HARPENDEN GC - MEN'S CHAMPION CLUB 2020 - FROM L TO R, JACK BIGHAM, JOSS GOSLING & TOM SPEYER
Harpenden GC retained their Men's Champion Club title they won at Hadley Wood last year when they won again last Sunday (11th October), at the rearranged and reduced Championship event played at a sunny but cool Brookmans Park GC.
The event is tradionally played as a 36 hole scratch event with all 3 players' scores to count and with a qualification process that enables clubs not in the top 2 divisions of the Men's Scratch League the opportunity to qualify through to the Final event. However due to obvious time and arrangment pressures this season, neither of these elements were possible this year, resulting in an 18 hole medal event, only for the 14 clubs who make up the top 2 divisions of the Men's Scratch League, plus the host club for the Final event.
After recent poor weather we were delighted that this event was played in mostly sunny and calm conditions, albeit cool and with one or two short sharp showers during the round, keeping all the competitors on their toes.
Due to the recent wet weather the course was playing very long, with several of the longer par 4 holes needing two good hits to get home in regulation and the shorter par 5 holes on the course, which normally provide some respite for the stronger player, still providing a good challenge.
2019 Men's County Champion Joss Gosling of Harpenden returned the lowest score of the day, with a sparking 69 (-2), the only under par score of the day with four birdies and 2 bogeys. Joss's score was added to by England Boy International Jack Bigham with a 79 (+8) and former County Colts Champion Tom Speyer with a 74 (+3). The cumulative score was 222 (+9), good enough to win by 3 clear shots from local rivals, Harpenden Common, who pipped Hadley Wood to 2nd place on a back 9 countback after both teams recorded cumulative scores of 225 (+12).
Unfortuately due to current circumstances Harpenden will not go forward to contest any National Champion Club Final event this year.
The CSS on the day was 75 against the par of 71 and SSS of 72.
Next year's event, all fingers crossed, will be in its 'normal' format of qualifying semi final events in late March and the Final, to be played at Porters Park GC, on Sunday 25th April.