Berks Bucks & Oxon Golf
The Buckinghamshire Golf Club hosted the BB&O Amateur Championship this year. On the Friday, 72 players were competing for their chance to be crowned the 2023 Amateur Champion and only the top 16 and ties would make it through to the final day (Saturday). Tom Lawson (Ellesborough) drew on his previous 5 wins and shot a morning round of 69 (-3) to take the clubhouse lead alongside Harry Thomas (Frilford Heath). Sitting just one shot back was Will Shackleton (The Oxfordshire) who used to be a member of The Buckinghamshire and so was using course knowledge to his advantage. Kevin Freeman (East Berkshire), Joe Getley (Harewood Downs) and Tom Wilde (Castle Royle) sat on -1 (71) after the first 18 holes. With 9 players all within 4 shots of the leader it was left to the afternoon round to separate the pack.
James MacFarlane (Harleyford) had two very steady rounds to finish +1 for the day and comfortably made the top 16. Harry Thomas continued his fine form in the afternoon shooting 71 and finishing -4 total for the 36 holes. Tom Wilde backed up his 71 with a level par 72 finishing -1 going into the third round. Luke Perkins (Frilford Heath) along with Harry shot an afternoon 71 to play his way into the final group for the next day and was joined by Kevin Freeman after finishing -2 total for the day.
The weather was challenging on Saturday with heavy rain showers in the morning and a stiff breeze. Rory Browne (Feldon Valley) took on the tough conditions and shot 70 (-2) which moved him up the leaderboard. Kevin shot 73 which put him at -1 for the event. The battle between Harry and Luke continued as Luke shot 68 (-4) to take the lead by 1 after Harry shot a morning round of level par.
The wind picked up in the afternoon making the air cool and the conditions tougher. Harry picked up a shot on Luke on the opening hole after Luke found the water off the tee. After another birdie, Harry sat 2 shots ahead of Luke on the 8th tee. After a short deliberation it was decided that they would both hit iron off the tee rather than attempting the daunting drive over the water to the green. Luke hit it safely up the right however Harry found the water which meant that they were neck and neck walking off the green. With 9 holes left to play, both Luke and Harry sat on -4 with the experienced Freeman threatening just 2 shots back. Harry settled his nerves with back to back birdies at 10 & 11. Luke dropped a couple of shots on the final stretch giving Harry some breathing room. Harry his a great approach down the last hole to 8ft and drained the putt to become the BB&O 2023 Amateur Champion!
Congratulations to Harry Thomas on a fantastic final score of -7, winning by 5 shots!