The Spring Cup was played over the weekend of the 24th and 25th of October and was proudly sponsored by “THE GALLERY” – a fine body of great club supporters who can often be heard enjoying themselves on the balcony during Saturday lunchtime – and beyond
The Spring Cup was first played in 1935 and from what we know is the longest surviving major event on our golfing calendar – with 2020 being its 85th year (for budding mathematicians it was not played in 1973).
Previous winners of the Spring Cup who played over the weekend were – Phil Johnson (1991 and 2013), Angus Johnson (2008), Gavin Furness (2017), Ako Futaesaku (2018) and the defending Champion Mackenzie Buck.
Saturday was a beautiful Spring day and the scores were outstanding with twenty five players from a field of 82 having 36 points or better.
The leader after the completion of the morning round was Gallery member Greg Polla with an outstanding score of 43 points off his 12 Handicap. Starting from the second his card included eight 3 pointers and one 4 pointer on the eleventh.
Andrew Roberts was 4 points in arrears, followed by Sim Lau, and Gary Hing on 38 points. Defending champion Mackenzie Buck was also in the mix with 37 points.
Normally you would expect 43 points to be good enough to lead the first round but along came Paul Coni in the afternoon with a magnificent 45 points from his 13 Handicap. His round was highlighted by a two iron second shot to the eleventh which ran onto the green to one foot – a tap in eagle and 5 points. This was accompanied by eight 3 pointers.
Andrew Everett and Craig Nelson also played very well with 41 points and Geoff Robey was back on 38 points. The 2017 champion Gavin Furness was a further point in arrears and two time champion Phil Johnson had 35 points.
The stage was set for an exciting second round.
In the morning the scores were once again very good. Greg Polla could not keep up his first round form and signed for 30 points – which was not helped by two “wipes” on the short par 3 seventh and sixteenth.
Sim Lau after having 38 points in his first round flew home with 40 points and took the lead with a two round total of 78 points. His birdie three on the tenth hole resulting in 5 points and two other 4 pointers certainly helped his score and accounted for the two “wipes” on the card. Sean Chia and Ken Hall also had 40 points and finished with 75 points. Andy Lemessurier was consistent having 37 points in each round for a total of 74 points.
So, what could the afternoon players do?
Overnight leader Paul Coni answered that question and did not give the rest of the field a chance finishing the day with 40 points for a total of 85, running out a very comfortable winner – watch out for his handicap!!
After a first round of 41 points Craig Nelson, with 38 points, overhauled Sim Lau and finished runner up with 79 points – a score one would normally expect to be a winning one.
Sim Lau was third followed by Sean Chia, John Sheridan and Marty Morris on 75 points.
As with the first day overhaul scoring was exceptional and twenty four players had 36 points or better – the handicaps are going to take a beating.
The Best Gross was won by Club Champion Tristan Geerlings with 70 points which equates to a gross stroke score of even par 144 – an excellent effort.
Best of the “Past Winners” was Gavin Furness with fine rounds of 38,36 for 74 points.
So, there is a new and very much deserved Spring Cup winner in Paul Coni and congratulations to him for two excellent rounds.
As usual the course was presented in excellent condition and the House Staff Caterers and our Pro Andy Gott assisted in making the two days a success.
Finally, acknowledgement must be made of the sponsor of this year’s Spring Cup – THE GALLERY whose continued support of the club is most appreciated.
From – Greg Fitzhardinge