Playing off a handicap of two played a key role in Slater’s success. “I think it helped a lot,” added the IT manager. “I’ve only been in one bunker all weekend and that counts a lot around here. I also managed to keep the ball straight and out of the heather.”
Once again, the players were subjected to a hot and humid day which affected many of the field. “It was very hot and tough,” added Slater. "Also the wind was in a different direction from yesterday but the one hour stoppage didn’t affect me.
“I parred everything after the restart until the last and even the bogey there last didn’t prove costly.”
Beside the Gold Medal, Slater also wins a year’s supply of Fullers London Pride beer.
Humphries, 23, from Clee Hill and a four-handicap member of the Ludlow club, wasn’t in the hunt at the turn. But a back nine of 20 points saw him speed through the field to finish runner-up.
On an eventful day, there was a hole-in-one that never was. Paul Birch struck his seven-iron tee shot right at the 143-yard fifth hole and felt it might be lost. So he took a provisional only to find the original in ground under repair.
After taking a drop the 22 handicapper chipped on but failed to score a point. Checking for his provisional, he found it in the cup.
“I’ve never had a hole-in-one and now it doesn’t count,” he lamented. “It could have proved costly but I’ve got insurance to cover such an event,” he added, after signing for 27 points and 52 overall.
Unfortunately the second round was marred by the withdrawal of five players after their clubs were stolen from their cars overnight at their hotel in Woodhall Spa.
For more information visit the Fuller's London Pride Gold Medal webpage.