Richard Wallis, Southern Area PGA Professional, after many years of trying, finally wins with Jamega.
Having been in several playoffs over the years with Jamega, Richard at last crosses the winning line by sneaking a win under the cover of darkness. A long rain delayed 2nd day finally comes to a close with 4 excellent golfers tied on 7 under par.
With fading light the playoff went to the fifth extra hole where Richard stating that he couldn't see the hole, never mind any break, hit his final putt firm and straight to ram home his first Jamega win, leaving Steve Surry in the dark!
Wallis finally gets over the line to win at Gatton Manor.
Rolling back the year’s former European Tour winner Mark Mouland showed a clean pair of heels to the opposition on day one with a stunning 7 under par 65 which included two Eagles, on the 5th and 13th to lead a quality field after the first round at Gatton Manor. Heading the chasing pack were last week’s winner at Selsdon Park, Lloyd Kennedy and Richard Wallis both on 5 under 67.
Challenge Tour Regulars Dan Brooks and Steve Surry along with Ben Banks and Tom Murray lay one shot behind Kennedy and Wallis on 4 under par 68. Tucked in one shot further back was another Challenge Tour player, Mark Laskey. A tightly packed leader board had some thirty three players scoring level par or better.
The Tours old friend, the rain swept in to say Hi on day two and with the wind due to pick up in the afternoon playing conditions were going to prove difficult, so patience would be a paramount ingredient of the recipe for success, so proven winner Mark Mouland would be hoping that experience would triumph over youth on this, the second day.
An early card to hit the recorders table was a superb seven under par 65 from Jonathan Paulton which was a whopping fourteen shots fewer than his first round effort of 79! Jon Le Roux took over the early lead from Paulton at 1under par adding a 4 under 68 to his first round 75. Rory Kirwan and David James then assumed the lead both scoring 4 under par 68’s to finish on 2 under par.
As the leading groups started to come in it became apparent that a tight finish was on the cards. Steve Surry logged a final round of 69 to set a challenging target of 7 under par but this was soon equalled by Dan Brooks in the penultimate group. With the final group not setting the course on fire a play-off looked on the cards. In the final three ball Lloyd Kennedy and Richard Wallis battled down the stretch trying to find a birdie but both failed and we headed for the second four way play-off of the year!
Well, what a day! 3 hours delay due extremely heavy rain, the whole field completing the final 18 holes in excellent time as night was closing in. A 4-way playoff, possibly our worst nightmare, failing light and 4 excellent golfers still to decide the outright winner, maybe back tomorrow to complete!
So off to the first, playing sudden death on holes 1,2 and 3. OOM leader Dan Brooks the first to stumble failing to get up and down from the back of the first takes the long lonely walk back to the clubhouse. On the very next hole, last week’s winner Lloyd Kennedy slips his par putt by to leave the contest but stays on to watch Steve Surry and Richard Wallis battle to the end. Taking a further 3 holes to get a result with Gary Harris (The Jamega Official in charge) constantly suggesting that maybe it was too dark to continue. They manfully struggled on, in dwindling light, and when Richard heard his ball take the 6 inch drop on playoff hole 5 the tournament was done and in truth it really was too dark and Steve will rue the decision to play on, maybe a lesson learnt.
Richard at last wins a playoff, well done, £5000 richer, no wonder he’s smiling!
This was our first visit to Gatton Manor, near Gatwick on the Surrey Sussex border and we will most certainly be back next year if possible, having received a warm welcome and been presented with a solid golf course in excellent condition. Many thanks to Patrick, The Owner and his green-keeping team led by Rob, a great job in trying conditions! Superb greens.
Week on week we have quality fields, with a strong representation of European and Challenge Tour players in the mix.
So we would say again if you want to test yourself against the best, get your entry in early for The Shire next week on the 16th and 17th where you can try and unravel the puzzle laid down by the great Seve Ballesteros.