Emrys wins 2nd Major at Bridgenorth
The 7th Major was for the TNCM trophy which is “The National Caribbean Memorial” trophy. It’s an organisation dear to the heart of CGS member Don Campbell and is in remembrance of personnel from the Caribbean Islands who took part in the past world wars in representing the so called mother land!, you can read more about this organisation on their website – www.tncmc.org
This was the CGS first visit to Bridgenorth GC and was at the recommendation by one of our members as a good test of golf. This was so evident with the first two holes, they were so hilly that they wouldn’t look out of place on Ski Sunday with the feel of a mountain ski resort. The marker post situated on the first fairway was well positioned as this was the ideal line for a your tee shot, anything right just rolled down the slope towards the 18th fairway and heading towards the out of bounds markers, it’s a good job it wasn’t mid-summer as OB right would be in play, the first was a true test of positional play.
The second hole was not much different with every shot going left, not sure where you could hit your tee shot really! Left was the outcome of the first bounce and with a second off an uneven lie to an elevated green par would be a good score. Those first two holes would surely have wrecked a few cards during a Saturday medal.
Anyway once we got through the first two and the elevated par 3 3rd which held our nearest pin challenge the course was very flat until the 18th which again was similar to the first two fairways.
The elevated 3rd was the nearest the pin hole and was very tricky when it came to selecting the right club to tee off. Out in the first group Vassel Brown laid down a mark of around 5 feet which was never bettered.
Beyond the ski slopes of the 1st and 2nd the course was very good and was well received by those in attendance, for the time of the year the greens were in excellent condition and were receptive and quick, the speed was a surprise to many and with subtle borrows and undulations resulted in many a three putt.
The fairways were narrow and tree lined and some were long so accuracy was required with the driver or a tree would block your next shot to the green. The par three 16th provided some entertainment for the group containing Roan McLeod, Keith Salmon and Emrys Karemo. Playing off a 22 handicap, Emrys hit a lovely tee shot to the par 3 which hit the green about a foot from the flag and stopped about 4 feet away and when his time came he duly holed the putt for a two. Roan wasn’t able to hit such a shot as Emrys did and missed the green on the right. It was Keith who found the ball under a conifer and said “found it but you’re not going to like it”. Anyway Roan managed to mould himself into the tree and as the others would say it looked like the tree had hit the next shot as they saw the ball appear from the tree and on the green, to top it off he holed the putt for a regulation par.
A CGS event wouldn’t be the same without the nearest the pin the longest drive and the nearest the pin in two.
We already know about Vassel Brown’s exploits on the 3rd hole. So it was the longest drive up next and the 11th hosting the longest drive was into the wind. With 100 yards left to the middle of the green for his 2nd 300 yards was his drive from the tee. The man who collects long drives prizes for fun Ian Higgins said he was 15 yards behind the mark of Roan McLeod.
The nearest in 2 was held on the slopes of the 18th, the tee shot was a test for anyone, it was into the wind towards the marker post in the fairway anything short of reaching the plateau just rolled back down the hill ominously towards the OB. Reaching the plateau was the best vantage point to see the green, however into the wind it just proved a mark too far so a blind second was the outcome. This was a very difficult hole to par let alone birdie. The green was undulating in two levels sloping downhill from the fairway to the back and from the fairway required a 2nd shot to drop short and also be on the right hand side to allow the ball to roll down the hill breaking left towards the flag which was on the bottom tier, it really was a difficult pin position. The leading mark was 8 feet from Ronald Ross and looked good for the prize, however the winning mark was half that and the man hitting his shot short of the green and rolling down the right side of the green breaking left to end up four feet from the pin was Ansel Pottinger who then finished off the birdie putt.
In the second group Emrys was hitting some solid drives off the tee, they were down the middle and on several of the par fives he was able to reach in two but it was his short game which let him down on occasion. With back to back pars including the stroke index one he’d scored four points in succession and had a good score with a good chance to win the day’s event. Playing the 18th he just needed to hit another decent tee shot but with a shot into the wind and an elevated fairway he pulled his tee shot OB and would eventually not score on the hole. It was very frustrating for him but 37 points was still a good score and you never know. As the scores started to come in it was evident that it was a tough day for most. In 2nd and 3rd both on 35 points was Ludlow Stewart and Ian Higgins with Ludlow taking 2nd on countback. So it was a 2nd Major win for Emrys in spite of his troubles on the 18th. In this game you just never know, all you can do is post a score and see what happens. Well done Emrys on winning the TNCM trophy.
Up next is the final Major for the Charlie Sifford Memorial Trophy which will be held at Breadsall Priory over two days and promises to be a fantastic end to the season, especially with the Order of Merit going down to the wire. As a result of the TMCM event placings it’s a very close contest. With 30 points separating the top 4 places, with Dave Brown heading the field yet again. It was only a year ago where Dave was trying to be the first repeat winner of the Order of Merit but lost out to Ian Higgins with a poor performance at McDonald Portal in Cheshire.