Fast-finishing Tree denies Dick in Welsh playoff

Toby Tree Welsh 2014

England international Toby Tree (Golf at Goodwood, Sussex) fired a closing round eight-under-par 64 in the weather-hit Welsh Open Amateur at Conwy then needed a playoff to deny Jamie Dick (Forest Hills, Gloucestershire) the title.

Both players tied on 202, 14 under par, for the 54 holes played after the first round had been abandoned because of heavy rain.

However, the Conwy greens staff are to be congratulated for making the course playable despite the weather.

“It was a tough week, but they kept the course playable,” said 19-year-old Tree. “It was the same for everyone and it was just a question of keeping under the umbrella as much as possible.

“They managed to keep the course dry, but it was soft for a links course which I didn’t mind. You could pitch it at the flag much more and play it like a parkland course.

“In the last round I played well and kept making the putts. I wasn’t nervous going into the playoff because it was just a question of carrying on doing what I was doing well – you cannot control the outcome of a playoff so I just tried to control my own game.

“It was a good win for me to start the summer off. I put the event in my schedule as a links course to prepare for the St Andrew's Links and British Amateur.”

Tree (image courtesy Golf Union Wales) began the final round five strokes behind Dick, who returned 64 in round two, but the Sussex teenager covered the front nine in 31 shots to close the gap to three. But for his only bogey on the par-four 16th, Tree would have come home in less than 33, his 64 containing nine birdies.

Dick recorded five birdies in his 69 and two bogeys, one coming at the last in an inward 36. They halved the first playoff hole but a par at the second was good enough to see Tree to the title.

Two more England internationals, Michael Saunders (Dartford, Kent) was equal third on 207, and Ashley Chesters (Hawkstone Park, Shropshire & Herefordshire) fifth on 209.