This being Surrey Golf's Centenary year, Walton Heath were asked to host the event as back in 1923, E W E Holderness of Walton Heath together with Sir Hedley Le Bas of Reigate Heath initiated a meeting of Surrey Clubs in October of that year, to propose the formation of a Surrey County Union.
The Friday qualifying was played in sunny but breezy conditions in an unusual wind for the time of year, blowing from the Northeast making the course play fairly difficult.
However, there were some great scores over the 36 holes, with US college student and Addington Palace member, Harry Crockett, leading the way with a pair of two under par 70s with fellow US students Henry Daly of Woking and Luke Stock of Walton Heath filling the top places with 2 round totals of level par 144.
The cut for the 16 spots in the match play came at 150 but required a 5 man play off for 3 places that commenced at 8.44pm.
Oliver George of Worplesden and Max O Hagan of West Hill birdied the opening hole, whilst Terry Nicholls of Addington Palace made a bogey 5 to drop out.
Alex Wells of St George’s Hill and Jack Sutherland of Bramley made pars on the first hole and progressed to the 2nd hole which again was shared in par. Both players hit nice shots to a difficult hole location on the 18th hole in ever decreasing daylight.
Alex gained the 16th spot with a 20 foot birdie putt whilst Jack narrowly missed from around the same length.
Saturday morning saw similar conditions with the chilly NE wind. Again, there was some excellent golf played and by close of play the field was reduced to 4 for the Semi Finals on Sunday morning.
Harry Crockett (Addington Palace) V Alfie Fox (Roehampton)
Ben Wilson (Burhill) V Henry Daly (Woking)
As in the previous rounds there were many good shots and resulting birdies from all 4 players, but it would be Harry and Henry who would progress to Final after closely fought matches.
The Final commenced in front of a healthy group of spectators who saw the first 2 holes shared in birdie and par before Harry birdied the 3rd to draw first blood and then doubled his lead at the 4th hole, when a par was good enough to take advantage of Henry getting a horrible bit of luck when his ball bounced into an almost unplayable lie near the green.
The 5th was halved in par before Harry hit the shot of the day on the par 3 Fifth hole to within inches of the hole to go 3up, which then increased to 4up when he birdied the long 8th.
Hole 9 was halved in par before another nasty bounce into long grass for Henry on the difficult 10th allowed Harry to go further ahead.
Both players missed the 11th fairway to the left and following an unbelievable shot from a horrid lie followed by a 40 foot putt, Harry was 6 up with 7 to play.
A halve in pars at the next made it dormie and following 2 solid shots to the par 5 green from Harry and with Henry finding the greenside bunker, Henry offered his hand to Harry in concession and Harry Crockett was Surrey County Champion for 2023, emulating his brother Charlie who had won 12 months previous.
These days are not possible without our team of volunteers so our thanks to referees, Norman Jack, Sue Eggleton, Callum, Nigel, Bruce Wright, David Sainsbury, Fulvio and David. To our volunteers, Brian Cox for taking control of the registration Desk & David Hurst who acted as ball spotter down the first and braved the rather unexpected cool wind first thing and to our starters, Alan Page, Terry Casey and Walton Heath President, Jill Thornhill. Lastly to Jonathan Greener the Walton Heath Club Captain for attending the presentation.