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We awoke to a glorious summers day in the midlands. The birds were singing, the wind was blowing and Dan Pommer was doing his best to wake everyone up with a cracking cup of coffee. Rich was on porridge duty and I was on the washing up.
The first round saw a bit of wind, a bit of sun and several OBs, 4 to be precise. Despite this, scoring 67 seemed to be reasonably successful in comparison to the rest of the Int. Am. field.
A similar if not more steady afternoon round of 66 with only 2 OBs followed. Proudest moment was avoid the perils of the new treed holes scoring a 3 and a 4. I would be more than happy to take that every round, although I hear Dan Ryan shot a 3 and a 2 on them one round, truly awesome.
After the rounds, we sat out on the camping chairs, beers in hands watching the last couple of groups go past the 18th tee which was right in front of the Taj Mahal. Ahh... excellent.
Kanjam followed which got everyone up challenging each other, in fact if I didn't know better it appeared that a lot of people were taking that a lot more seriously than the disc golf. Two teams stood out in those head to heads, Bruce and Chris O'Brien's son Charlie and Jessie Denny and Rich Wood who were even good enough to beat the Anglo-Australian alliance of Pommer and Stevens, what a close match!!!
Later the bon fire was alight and one solitary fire work was let off by Del. BANG! Again we retired to the Taj where beer and Whiskey was drunk.
The third round was great, even better than the first two, with only two OBs and lots of pars. However for some reason hand to body coordination seemed to have been lost temporarily for the last 2 holes shooting two double OBs. Oh dear. Despite this I sat 7 shots ahead going into the final.
The Int. Am final was contended by five people including 4 people from Croydon! Neil, Liam, Ben and myself, with baggy trousers O'Malley tagging on as well from Quarry Park. Baggy O'Malley was in second place 7 shots behind. After shooting some solid golf including pars a birdie and a bogey I finished in first place with O'Malley tailing off a little 13 shots back.
In the Ad. Am. the run away winner was Mark Davis who had thrown some excellent rounds all weekend.
In the Open division the final was made up of Del, Jester, Matt Cutler, Chris O'Brien and Dan Ryan. After 9 holes the lead had changed hands many times but Jester finished on top.
Prizes and trophies were handed out and then we hit the road, back to London, avoiding the animals on the motorway on the way home.
All in all the weekend was excellent. Great disc golf, food, drink, weather and company. Thanks to everyone who came and made it so worthwhile.
And now for QP Open Champion Jester Wilsons take on the fantastic Open Final:
With Matt and Dan driving OB on the 3rd hole of the final, the pressure from behind was eased a little and I could concentrated on Del and Chris. Chris and I matched each other for 5 holes, both of us taking 4 shots out of an uncharacteristically erratic Del. That put Chris in the lead by 1 and Del and I tied second. Now came the dreaded two new woods holes. I played them in the same way I had all weekend, a putter tapped softly up the middle. I was never going to 2 either of them that way, but I knew I stood a much better chance of taking a 3 or at worse 4.
Chris drove first and hit a tree, macking off line. I can honestly say I have never felt pressure like I did standing on the tee. My heart was pounding, but I kept the drive on the line and got my three. Chris made a great recovery to take a 4, Del took a 5. That tied me for the lead with Chris, with Del 2 back. On the second woods hole I drifted off line a little but was able to recover for a 4. Del took a 4 too, but Chris had a 5 meaning I took the lead for the first time.
On the 8th hole (tee of 10 to basket of 17) I drove the safer, long way around. Del took the riskier direct route but made it. Chris had to go for it but unfortunately clipped the tree near the tee and gave himself a really tricky second. It turned over in the wind meaning he could only 5 as Del and I 4ed. That put Chris tied with Del in second 2 behind me with only hole 18 to play.
With all concentration mustered, I hit the green and barring an ace from Del or Chris knew I had two putts for the win. Del and Chris both got on the green but there were no aces and I gratefully took the two putts to claim my first QP Open title. I had been so focused on Del and Chris I hadn’t noticed Matt’s late charge to overtake Chris and tie Del for second. Credit to him, and to Dan too not least for his stonking drive on 6to7 nearly hitting the Am tee of old 8!
Commiserations to Chris. He played really well all weekend and I needed to be on my very best form to go past him in the Final. I’ve been in similar situations before and I know he’ll take lessons from the experience and use it to his advantage in future.
Thanks to Jesse for another great event at QP, book your tickets now for the Croydon Cyclone, September 3&4. It’s going to be a belter.
Leader board after Final 9