The Day in Pictures: CGS Premier National Church Golf Cup: Essex Qualifier ~ Christian Golf Society | Church Golf | National Church Golf Cup in partnership with CVM

The Day in Pictures: CGS Premier National Church Golf Cup: Essex Qualifier

The Day in Pictures: CGS Premier National Church Golf Cup: Essex Qualifier.Sunday 22nd July, Three Rivers Golf and Country Club, Cold Norton, Essex.


Right on queue and an answer to many prayers, the weather for the 2012 Premier National Church Golf Cup - Essex Golf Day couldn't have been better. The sun shone which helped to dry a course that had - like many courses across the country - been affected by the wet British summer so far. However it was great to see that short-sleeved shirts were the order of the day as the pairs teed-off in this year's competition.

As it transpired the course was in good shape with just some areas still suffering from puddles and soggy ground. Such conditions meant that there was a heavy premium on good ball-striking and distance control. Coupled with the thick, juicy rough compliments of 3 months of above-average rain, the scoring on this day was tougher than it had been in previous years.

Despite the tricky conditions the early holes produced some good play and strong scoring. It was Richard Bultitude and Chris Watts who started the best, accumulating 8 points in the first three holes, courtesy in no small part to a gross par 5, net eagle by Richard at the long third. Things settled down a bit after this impressive start and whilst they continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over during the outward nine, it was not enough to maintain the lead.

That honour went to John Lambern and Matt Double who, through great dove-tailing, produced three net birdies and a net eagle in their front nine total of 21 points, a strong statement and five points ahead of Richard and Chris and also Frank Vinas and Steve Tucker who were producing steady, if unspectacular, progress.

With the distinctly more difficult front nine out of the way, all the teams were producing more fruitful results during the second half of this competition. For example Richard Oanes and Jim Hamilton scored consistently on the inward half, scoring 18 points, to add to the front half score of 13 points. Surprisingly John and Matt were one of the few pairings who couldn't keep up their excellent showing on the outward half. A disappointing return of 14 points brought them a total of 35 points and whilst it was only just short of winning, they were left to rue what might have been.

In similar vein, Richard and Chris had a disappointing spell in the middle of the back-nine which ultimately derailed their challenge. Despite a strong showing in the last four holes, their total points haul of 33 points was good enough for tied third position, an admirable performance for their first attempt at this trophy.

The best scoring on the shorter - and evidently easier nine- went to Nick LeMon and Rich Watts and to Frank and Steve both pairs accumulating a superb 20 points over the closing nine holes. Nick and Rich had three net birdies in their points haul, however their front-side scoring wasn't comparable and a slow start probably cost them a top-three spot, if indeed maybe not the title itself.

Frank and Steve (representing Leigh Road Baptist Church) matched the fantastic scoring performance of Nick and Rich, however with the steady play in the opening holes, their total of 36 points was just enough to see them home and win the attractive Essex Golf Cup. The closing six holes brought a considerable points tally of 14 points, which subsequently marked the moment they took the title away from their competitors. Frank and Steve were worthy winners and whilst the scoring was modest, the competition produced a very close and exciting finish. The winners now represent Essex in the National Finals to be held at Heythrop Park Resort in Oxfordshire in September.

The longest drive competition was won by Greg Taylor at the par-5 third hole, whilst Julie Eady produced an excellent effort to pip Frank Vinas for the nearest the pin prize at the par-3 15th.

RESULT

1st Frank Vinas & Steve Tucker (Leigh Road Baptist Church, Leigh-on-Sea) 36 points
2nd John Lambern & Matt Double (Oasis Christian Fellowship, Benfleet) 35 points
Tied 3rd Nick LeMon & Rich Watts (Shoeburyness & Thorpe Bay Baptist Church) 33 points
Richard Bultitude & Chris Watts (Shoeburyness & Thorpe Bay Baptist Church) 33 points

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