The 2021 Surrey Amateur Championship was held on the sensational Sunningdale Old Course over the weekend of May 28-30.
The condition of the course was unbelievably perfect given the poor weather over the last couple of months.
Fortunately, Spring decided to arrive in earnest for the Friday qualifying rounds, with light winds and temperatures nudging into towards 20c.
The fast and undulating greens would see the scoring difficult with only 3 players returning under par scores in Round 1, 68 from Harry Crockett, 69 from Aadam Syed, who both recently returned from a successful year in the USA and 69 from the current County Champion, Terry Nicholls.
Round 2 proved equally testing with Aadam adding a 71 for a level par total seeing him qualify as top seed for the weekend.
3 time champion David Corben took 2nd spot with rounds of 73 + 70, with Demi Di Matteo, Justin Chan and Terry Nicholls on the same total taking the next 3 spots being decided on countback.
13 year old sensation Kris Kim was 15th qualifier on +6, with a playoff for the final spot being won by a birdie on the Par 5 First hole from Mark Booker, who is a past Champion and former County Captain.
The Saturday morning would be chilly to start but warmed up mid-morning, with some excellent golf being played ending with the afternoon quarter final line up as-
Aadam Syed v Daniel Rosevear
Terry Nicholls v Lewis Hinton
Demi Di Matteo v Sam Hessian
Harley Yates v David Corben
In the top match Aadam would continue his good form in beating local man Daniel 5&4, whilst in match 2 Terry would just edge past his Surrey teammate Lewis.
Sunningdale member Sam would see a lead of 5up after 10 holes disappear to be 1up playing the 18th however a holed chip shot from behind the 18th green by Demi would see them go into extra holes. Sam held his nerve with a birdie and would advance to the Semi Final where he would face U18 squad player Harley who played magnificently to defeat the 3 time Champion David 3&2.
Sunday saw similar conditions to the previous day warming up after a cool start, with Aadam & Terry exchanging holes all morning with there never being more than a 1 hole lead, Aadam winning the closing hole for the narrowest of victories.
The 2nd semi-final saw Sam playing steady match play golf with Harley being unable to repeat his form from the previous day, Sam joining Aadam in the Final with a 3&2 win.
A healthy gallery watched the final as Aadam sprinted to a 2up lead with birdies on both opening holes including a holed chip on the difficult 2nd hole. Halved holes were exchanged in par before Sam hit back with a great birdie on the 5th.
Aadam was 3up after the short 8th as Sam missed putts for par there and on the previous green.
Sam cut Aadam’s lead back to 2 with a solid par on the long 10th after Aadam made his first error of the final by driving into a fairway bunker.
Both Finalists holed good par putts on the 12th before Sam won a battle of long putting on the 14th to reduce the arrears to 1.
Both made a bogey on the long par 3 before Sam hit his tee shot into the left fairway bunker on the 16th to allow Aadam to 2 putt to go dormie 2 up.
Both tee shots split the fairway on the downhill 17th, where Aadam narrowly missed for birdie and Sam ensured the match would go to the final hole with a fine approach and birdie putt from 6ft.
Both played nice approaches off good drives on the 18th, Aadam a couple of feet closer than Sam but Sam having an uphill putt, which to the delight of the Sunningdale members around the green, he holed.
Aadam was left looking at a putt of around 12ft down the sloping green to avoid going to extra holes.
In what seemed an eternity after the ball left his putter, the ball dropped in the front of the hole on the last roll and Aadam was Champion for 2021.
This title added to his other County Championship wins at u12,14,16 & 18 age groups. Only the Colts Championship has so far evaded him but as he said after the Final, “I’m working on that!”
A truly remarkable feat.
Well done, Aadam, and congratulations to Sam on a great run to the Final.
The Surrey Amateur Club Championship was won by the host club Sunningdale, the three victorious players were Sam Hessian, William Shucksmith and Jacob Austin with a combined score over 36 holes of 445. Second on 447 were Wentworth and third on 448 Reigate Hill.
Many thanks to all at Sunningdale Golf Club for hosting a brilliant Championship.
Surrey Golf Ltd
Winner Aadam Syed with the trophy
Left to Right, Sunningdale Captain, Paul Chase-Gardner, Aadam Syed and Surrey Golf President Terry Casey.