Berks Bucks & Oxon Golf
The BB&O Amateur Championship headed to The Caversham - Home of Reading Golf Club on Friday 5th August. Over 100 players entered the event and with space for only 72 the ballot was strong with the highest handicap index making it in 1.0. After round 1, Tom Lawson (Ellesborough) - defending champion - got his tournament off to a good start with a steady level par round (72). 2011 & 2016 champion John Kemp (Woburn) and 2000 & 2007 champion Kevin Freeman (East Berkshire) both went around in 72 to match Tom. Will Tate (The Caversham) and Taylor Paul (Harleyford) trailed the past champions by 1 shot heading into the second round. Top 16 players plus ties make it through to round 3 & 4.
Paul McMullen (Frilford Heath) played his way into round 3 after shooting the first under par round of the day - 71 (-1) - to finish +5 for the first two rounds. Harry Gale (Goring & Streatley) matched Paul's 71 to sneak into Saturday. Archie Smith (The Caversham) shot 74 in the morning and needed something special to make the cut and he did just that. Archie shot a new amateur course record of 67 (-5) with a double bogey! A phenomenal round of golf. Tom Lawson was going steady until he holed out for an eagle on his last hole to finish -4 (68) for his final round. Tom's eagle on the last snuck him ahead of Archie by 1 shot heading into the final two rounds.
Congratulations to Harry Gale who won the Penfold Trophy which is awarded to the best 36 hole net with scores of 77 & 70.
The wind dropped and the temperature increased for the second day of the championship. Rory Browne (Feldon Valley) shot a level par morning round to stick on +6 for the tournament. Paul McMullen had a very steady round with 2 birdies and bogies to remain on +5 after round 3. Harrison Arnold (Castle Royle) had the best round of the morning with a 70 (-2) to play himself back into the championship. Archie dropped 3 shots which brought him back to the field and Taylor shot level par to get within 1 of Archie. Heading into the final round Archie was sat on level par, Taylor was +1 and Harrison was +3.
Harrison was gaining shots on the field in the afternoon, he was -1 for his round through 8 holes. It was nip and tuck the whole way with Archie and Taylor on the same score after 9 holes. Archie birdied 10 to sneak ahead with 8 holes to play. Harrison had 3 birdies on his back nine to get his score back to level par for the round to finish on +3 and set the clubhouse target. Archie and Taylor headed down 18 knowing that they needed a birdie to force a play-off against Harrison. Archie hit a great shot to 8ft but left the putt on the edge of the hole. Taylor hit a wedge to 2ft and calmly drained the birdie putt to force the play off.
We headed back down the first, Harrison hit his drive into the right side fairway bunker and Taylor drove up the right but carried the bunker. Harrison with a tricky shot, took two to get out of the bunker. Taylor hit a great shot just past the pin leaving him a 20ft downhill putt for birdie. Harrison chipped on to around 10ft and unfortunately missed the putt. Taylor, needing two putts for the win, nudged his first putt down to 2ft and then tapped in to become the 2022 BB&O Amateur Champion.
Congratulations to Taylor on winning his first BB&O Amateur Championship. Taylor will go on to represent BB&O at the England Golf Champion of Champions event in September.