HGU MID-AGE CHAMPION 2017: LEWIS WATCHAM (HARPENDEN COMMON)
LEWIS WATCHAM OF HARPENDEN COMMON - HGU MID-AGE CHAMPION 2017
A small but strong field of 31 Hertfordshire golfers assembled at Batchworth Park Golf Club in Rickmansworth yesterday (Mon 9 Oct), for the 2017 playing of the County Mid-Age Championship, a 36 hole event for those of 35 years of age and above. 3 County Champions were among the field taking part, including the current holder, Tony Wilkins of Harpenden Common.
The day was fairly cloudy but mild and for the most part dry, apart from some persistent squally showers around lunchtime. The limited level of daylight hours made an early start necessary, with the 1st group teeing off the 1st hole in the gloom of a 07:30am start in early October. Thankfully the light held out long enough for the competition to be completed.
After the morning round Charles McKay of Letchworth led with an excellent round of 69 (-3) by two shots from the aforementioned Tony Wilkins on 71 (-1). Three players were a further two shots back on 73 (+1), the inaugural winner of this event in 2013, Neil Brinkworth of Sandy Lodge, the ever steady left-hander Lewis Watcham of Harpenden Common and the affable Gary Wing of Chesfield Downs.
In the afternoon the scores improved as players got used to the slick putting surfaces and the pin positions and 2 x 5 under par 67's were achieved. Firstly by Jason Court of Sandy Lodge, who was 6 under par for his pm round through 13 holes, but bounced back after back to back bogeys at 14 and 15, with a steady par-birdie-par finish and post an early clubhouse target score of the day of 144 (level), rounds of 77/67. The other 67 was achieved by Lewis Watcham, who is coming back into a rich vein of form after a knee operation earlier in the year set both his fitness and his confidence back. Lewis had 6 birdies and just the one bogey in his pm round, on the par 5 14th hole. Lewis set a new clubhouse lead of 140 (-4) for the day, rounds of 73/67, that would not be beaten. This was one trophy that had eluded Lewis so he was delighted to win the Mid-Am title, particularly considering his injury issues earlier in the year.
The halfway leader Charles McKay failed to repeat his morning excellence with an afternoon 76, while Tony Wilkins came up one shot shy of a tied score with Lewis on the day, after an afternoon round of 70 to add to his morning 71 for a total of 141 (-3). Jason Court would have the consolation of taking away the best nett score prize on the day with 140 (-4)
The CSS on the day was am 73 and pm 72 against the par of 72 and a SSS of 71 from the white tees.