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Surrey County Golf Amateur Championship 2019
Purley Downs Golf Club
31st May 1st & 2nd June
The Surrey Amateur Championship 2019 was held at Purley Downs GC in the clubs 125th celebration year.
The course was as always in great condition with many comments from the players about “the best greens I’ve seen this year” being common over the weekend.
36 hole qualifying took place on Friday May 31st with the knockout rounds to come over the weekend.
Lead qualifier was Surrey First team player, Angus Flanagan of St George’s Hill, previous England Boys Champion and International with 62-71 for 133 and a -7 total, the first round beating both Amateur & Professional course records.
Two time Champion David Corben, current U18s & U16s Champion Harry Crockett, First team player Will Dugdale and U16 squad member Harley Yates, were runners up on level par (140) with Harley being second best round of the day with a 66.
The cut fell at 147 which forced a play off for the single last spot and a breakfast date with the previously mentioned Angus Flanagan.
6 players would play in two groups to decide who would proceed.
Group one saw Joe Favata, Luke Stock and Sean Mullen take 4,3 & 3 respectively
Of the players in group two, former County Captain Simon Crockett & USA student Conor Cull made birdie 2’s, the former playing to within a few inches and the latter holing a long putt to continue the playoff. Current County Champion Jacob Aaholm picked up after having already played 2 shots when Conor sank his putt for birdie.
Simon and Conor returned up the hill to play the stunning par 3 again in front of a growing audience of enthusiastic club members to witness Simon hitting it even closer 2nd time round to earn the early alarm call for Saturday via an airport run to collect eldest son Charlie, who was returning from college in the US.
The draw for Saturday morning was -
Angus Flanagan v Simon Crockett
Scott Murray v Harry Plowman-Ollington
Harley Yates v Adam Bailey
Will Dugdale v Craig Hodgson
David Corben v Lawrence Courtney
Ben Partridge v Mark Davis
Max O Hagan v Patrick McCarthy
Harry Crockett v Frankie Boylan
After some very tough matches on Saturday the 4 semi-finalists on Sunday morning were, Angus Flanagan v Adam Bailey of the host club & David Corben v Frankie Boylan.
Again some excellent golf was played, particularly from Angus in beating the home hope Adam 7&5 and also David who turned around a 2 hole deficit early in the round to beat Frankie 3&2.
So the afternoon Final would see many people’s top 2 seeds go head to head.
Angus led off and just managed to grab a piece of the fringe about 40 feet away whilst David missed the green down the bank. A deft chip from Angus saw him open the scoring with a par.
Hole 2 saw David even things up with 2 solid irons to the front of the green whilst Angus had a bit of bother in the trees left of the fairway.
Both players missed the green at the 3rd and David got his head in front holing a sublime bunker shot from left of the green.
David went over the green on the par 3 fifth hole and 2 putts from Angus from the back fringe of the green saw the match level again.
Both players hit big drives at the par 5 sixth, indeed Angus was estimated to have been 392 yards off the tee. The hole was halved in birdies after both narrowly missed eagle putts.
Angus chose the tourist route off the next tee, hitting back up the 5th hole to the amazement of the Purley members, saying that it gave him a better line into the green.
As it transpired both players missed the long par 4 to the right, Angus played a delicate lob shot that just ran out a little and then David followed with a great bunker shot to 5 feet. Angus calmly rolled in from 20ft but David was cool enough to follow him in for the half.
Again to the bewilderment of the locals, Angus chose his driver on the dog leg 7th, while David took the more conventional route and found the back edge after 2 shots. Angus has 55 yards to go on the 445yd hole and was unlucky to kick forward off the fringe and run across the green. Both players showed their excellent short game skills and the hole was halved.
The tricky par 3 eighth, saw both hit lovely irons which Angus converted for a birdie with David just coming up short.
Both players hit big drives down the 9th, with David having a slightly better angle. Both players needed 2 putts although David caught a big bit of the hole, but the ball stayed above ground. Angus 1up at the turn.
2 more huge drives up the hill on the 10th had both playing short irons to the green. Angus’s putt just slipped past and David leveled the match from 6ft.
Angus slightly misjudged his approach to the downhill 11th but an excellent chip matched David’s regulation par.
A slightly pulled drive from Dave at the 12th and an excellent pitch for a conceded birdie from Angus saw him back in front.
The toing and froing continued at the 13th where David found the green and had 20ft left for eagle, Angus pitching over the bunker to have a 10ft birdie try. 2 putts were required by both and the match was again level.
The exhibition of driving continued on the tough 14th, followed by 2 nice irons to the green. Angus came up just short on the fringe and chipped to about 4ft. David burned the edge from 20ft before Angus cleaned up for the half.
David hit front again at the par 3 15th with a nice 8 ft birdie putt after Angus just missed from a bit further out.
Both players tried driving the 16th, a short par 4. Angus was pin high left, David just running through into the semi rough behind the green. Both played excellent chip shots but again Angus’s putt slipped past and David holed a curling putt to be 2up with 2 to play.
David played safely to the fairway at the 17th, Angus being more aggressive and driving over the corner. David then played a lovely iron to around 15 feet, followed by Angus playing to around 30 ft.
Again Angus’s putt slipped past and David had won his 3rd County Championship.
Well done to both on a great final and congratulations to David Corben the Surrey County Champion for 2019.
The 36-hole qualifying day on Friday is also the Club Challenge Cup competition, any Club with three players entered into the Amateur Championship can participate. The teams of three are named before the players start the morning round with both scores from all three players counting and lowest aggregate score winning. This year’s Club Challenge Cup winners were West Hill, who retain the cup they won last year.
West Hill scores were: Tommy Noel 76 & 72, Lawrence Courtney 73 & 73 and Max O’Hagan 72 & 70 for a 436 total. West Hill now will go on to play in the English Champion Club Tournament at Romford GC in September. Addington Palace took 2nd with 439, in 3rd was Reigate Hill with 448.
Our thanks must go to everyone at Purley Downs Golf Club who looked after everyone so well for the three days, and a special mention must go to Richard and his greens staff, the course was in awesome condition with greens that were simply brilliant.
Finally, a big thank you to all the volunteers who put in such a huge amount of work into helping run the event and ensuring its success.
Steve McNeill (County Secretary) and John Noble (Head County Coach)
Above - Angus Flanagan (Left) and Purley Downs member Adam Bailey before their semi-final.
A truly fantastic performance from Adam who worked hard this year to earn a 3 handicap in order to enter, who then progressed to the semi-final to be finally stopped by the new course record holder.
Below left to right:
Terry Christy Surrey GU Chairman, 3rd-time winner David Corben, Angus Flanagan, Peter Coates PDGC Chairman.