Devon’s top Senior golfers gathered to play a fast-running, well presented Exeter Golf and Country Club course in very hot weather but with enough breeze blowing to make club selection tricky. The course demanded precision – the greens were holding but the targets are small. The Championship would be decided over 27 holes, 18 in the morning and a subsequent 9-hole dash after lunch.
In the first group of the day Warren’s Tim Aggett set the early pace. Level par through 17 holes the round was marred by a final hole double but the score of 71 still gave him a 1-shot lead over County Team mate Tony Allsopp (Tiverton) who produced a really solid 72. Behind the two leaders were three players on 73 – Tim’s club mate Barrie Keith, Mark Haskell from Teignmouth and Alan Payne from Saunton. County President Richard Pascoe stood 6th after a 74.
After lunch things began to change as conditions started to take their toll. Players began to move up the leaderboard, especially defending champion Colin Papworth (Exeter) who having endured a difficult morning shot 2-under for the afternoon 9. County Senior Team Manager Rick Pillow (Exeter) and Saunton’s Paul Vicary both shot level par 35s, Rick tying for overall 3rd with Colin on 112, Paul moving into tied 5th.
Tim contrived to compile a triple bogey 8 on the 3rd, including a ball stuck up a tree, but played the last 6 holes in 1-under to set the clubhouse target at 109. Tony, Barrie, Alan and Richard all endured really tough afternoons and fell back down the board, Tony into 8th, Barrie to tied 5th alongside Paul Vicary and the very steady Richard Armitage (Teignmouth) on 113. Alan held onto a top 10 spot, in tied 9th with Graham Ruth (Tavistock) and Richard Ward (Dainton Park).
Only Mark Haskell stuck with the task producing a really sound 1-over par 36 in the afternoon to force the tie. Sadly Mark was unable to contest the play off, leaving Tim as the last man standing.
At the presentation Team Manager Rick announced his 6 players to represent Devon in the qualifier for English County Finals at the forthcoming South West Counties Championships at High Post GC in Salisbury :-
Tim Aggett (Warren), Tony Allsopp (Tiverton), Barrie Keith (Warren), Colin Papworth (Exeter), Paul Vicary (Saunton) and Richard Ward (Dainton Park)