The English Seniors County Championship will celebrate its tenth anniversary when the finals are played at Hindhead Golf Club in Surrey on 7th – 9th October.
Over the previous nine years, Kent has been the dominant county, being present in every final but one and winning the title on five occasions. They are back again this year seeking a sixth success while Gloucestershire, Nottinghamshire and Lancashire will be eager to stop them and gain their first victory.
Apart from Kent, only two other counties, Cheshire and Hertfordshire, have lifted the title. Cheshire was the dominant county in the early years, winning three times of the first four championships before Kent took over. The champions from the Midlands and the South West have yet to win the title.
The only year which didn’t feature Kent was in 2012 when Hertfordshire succeeded them as champions while their opponents then were the other three counties this time. Kent will field five of last year’s winning side at RAC Epsom in Ross Galgut, Chris Hurst, senior internationals Richard Partridge and Chris Reynolds and David Weighton.
Partridge has been a senior cap for the past two years and represented GB&I in the inaugural Concession Cup against the USA in Florida earlier this year, while Reynolds made his England seniors debut in 2006. He won the English Seniors Championship in 2009 and has finished runner-up on three other occasions. He has also been runner-up in the British Seniors.
Lancashire will be appearing in their fourth successive Senior County Finals and their fifth overall but the title has so far eluded them. The north region winners will field six of the side that finished third last year at The RAC Club in Terry Brown, Alan Gillespie, Mike Gray, Stewart King, Jeremy Morgan and Glyn Rees.
King is an England senior international who finished third in last year’s English Seniors Championship, while Rees is a Welsh senior cap. The side also includes their senior county champion Tony Holt.
Gloucestershire, making their second appearance in the finals, include six members of their 2012 team in Richard Boulding, Welsh senior international Bob Broad, Bill Higgins, Stuart Masson, David Potter, the county’s senior champion, and Richard Wood, father of European Tour professional Chris Wood.
Nottinghamshire, in their third seniors final, include senior international Charles Banks, winner of the English Mid Amateur title three years in succession from 1995, who became a senior cap in 2011. He won the Welsh Open Seniors title this year and is a former winner of the Scottish Seniors.
The Midland champions also field Derek McJannet, the county senior champion, and three members of their 2012 line-up in David Brown, Neil Martin and Stuart Pond.
The Seniors Finals are contested on a round robin basis, each match consisting of three foursomes and six singles. In the draw for the first round of matches, Gloucestershire will play Lancashire and Kent face Nottinghamshire.
Gloucestershire: Richard Boulding (Henbury) Bob Broad (Minchinhampton) Nick Gore (Thornbury) Bill Higgins (Tewkesbury) Stuart Masson (Minchinhampton) David Potter (Naunton Downs) Andy Selway (Bristol & Clifton) Richard Wood (Long Ashton)
Kent: Philip Bramall (Chart Hills) Ross Galgut (Littlestone) Bruce Hilsdon (Littlestone) Chris Hurst (Pedham Place) Dave Jessup (Wrotham Heath) Richard Partridge (Wildernesse) Chris Reynolds (Littlestone) David Weighton (Littlestone)
Lancashire: Terry Brown (Stand) Ian Crowther (Royal Lytham & St Anne’s) Alan Gillespie (St Anne’s Old Links) Mike Gray (Lancaster) Tony Holt (Wilpshire) Stewart King (West Lancashire) Jeremy Morgan (Longridge) Glyn Rees (Fleetwood)
Nottinghamshire: Charles Banks (Stanton-on-the-Wolds) David Brown (Sherwood Forest) Graeme MacDonald (Newark) Derek McJannet (Coxmoor) Alastair McLachlan (Notts) Neil Martin (Wollaton Park) Stuart Pond (Worksop) Chris Powell (Sherwood Forest)
Image of 1st green courtesy of Hindhead Golf Club.