Quarry Park Winter Open

Quarry Park Winter Open

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Originally scheduled for February 18th, the “opening event” of the BDGA 2024 Tour (sponsored by MVP) took place at Quarry Park on 24 March.

A one-day/two-rounder with 66% of normal Tour points available, the original event was sold out quickly, and spawned a Winter Open 2 which, due to the rescheduling, preceded the original by 3 weeks.

Winter Open 2 With the 60 days players limited to 15 holes including a few “tiddlers” due to the flooding Avon, WO2 crowned champions in 4 Pro and 4 Amateur divisions on 3 March.

View Georgiou took down the win in FPO, with Sue Underwood shooting one stroke better on the day for the win in FP40. Ivan Bromage took the MP40 win. Local legend Derek Robins shot the best score of the day, a bogey-free 992 rated 5-under second round, for the come-from-behind MPO title. Andy Partridge finished 2nd and Jamie Matthews in 3rd.

MA1 saw 5 players finish under par, with Sam “Percy” Persaud finishing on top by two strokes over Rob Nicoll and Oli May. Adam Barlow took the win in MA40 and Duncan Evans in MA50. MA3 had the tightest, and longest battle. The first round saw the top 12 players all within 5 strokes of the lead, and after round 2, three finishing tied on 5-over, with Aleksejs Smirnovs just one behind. Connor Harvey-Ward’s 939 rated second round (1-under) was enough to make the playoff, but it was another local, Jake Phillips who prevailed over Connor and Ciaran Buckley.

Winter Open 1 The new date saw more of the promised QP Gold course available for play, and with the ‘new’ championship holes on the top field, competitors faced a 17 hole layout. TD Noah Smithson was able to add all waitlist players to the event through the addition of a “ghost card”, without interrupting the flow, and so 74 players played in 2 Pro and 4 Amateur divisions.

The wind played a significant role in scoring, especially on the top field holes, with Stonehenge averaging 2-3.5 strokes over par depending on division for the morning round. Round ratings had an approximate 4 stroke difference between morning and afternoon rounds as the wind lessened and (some!) people learnt from their earlier mistakes.

The FPO title was taken by Natalie Pitt, with a highlight 908 rated morning round. The top 5 in MPO were covered by 3 strokes after the morning round, with Liam Pitt holding first place. Noah’s 996 rated second round took the title by two strokes from Iain McDougall and Liam. Andy Partridge hit the ace on birdie or die hole 15, a strong contender for play of the tournament, although McDougall’s morning birdie on Stonehenge was two strokes better than anyone else (at the event) managed that round, and no one else got the birdie at the event.

In MA1 3 strokes covered the top 6 after the first round, with Johnnie Symington-Mauro shooting a 1-under second round to take the title by two strokes from Oliver Harris and Nial Al-Zanki Grimes. MA40 saw another title for the Yeti DGC, and indeed they took all three podium positions, after a playoff. With both players missing putts from inside the donut to claim victory on the final hole in regulation, Richard Hooper and Paul Waite gathered a small crowd for the first playoff hole. A forehand from circle 2 rough came up short and Hoops nailed the edge of circle birdie for the win, with Wayne Davey in 3rd. Duncan Evans took down MA50 again, this time by 3 strokes over Andrew Douse. In MA3, Jake Phillips and Ciaran Buckley were again in contention for the title but finished in 2nd and 3rd, one and two strokes behind Scott McKay who took the win with a 2-over, 938 rated, second round.

Thanks to Del, Ali, and the rest of the Quarry Park team for keeping the course in such good condition despite the meteorological challenges and Burning Plough BBQ for numerous tasty lunch options.

The BDGA Tour will return to Quarry Park for the 3-day QP Open at the end of August. You can further support TD Noah Smithson’s European Tour plans by signing up to the QP Doubles on 20 April.