Bridgnorth clinch title on countback after agonising wait
Bridgnorth became the first club from Shropshire & Herefordshire to win the Junior Champion Club Tournament when they came up on the rails to pip Fynn Valley from Suffolk on countback over the Bracken Course at Woodhall Spa.
While the Suffolk boys returned a second day 71 – the best two cards to count - Bridgnorth stormed through with 77 to tie on 155. But the Midlanders sealed it on countback of all three second round scores after both team’s discarded returns had also finished equal.
Callum Brown was the Bridgnorth top-scorer with a second successive 40 points off a handicap of five, while Conor White’s 37 proved crucial in catching Fynn Valley on the line.
“We are in shock. It’s amazing,” said Brown. “When we saw we had finished level with Fynn Valley we thought we would be pipped, not the other way around.
“Then we had a long wait, around five hours, to wait to see if anyone else would overtake us. But this has been the best weekend we’ve had for golf and for fun. I hope we get a team picture on the wall at the club.” (image © Tom Ward)
The Fynn Valley team was naturally disappointed but George Bolton said: "To come second in an England national competition is amazing. I have only been playing for three years and to shoot my handicap and then under it is a great result."
Conditions were trickier than day one. The pins were more difficult to get at; the ball was not running as much after the opening day’s torrential rain, while a testing breeze brought an added handicap. Then, towards the end of the day, further rain dampened proceedings.
Incredibly, there were two holes-in-one on day two, and both on the same hole, the 153-yard 16th.
Although not in the hunt for the major prizes, the Shrivenham Park trio from BB&O were boosted by a hole-in-one from one of their team, Sam Plumb. The 17 year old saw his seven iron tee shot at the 153-yard 16th hole disappear into the cup for a cool five points.
“The shot looked good all the way,” said Sam. “It fell about two feet short of the pin and went in on the second bounce.”
It was his second ever ‘ace’ but his first in competition and came after back-to-back bogeys. It left the six handicapper with 33 Stableford points and his team with an aggregate of 139.
Then, James Clark, a five handicap member of the Peterborough Milton trio, claimed his first ever ‘ace’ with an eight iron.
“The ball pitched right of the hole, spun back and went in on the second bounce,” said James. “I didn’t see it go in as I had bent down to pick up my tee when everyone began cheering and clapping.”
It also earned the 16 year old five points on his way to a second successive 40 points.
For full team scores and more information visit the Championships section of the England Golf website.