East Devon club championship success for Sam Lavelle
PUBLISHED: 19:14 07 August 2020
East Devon Golf Club hosted their Men’s Club Championship, played as a Scratch Medal (no handicaps) and contested over 36 holes, writes Ray Dawson.
In a departure from recent years the event has been separated from the Handicap Challenge and held over one day rather than two rounds being completed over consecutive Saturday’s.
A field of just under 30 players took part in dry conditions, the course being in excellent condition with firm fast fairways, punishing rough and quick greens with head greenkeeper Paul Newcombe getting them to 10 on the Stintmeter.
The early pace setters in the morning round were Sam Lavelle with level par 70 followed by Leigh Jones and Russ Corney with 73’s.
After all the round one scores were recorded the top 12 players were allocated their tee times to go out in the final groups with the three leaders going out, as per the Open Championship, as the final three-ball.
The conditions toughened in the afternoon with the westerly wind picking up and this was reflected in the overall scoring. Competition Standard Scratch (CSS) was 71 for the morning and 74 in the afternoon.
Dave Blick, after a morning round 78 got himself into contention and was only one over par after nine holes and finally finished with a 76 to end up in fourth place on 14 over par.
Joe Sharp, in the penultimate group, followed up his 75 with a 77 and was leader in the clubhouse prior to the final group finishing, on 12 over.
Despite dropping shots in the afternoon, Sam Lavelle had maintained a three-shot lead over Leigh Jones all the way through 17 holes.
A large gallery watching from the patio in front of the clubhouse then saw the drama unfold on the final hole.
With Leigh safely on the green in two, albeit some distance from the hole, Sam blocked his second right into the bushes. Now playing four he safely pitched onto the green and finished about 10 foot away from the tight pin which was just over the bunker on the front right of the green.
Needing a bird to stand a chance of forcing a play-off. Leigh’s effort came agonisingly closed which left Sam a comfortable two putts from close range to secure the Championship and win the 1910 Scratch Medal.
The prize fund was allocated to the top three players with Sam Lavelle, first, Leigh Jones second, and Joe Sharp third.
Prizes also went to the best morning and afternoon rounds for players outside the top three, which were won by Russ Corney and Chris Tonking respectively.
Club captain Malcolm Pressey made the ‘Socially Distanced’ Presentations afterwards and huge thanks were afforded to tournament director Bob Martin for the successful running of the day.
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