Sunday dawned clear and sunny at Wrag Barn Golf Club where 72 of the County's top golfers met to compete for the 90th Wiltshire Men's County Championship.
The first round proved to be a tight affair and after the initial 18 holes 11 players were within 4 shots of the lead. Defending champion Tom Law (Broome Manor) shot 74 and was joined on that mark by Marlborough's Jez Tomlinson and the home duo of Tony Keyes & Dan Pulham. One shot better off was Broome Manor's Paul Sandry, who trailed the level par scores of Danny Clayton (Cumberwell Park), twice champion Garry Slade (Bowood), and the surprise package Graeme Wright (The Wiltshire)
The top 4 was made up of experience and youth. Once shot off the lead were Jay Kitching (Ogbourne Down - very much experience), the youthful Tom Stagg (Salisbury & SW) and Wrag Barn's Andres Gomez-Williams.
However, holding the halfway lead was 2004 champion, Mike White representing West Wilts. Mike claims that this will be his last County Championship, but not many people believe him!
The afternoon proved to be as testing as the morning as the fast, true greens and thick second cut rough made scoring difficult. Ogbourne's Simon Futcher fought back from a disappointing morning to claim the Swift Cup with a 2 under round of 70, giving him a tie for 6th place with Tomlinson. Two-time Champion Tom Law made a great defence, shooting level par which gave him 5th place on his own, just behind home player Gomez-Williams in 4th. Tied with him, but claiming 3rd due to a better second round was Slade.
Unfortunately, the fairy tale ending was not to be as Mike White's 73 proved to be one shot shy of first place, which was taken by Tom Stagg with a second 71 giving him a 2 under total of 142.
A comprehensive photo gallery will follow, but in the meantime Wiltshire Golf would like to sincerely thank the owners, members and staff at Wrag Barn Golf Club for presenting the course in such fabulous condition. Special thanks go to Tim & Verity Manners, Mike Summers and his Marshalls, and Neil Carter and the green staff who provided putting surfaces that elicited praise from all the participants.
I would also like to thank our volunteers - Competitions Director Lynn Thornton, who attended despite a broken toe, Jerry Gegg who added his normal mixture of wisdom and humour, and Nick Chapman without whom the whole day would not have run so smoothly.
See you at Tidworth Garrison on the 17th May 2020 for episode 91!