The UK Public Course Championship was held on 2nd October 2016 over the world famous St Andrews links.The competition began back in the spring and 69 men had fought through club and regional qualifying to take their place in the final Played three weeks later than normal, weather forecasts were anxiously scanned for inclement weather but we were treated to a wondrous sunrise and a definite nip in the air on the morning of the competition! Held on the Eden Course – a par 70 for the men – and off the white tees measuring 6250 yards, it has all the attributes of a typical St Andrews links course -especially the bunkers!
The lowest handicap men were the first to tee off. Scoring was of a good standard with only four stableford points separating the first 13 places. Nick Partner from Basildon ( h/cap 7) managed to outscore his rivals and take the Men's Division 1 title with a sound 38 points. Chris Preston (Cannock Park h/cap 5) was runner up from Paul Dimmer (Haste Hill h/cap 7) third with Chris Clements (Risebridge h/cap 4) fourth. All three scored 36 points.
Men's Division 1 Champion Nick Partner Men's Division 1 Runner up Chris Preston
Men's Division 1 3rd place Paul Dimmer Men's Division 1 4th place Chris Clements
The Men's Division 2 was just as keenly contested. It was won by Ben Barnett from Wycombe Heights – playing off a handicap of 12 he scored an impressive 39 points – the best score of the day thus far. Paritosh Ghadiali (Rodway Hill h/cap 16) was the runner up with 36 points.
Men's Division 2 Champion Ben Barnett Men's Division 2 Runner up Paritosh Ghadiali
The best scoring of the men's competition came from Division 3. Harjinder Dhardwar from Iver (h/cap 23) finished with a mighty 41 points to take the Men's Division 3 title with Nick Calder (Roundhay h/cap 19) runner up with 38 points
Men's Division 3 Champion Harjinder Dhardwar Men's Division 3 Runner up Nick Calder
However the day belonged to Jon Britchford from Tilgate Forest. Starting the day playing off a handicap of 20, Jon scored a staggering 45 points to take the overall Men's Championship title. The men's Gross Championship was just a keenly contested. The title was decided on count back with Steven Meacham (Cannock Park h/cap 3) being declared the winner from Stephen Keay (Harborne Church Farm h/cap 1) -both had 33 gross stableford points. Both Jon and Steven will be back next year to defend their titles
Jon Britchford Men's UKPCC Champion 2016
Steven Meacham UKPCC Men's Gross Champion 2016 Stephen Keay Runner up Men's Gross
The Ladies Championship proved just a thrilling. Shorter from the red tees but by no means easier, the course for the Ladies was a par 73, measuring 5450 yards. With 31 Ladies vying for the prizes there was some outstanding scoring in both divisions. Elizabeth Merryman from Cannock Park (h/cap 17) scored a splendid 42 stableford points to take the Ladies Division 1 title with Julie Portis, a previous divisional winner from Huntswood (h/cap 17) runner up with 37 points.
Ladies Division 1 Champion Elizabeth Merryman Ladies Division 1 Runner up Julie Portis
The scoring was even better in Division 2. Jayne Parsonage from Bird Hills (h/cap 20) took the Division 2 title with a score of 44 stableford points with Lynne Coote (Loughgall 27 h/cap) runner up with 41 points.
Ladies Division 2 Champion Jayne Parsonage Ladies Division 2 Runner up Lynne Coote
The Ladies Championship title was won with an outstanding performance from Sandra Combstock (Hoebridge) . Playing off a handicap of 7 she played the round of her life scoring 46 stableford points completing the course in 70 strokes – two under the par of the course.The Ladies Gross Champion played in the same group – Janet Forbes from Loughgall (h/cap 10) was the winner with 28 gross stableford points. These two Ladies will definitely be back next year!
Ladies UKPCC Champion 2016 Sandra Combstock Ladies UKPCC Gross Champion 2016 Janet Forbes
Many thanks to the R&A for allowing us to hold this event at St Andrews and to all the staff at the Eden Course club house who were so helpful and welcoming and to our referee Alan Cowie who kept an eye on proceedings.The NAPGC committee members who helped run the day were Colin Ballantyne, Kathy Maloney and John Booth – they ensured that you all turned up on time, found your golf balls and input your scores -thank you.
The UK Public Course Championship returns once again to St Andrews next year – will it be your turn to win? Make sure your club holds a qualifying round and see!