Golfers taking part in this year’s Accountancy Age Masters final defied the petrol shortage before moving on to demonstrate some fine driving skills of their own.
The finest 36 golfers from the six regional heats went on to display some fantastic golf on the notoriously testing Brabazon course at The Belfry. The tournament was run in association with NMB-Heller.
The course, which will be home to the Ryder Cup next year, showed the players why it is regarded as one of the toughest on the pro circuit.
Plenty of water, sand, deep unforgiving roughs and some quick, sloping greens, not to mention frequent gusts of wind, made for a challenging day which was enjoyed by the competitors.
The day remained dry with outbreaks of sun, thankfully a characteristic for most of the tournament.
Simon Knee of SD Knee, won the competition to land the prestigious Masters jacket with an awesome display, which broke the hearts of the remainder of the field.
The win was even more remarkable given that he had finished in fifth place in the South-West regional heat at St Pierre in Chepstow with 29 points.
Knee finished with an excellent Stableford score of 39 points – five clear of second place – while playing off a handicap of 11, one of the lowest in the field.
Knee was presented with the Accountancy Age Masters jacket by Accountancy Age publishing director Tony Loynes and NMB-Heller chairman Stuart Parker.
He said of his victory: ‘I managed to score 24 points on the back nine holes and that clinched it for me. The course was immaculate and the organisation of the whole event has been great.
‘I managed not to hit the water too much and that was lucky. The greens played quite quickly but it was great to play here and I will enter again next year if I can.
‘The quality of the courses we have had a chance to play on, both here and in the regional finals have all been among the best in the country.
‘I would like to thank everyone involved in the competition, especially my playing partners for keeping me on the straight and narrow on the final six holes’.
Runner-up to Knee was Paul Williams, of Freightliner, who kept on trucking with a score of 34 off a nine handicap, a relatively low score for the runner-up position.
Knee pipped Dixon Wilson’s Stuart Ritchie – who played off a 13 handicap – into third place following a countback of the last six holes.
‘I have really enjoyed the whole event. What was particularly delightful was that the winning score and runners-up score came from low handicappers,’ said a delighted Ritchie.
The big-hitter of the tournament and winner of the longest drive, at the ninth, was the powerful Scott Moreland. The deft touch was provided by Geoff Lang who landed a sweet shot on the seventh, in the nearest the pin competition.
The tournament attracted over 600 golfing financial professionals, with just 37 making it through to the grand final.
That number was reduced to 36, when Nick Stewart of Dental Business Solutions was unable to attend as he and his wife were expecting the patter of tiny feet.
Finals day began with a pressure (yellow) ball team competition over 10 holes on the PGA course. The three-ball of Michael O’Hara, Jeremy Ward and Derek Felstead took the morning competition with 45 points.
O’Hara, joked: ‘Our three-ball wasted our best golf on the morning round’.
The Brabazon’ famous 311-yard tenth and 473-yard 18th holes proved especially tricky. Both holes contain water hazards, with an estimated 2,000 balls fished out of the lake on the 18th every month.
That total may well be boosted this month.
Now established as the fixture for golfing accountants, the Masters has become a premier occasion for sporting and networking excellence in the profession.
Look out for entry forms in Accountancy Age for the next Masters, which will appear at the beginning of next year.
ACCOUNTANCY AGE MASTERS FINAL – THE BELFRY
Winner: Simon Knee – 39pts
Runner-up: Paul Williams – 34pts – countback on back 6
Third: Stuart Ritchie – 34pts after countback on last six
Nearest pin: Geoff Lang
Longest drive: Scott Moreland
Colin Barr – 24pts
Huw Battrick – 19pts
Tony Brown – 23pts
David Chasemore – 25pts
Carl Cunnelly – 22pts
Richard De Dombal – 30pts
Timothy Elliott – 27pts
Derek Felstead – 26pts
Robert Freeman – 29pts
Nicholas Heynen – 21pts
Colin Howe – 22pts
Guy Howell – 29pts
Alan Hynd – 22pts
Steven Joseph – 29pts
Nick Lamb – 26pts
Geoff Lang – 27pts
Laurie Linnell – 17pts
Richard Luckett – 29pts
David Madeley – 27pts
Simon Marus – 27pts
Denis Maslin – 25pts
Peter Mills – 28pts
Scott Moreland – 30pts
Janet Nesbitt – 28pts
Michael O’Hara – 31pts
Keith Pratt – 20pts
John Rowson – 30pts
John Shaw – 24pts
Andrew Sneddon – 21pts
Douglas Stoker – 29pts
Hassam Suffraz – 28pts
Jeremy Ward – 25pts
Stephen White – 17pts
WIN A GOLFING HOLIDAY IN MALAYSIA
AccountancyAge.com – in conjunction with golf travel website Golftravel4u.com – is offering you the chance to win a golfing holiday in Malaysia.
The prize includes two return tickets to Malaysia and seven nights’ accommodation at the Glenmarie Pan Pacific hotel in Kuala Lumpur.
The prize also includes green fees at the Glenmarie Golf & Country Club to round off your dream golfing holiday. Set among 180 hectares of lush greenery, overlooking two of the finest 18-hole golf courses in Malaysia.
Just 25 minutes from the city centre, the resort is ideal for business and pleasure.
It offers an outdoor swimming pool, indoor and outdoor tennis, squash, gym facilities and is perfectly placed to visit the major attractions, including the shopping complexes, Chinatown, Central Market and the KL Tower. For more details log on to www.accountancyage.com and register for your chance to win.
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