Knowle Gold Medal
The Knowle Gold Medal, first played in 1966, is the 7th event in Gloucestershire Golf Union’s prestigious Duchess Salver Order of Merit series.
Although a few of Gloucestershire’s leading lights were missing, the field was boosted by the presence of Nick Day (Henbury), Gloucestershire’s best and most consistent performer of the last 10 or so years, who was bidding for a record 6th consecutive win.
Also noteworthy amongst the attendees, as he has been every year since 1966, was Knowle’s own Rodney Tugwell. A remarkable record of consistency and longevity continued as he made his 53rd consecutive appearance in the event.
Round 1 and the Course that greeted the early starters was playing short, however with a few tricky pin positions and a stiff breeze, scoring was far from easy with driver rarely being the sensible choice from the tees.
Henbury GC players fared well early on with good scores from James Rowles, Mike Day and Calum Mortimore. In form Alex Ireland (Brickhampton Court) came in with a 72, however this was subsequently bettered by Josh Denley (Chipping Sodbury) on 71 and Jake Phillips (Cotswold Hills) with a 70.
With the home players stumbling, it was left to Nick Day to seize a commanding lead going in to the afternoon after a fine 67.
AM CSS was 72.
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In the afternoon the wind did not relent and word started to filter back to the Clubhouse that uncharacteristically, Nick had fallen back early in the second round.
Meanwhile playing partner Dan Sheehan (Knowle) had found some form after a disappointing 75 in the morning and was compiling a tremendous round whilst Nick struggled.
A further bogey on the 14th saw Nick fall back to +4 over for the round whilst Sheehan parred to be -4 under for the round meaning both were tied on +1 overall, with just four holes remaining.
Both parred 15 before it was Sheehan’s turn to falter on 16th having to hole a 12ft putt just to salvage a bogey to Day’s par, falling one behind. Then on the 17th Dan hit a loose tee shot behind the trees on the right and took on what (in hindsight) was a do or die recovery shot which culminated in a double bogey 6.
With Sheehan’s race run, this gave Nick all the encouragement he needed as he steadied the ship on the 17th & 18th with a par and a closing birdie to clinch the win.
Jake Phillips had added a solid 73 to his opening 70 for a very good total of 143 to finish 2nd, however none of the other morning leaders had fared well in the afternoon and Nick’s total of 141 was good enough in the end to comfortably clinch another Knowle Gold Medal.
Congratulations again to Nick Day and thanks as always to our many volunteers who always ensure our events run impeccably.
PM CSS was 73.
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