ONCE again the club championship weekend at Brean produced dramatic finishes with both the Men’s and Ladies’ titles only decided on the final green of the 36 hole.
In blazing sunshine and in front of a sizeable and supportive gallery, Lyn Bird closed out her fifth successive win in the Ladies’ event by holding off a late charge from Millie Jones.
A short time later the final Men’s group reached the home hole with Dan Williams holding a comfortable lead and looking the probable winner.
A visit to almost everywhere except the fairway saw him open the door for his playing partners but neither Josh Heseltine-Smith or Leighton Jenkins could quite find the birdie they needed to force extra holes.
Jenkins was the halfway leader with a slender one stroke advantage over his final round companions.
The opening half of the second round belonged to Williams as he covered the opening nine holes in one under par to give himself a comfortable advantage but as ever the going got tough on the final nine as he fought to close out his maiden championship win.
On the 18th a trip to the water, followed by the long rough from which he failed to extricate himself from the first time, saw his lead slipping away.
Jenkins had a lengthy birdie putt which just missed before Williams left his putt of a similar length an inch short which would have put the result beyond doubt had it dropped. Heseltine-Smith was the last person who could force extra holes but when his birdie putt stayed above ground it was Williams who was declared the 2021 champion.
The Ladies event followed a similar pattern with Bird taking the lead in the opening holes of the second circuit.
Jones would not give up though and kept clawing strokes back and was two behind on the final tee. After ending just short of the green in two, her chip left her an uphill for a birdie which would have tied Bird who had made a very steady six.
As was the case in the Men’s event her putted failed to drop and Bird breathed a big sigh of relief as she retained the title once again.
Both sections had Nett competitions running alongside the main championships. Brian Read was the comfortable Men’s winner after carding a total of 132 over two days. He was five clear of a trio on 137 which was headed by Simon Baunton after his best-of-the-day nett 64 on Sunday. Stewart Garrett took third ahead of club captain Dave Morgan in fourth.
Ladies captain Linda Edmondson couldn’t quite keep pace with Bird and Jones on Sunday after taking a share of the lead overnight courtesy of her nett 64 on day one. She did however win the ladies Nett award with a 137 two round total.
At the completion of another exciting weekend of championship golf all the players were very complimentary of the superb condition that head greenkeeper Max Smith and his team had presented the course for them to do battle on over the two days.
Lyn Bird warmed up nicely for her defence of the Ladies’ championship by securing the June Ladies Stableford last Tuesday. She posted a superb 43 points, which equated to a gross score of 82, to enjoy a three point wining margin from Shirley Marlow. Marlow finished very fast with eight points coming in her final two holes and this distanced herself from the third-placed Linda Edmondson on 35.
Mel Brown’s marvellous run of form seems to be showing no signs of slowing down as he produced another excellent round of nett 58 to win the third and final round of the Seniors Captains Cup.
When this return was added to his earlier round of 66 it was good enough to see him finish five strokes clear of Chris Stephens in second spot.
Barry Fellows was the leader heading into the final round but he was unable to improve on his 131 total and therefore had to settle for third overall.
Brown wasn’t the only score to dip under the 60 mark in the third round as John Ham also produced a stunning round of golf to end one shy of the winner but he was still a comfortable seven strokes clear of third placed Brian Read.