The United Kingdom Public Course Championships (UKPCC) was held at the Eden Course, St Andrews on 6th October 2019. Ninety two players took part from thirty two different clubs from England Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Unfortunately the good weather of the previous weekend disappeared and we were left to contend with the remnants of hurricane Lorenzo. Heavy rain and a very gusty wind meant difficult conditions for most of the field with the rain easing only for the last five groups. Nobody wanted to be out there longer than necessary and it is a credit to the whole field that the last group in went round in 4hours 20min-a record for this event.
There were seventy one men chasing the title of UKPCC champion -Chris Clements (h/cap 5) from Risebridge Golf Club was in the second group out and played in the worst of the weather, scoring an impressive 36points. That score was never bettered and he held on to take the title. The best gross score was by Paul Dixon (h/cap 0) from Brandon Wood (28points). He was out in the first group with Carl Hawkins of Easthampstead -they went round in an impressive 2½ hours!
Chris Clements – Risebridge GC Paul Dixon – Brandon Wood GC
For this competition the men’s field is divided into three divisions. Division 1 (Handicaps 0-10) was won by Rob Mears (Downshire h/cap 5) with 33 points. Count back on 32 points separated the next four players with Paul Dimmer (Haste Hill h/cap 7) finishing second from Jim McCann (Thorney Park h/cap 9) in third. Matt Sheath (Southsea h/cap 4) also finished with 32 points but took the runners up prize for best gross score (28 points). Martyn Osment for Downshire (h/cap 9) finished fourth. Men’s Division 2 (Handicaps 11-16) had the most competitors and was the closest fought, with one point separating the top ten players. Five players were tied on the winning score of 33 points but the eventual winner on count back was Mike Waite (Hoebridge h/cap13) from Steve Howarth (Stevenage h/cap 11) in second place and Patrick McElmeel (Loughgall h/cap 15)in third. David Sheridan (Brent Valley) and Will Smith (Leaside) also had 33 points. Division 3 (Handicaps 17-28) had the fewest competitors but Mervyn Mcpherson (Birchwood park h/cap18) just missed out on taking the main title by one point finishing as Division 3 champion with 35 points. Second place went to Prem Sharma (Haste Hill h/cap 25) with 33 points
Rob Mears – Downshire GC Mike Waite – Hoebridge GC Mervyn Mcpherson – Birchwood Park GC
A smaller field of ladies this year, only twenty one, was a reflection in the drop in numbers of initial entries at club level. Two young ladies took the top honours -Becky Bainbridge (h/cap10) from Birchwood Park scored 40 points to take the UKPCC title with Elise Hunt from Easthampstead Ladies taking the Gross title with 27 points.
Becky Bainbridge – Birchwood Park GC Elise Hunt – Easthampstead GC
Ladies Division 1 (Handicap 0-18) was dominated by Hoebridge with Jess Howard (H/cap 18) winning with 37 points from her team mate Karen Parker (h/cap 17) on 34 points. Ladies Division 2 (Handicap 19-36) was won by Anna-Marie Robinson (Moore Place h/cap 29) with 38 points who played in the very last group of the day. Pipped by one point into second place was Chiew Kong (Batchwood Hall h/cap 24) who finished with 37points.
Jess Howard – Hoebridge GC Anna-Marie Robinson – Moor Place GC
The event could not take place without the generosity of the R&A who amongst other things supplied our referee, Richard Muckart. He did a fantastic job in very trying conditions. It goes without saying that yet again all the staff at the Eden Club House were outstanding. Without their help and support the event could not take place.