Bourn Shootout 2016
Sunday 18th September
Sunday saw the season’s curtain closer of the Bourn Shootout 2016 being played.
This unique competition comprises of a field of 20 players. The field is then divided into two groups based on handicap range whereby they all then play the hole at the same time (yes you heard that correctly!) before the worst Gross score is eliminated from the competition. If two or more players have the same worst score on any hole (through both groups) then a sudden death challenge is selected by the player eliminated on the previous hole. This would usually comprise of a tricky chip, punishing putt or beastly bunker shot!
Once the two groups have been whittled down they are then amalgamated at the halfway point to play the back 9 as a single group of 11.
This really is a great competition where the form book goes out of the window and is more a test of mental strength and endurance.
Along with the usual single figure entrants this year also saw a good turnout for higher handicap players, which was great to see. The standard of Golf played this year was by far the best I have witnessed with the entire field upping their game for the big occasion. Ordinarily a bogey would probably be good enough to see you through the first 9 holes of this competition. This was not the case yesterday though with bogey generally only good enough to sneek you into a playoff!
A couple of big scalps fell early doors as Mark Lydon (7) was eliminated on the 1st in a play off after making a double bogey 5. The next big name to go was Andrew Barnard (5) on the 4th with a bogey 4. A playoff ensued which he then lost due to a uncharacteristic bad chip.
Due to a couple of last minute injury pull outs the field had been depleted of 2 players. With this in mind holes 5 and 6 were missed off and the field went straight to the 7th. The two groups were then combined at this stage.
Hole 7 saw Mark Branwhite (9) get eliminated followed by Peter Trundley (17) on 8. Last year’s champion Tony Roitman (12) exited the comp on 9, before Colin Biggs (8) lost on 10 in a putting playoff on the 10th.
The standard of golf played to this point had been outstanding with some fantastic individual performances by Chris Phillips (13), Gareth Thomas (14), Trevor Peer (10), David Thomas (19) and Jed Isbell (14) who were all showing no signs of letting up and once again proving that this competition isn’t always bossed by the lower handicappers.
The 11th hole saw the exit of David Thomas (19) in a three way play off. Hole 12 saw some outstanding scrambling from Iain Clark (5) and Dan Edwards (6) and some brilliant pressure putts holed by the rest of the field. When the dust had settled every single player had finished with a bogey! The decision was taken to continue to hole 13 and have a final three play up the 18th hole rather than have an 8 way sudden death play-off on 12!
More outstanding scrambling by Iain Clark (5) and Craig Sutherland (5) down 13 saw them safely through whilst Gareth Thomas (14) was eliminated via play off. Jed Isbell (14) was dispatched at the hands of Trevor Peer (10) in a sudden death 50 yard pitch challenge on 14, before shortly exiting the competition himself on the 15th by way of a play-off.
Hole 16 saw Dan Edwards (6) beaten in a well contested chipping challenge by Simon Hodgson (8), who himself was then dispatched on 17 by Craig Sutherland (5) in a playoff.
This left the final three competitors, Iain Clark (5), Craig Sutherland (5) and Chris Phillips (13) ready to do battle down 18. Sutherland was first to tee off with an uncharacteristic hook \pull deep into the trees past the telegraph pole bordering the 13th\18th fairways. Clark found the centre of the fairway and Phillips the right hand rough leaving a big hit in with a wood. He was up to the task and hit a great 3 wood to about 10 yards, albeit just off the green. Sutherland hit a world class recovery shot out of the trees whilst squatting down to get himself back in play. Clark replied with a touch of class to Phillips excellent approach by sticking 5 iron to 15ft. Sutherland then found the green with his 3rd but had left himself a considerable length putt to hole for par. Phillips proceeded to chip to 5ft followed by Sutherland holing out for a bogey 5. Clark now found himself with the opportunity to win by holing his 15ft Birdie putt. The putt missed to the left but left him with the simplest of tap ins to put a 4 on the board and ask a question of Phillips who still had a knee knocking 5ft of putt to make, ensuring he took Clark into a sudden death playoff. Phillips once again showed nerves of steel with his putt looking nowhere else but the centre of the hole.
The stage was set for a sudden death pitch over the pond from the ladies tee box on the 1st. Nearest the pin on 18 winner takes all! After drawing straws Phillips was first to hit and pitched successfully over the water although was a little unlucky at how quickly his ball checked up. Clark was next to hit, he knew what he had to beat and was equal to the challenge hitting a beautiful lobbed shot across the water landing 10ft from the pin before promptly checking up.
Congratulations to Iain Clark on the 2016 Shootout title
Iain Clark Being presented the shootout shield by last years winner Tony Roitman
I think everyone will agree that this years competition was a resounding success with all participants thoroughly enjoying themselves (except maybe Mark!). It was great to see a much improved turnout this year in addition to some stellar performances by the higher handicap contingent. Please spread the word about what a great day this shootout is and hopefully we can get a record turnout for 2017!
last but not least thanks to Iain Clark for organising the event and correlating the final results.