Surrey County Amateur Championship
Qualifying Rounds Day One
Friday 1 June
Matchplay Saturday and Sunday
Burhill New Course
The 2018 Surrey Amateur Championship was played over the excellent New course at Burhill, which improves each year with maturity.
Several excellent recent changes to bunkers around the course and a new water hazard on the long 13th made navigating the course more tricky for the 65 players who entered qualifying on Friday morning.
Thankfully, like last year at Royal Mid Surrey, the course avoided the thunder storms that had been forecast all over the South East, and was in excellent condition, with the greens running fast & true.
Play got underway at 8:00am and news quickly fed back that the defending Champion, Max O Hagan of West Hill GC, had a putter that was as hot as the sun that was shining down on the course. 8 birdies and only 1 blemish on his last hole of the morning saw the Florida Tech student in the lead with a 65 (-7), 4 ahead of his former Physics and PE teacher at Reeds School, James Wallis, who was bogey free for his 69.
There were further under par scores in round one from Harry Plowman Ollington, Scott Murray and Duncan Hodgson (all 70), along with Alex Tonge, Peter Baeg, Eamonn O’Connor and last year’s beaten finalist, Lewis Hinton (all 71)
The wind blew a little more in the afternoon but made no difference to Max and James who tied at the top of the pack with scores of 68 & 64 respectively for a total of -11. James was lead qualifier and therefore number 1 seed courtesy of his bogey free (again!) better 2nd round, that also equalled the course record. James is obviously a man of many talents, having been part of the British Hockey Team at the 2000 & 2004 Olympics.
The qualifying cut came at 147 (+3) with 16 players on this mark meaning no playoff was required for the first time for several years.
Some big names missed out including previous 2 time champion, David Corben, who had an uncharacteristic bad day on the greens to miss by a couple.
The draw for Saturday morning was-
James Wallis v Alex Tonge
Scott Murray v Dominic Griffiths
Harry P. Ollington v Jacob Aaholm
Peter Baeg v Stuart Beatty
Duncan Hogdson v Harry Uzzell
Charlie Crockett v Lewis Hinton
Callum Mackay v Eamonn O’Connor
Max O Hagan v Scott Pluthero
James again went bogey free in beating local man Alex on the 16th, whilst Dominic and Scott needed extra time before Dominic prevailed.
Jacob overcame fellow First team player Harry Plowman Ollington to earn a quarter final against Peter Baeg of Banstead who had overcome Stuart Beatty of Effingham.
The 3rd quarter final would be between buddies Lewis Hinton and Harry Uzzell, Lewis beating Charlie Crockett up the last and Harry beating Burhill’s Duncan Hodgson at the 16th.
2017 Champ, Max, sealed his quarter final place taking out Scott Pluthero to meet his best mate and club mate, Callum Mackay, who had been victorious over Royal Wimbledon’s Eamonn O’Connor.
The sun continued to shine as the 8 players set off for the afternoon quarter finals.
Game 1 was an epic encounter with Dominic pulling back a 4 hole deficit to win 1up against James with an excellent birdie 2 on the beautiful 18th hole.
Both Jacob & Lewis managed wins on the 17th green over Peter and Harry respectively in nip and tuck matches before Max despatched his buddy Callum 4&3.
Sunday morning was again showing signs of being hot and dry as Dominic & Jacob played off the first tee in game 1 followed by a re-run of the 2017 final, Max v Lewis in the 2nd semi-final.
Both games started similarly with Max & Jacob getting their noses in front early, both a couple up through 3 holes.
Jacob held his lead over Dominic into the back nine, although in game 2, a 30ft bomb at the 7th saw Lewis go 1up only for Max to hit 2 exceptional irons into 8 & 9 to restore the narrowest possible lead through the turn.
Jacob got to the 16th tee 3 up on Dominic but the Walton Heath man would not lie down would not lie down holing a nice 8-footer to win 16, and then also win 17 following Jacob’s visit to the fairway Bunker. Up the last!
Both players hit nice shots into the par 3 and Jacob progressed to the final when Dominic couldn’t repeat his heroics from Saturday just running a 7ft birdie putt past the edge.
Max, having been 1up through the turn then made a remarkable par on 10 from an impossible lie to go 2up but Lewis would reply with and excellent birdie at 11.
Max went 2up on the 12th with a 3ft par putt after both players had missed the tricky par 3 green, a lead he would not relinquish and when Lewis missed his birdie try on the 17th Max was in his 2nd consecutive final.
A healthy crowd followed the final Match as Max started fast hitting his approach to the 1st to only a few inches and then went 2up when Jacob unusually 3 putted the 2nd.
The next few holes were halved with pars before Jacob made a nice birdie on 9 to halve his arrears. Max got in a little trouble at 11, just falling in the hazard with his approach, and although choosing to play it, Jacob was level.
Jacob continued his steady play and a combination of a missed putt at 12 and an errant tee shot at 13 by Max saw Jacob 2up playing the short 14th. Halved holes over the next 3 saw Jacob dormie up on the 17th. An untimely error saw him in the fairway trap with Max in A1 position and the Final was going up the 18th.
Max hit it to 20ft behind the hole whilst Jacob came up a bit short on the fringe and putted up to 4ft.
Max was eyeing up extra time, but his putt slipped past before Jacob solidly holed his putt to be Champion for 2018. So not only had Jacob hit the last shot of the Championship, he was also the first player to tee it up on Friday!
Many congratulations to Jacob and many thanks to Burhill for hosting our Championship.
Surrey President Jack Buchanan with David Wilkinson Burhill Captain
Round ONE and TWO combined
Day TWO & THREE Matchplay reloaded Sun 16:44
Celebrations expected about 16:30 (ish!!)
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write up and photos to follow 2moro Monday!
Day One start sheet reloaded 25 May at 14:15 notes to players
Please recheck your tee time on Thursday afternoon in case we have had to move you!
We still have ~ 2 places ~ available for this Championship
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