Redmond holes eagle putt to claim Willingdon club champs title

James Redmond
James Redmond

A large field took part in some testing conditions as Willingdon GC hosted it’s club championships over two weekends.

The Club Championship involves three trophies.

The Baker putter or scratch prize, the Frank Ward Cup for handicaps 1 - 18 and the David Crook trophy for handicaps 19 – 28.

The overall winner of the David Crook trophy was Andy Mcphee with nett scores of 70 and 71 total 141.

In second spot with 74 and 69 total 143 was Derek Kirkman and in third with scores of 75 and 72, total 148 was Derek Smith.

Winner of the Handicap prize or Frank Ward Cup was Ryan Knapman with excellent nett scores of 69 and 67, total 136 on the back 18 from Richard Miller who had scores of 66 and 70 and In third place was Mark Clement with scores of 71 and 68, total 139.

The scratch prize proved to be as exciting as the Open Golf Championship at St.Andrews with three players finishing on 151 after 36 holes. Both Mark Wootten and Des Brockwell had scores of 75 and 76 while James Redmond was two off the lead after the first round and had scores of 77 and 74.

This saw a three way play off which proved thrilling.

All three players struck their second shots into an ever stiffening wind, with Brockwell finding the right hand bunker and both Wootten and Redmond falling agonisingly short of the green and falling back into the front bunker.

Brockwell’s long bunker shot left him a 20-foot putt for his par, Wootten splashed out of the heavy sand just outside Brockwell which left Redmond to play. A perfect contact saw the ball pitch short of the flag and catch the edge of the hole leaving a two foot putt for his four.

Wootten’s putt for a par was struck well but turned hard left as it reached the hole, slipping by the left edge.

Brockwell stroked the ball in the hole to put the pressure back on Redmond who responded with a par four.

The sudden death format left Brockwell and Redmond to fight it out down the par five 8th hole. Both players smashed their tee shots down the middle of the fairway back towards the clubhouse.

The tension was mounting for a tight finish. Brockwell played first, hitting his iron shot just off the back right of the green but leaving a difficult chip to the flag on the other side.

Sensing a chance to snatch the trophy Redmond hit an imperious eight iron to a challenging pin tucked in the back left hand corner, pitching on the lower level, the ball chased up the green on to the top tier stopping inches from the bunker and rolling down to nine feet.

Brockwell’s chip from an extremely tough position still left him to putt first, but as on the first he piled the pressure back on his younger counterpart by holing out for a birdie, a miss by Redmond would see the players back on the adjacent first tee. With many eyes watching from the clubhouse and around the green Redmond rolled his eagle putt in the centre of the hole to regain the title he won two years ago.