Welwyn Garden City Golf Club host annual Commemoration Jug

PUBLISHED: 15:47 06 August 2015 | UPDATED: 15:54 06 August 2015

2015 champion Alex MacArthur from Letchworth with WGC GC captain Ian Harpur

2015 champion Alex MacArthur from Letchworth with WGC GC captain Ian Harpur

Gary Perlmutter 2015

WGC Golf Club hosted the 27th running of the Commemoration Jug on Saturday with Letchworth GC’s Alex MacArthur triumphant.

This prestigious tournament was set up by club members to mark the first Open Championship triumph of the Mannicotts club’s own Sir Nick Faldo MBE at Muirfield in 1987.

The competition is open to all club champions of clubs affiliated to the English Golf Union.

This year there were competitors from as far afield as North Devon, Yorkshire and the Isle of Wight.

The field of 55 included three past champions, Shaun Tarplett from Hillsborough, champion in 1997 and 2002, John Kemp, champion in 2006 and 2008 when a member at John O’Gaunt but now playing out of Woburn, and defending champion Nick Brooker from Harborne Golf Club.

The lowest handicap on show was Kemp playing off +3, with 14 players holding a handicap of scratch or better.

The morning round returned some variable scoring, with many players struggling to master the slick greens, despite sunny, benign conditions.

However, there was good scoring from some, with MacArthur and Kemp, both posting excellent scores of four-under 66.

They were two shots clear of Charlie Rains, from Ryston Park, and defending champion Brooker, with Andy Grimwood from Spalding and Nat Riddett from Shanklin & Sandown completing those under par with 69s.

Rains had the distinction of holing the first ever hole in one in the competition’s history on the 12th.

With the pin placed in the back left corner of the green, behind a bunker, on the 187 yard hole, this was no mean feat, Rains was presented with a club jumper for the achievement.

The afternoon proved a little harder for the leading players, with the wind getting up slightly to add an additional complication.

Only two players beat par in the afternoon, with nobody matching the best score in the morning, although Brooker equalled his morning round of 68.

Both Brooker and Kemp needed to chip in from off the 18th green to force a play-off, and although both went close, Kemp shaving the hole from his bunker shot, neither managed to hole for a birdie. Both made solid par scores to finish tied on 136.

A couple of minutes earlier, MacArthur had posted the clubhouse lead on 135 after a fine 69. None were able to beat his total, meaning he claimed the victory by one stroke.

In fourth was Matt Kippen from Enmore Park, who finished third last year.

This year he shot two level par rounds of 70 to finish four shots back.

The Tom Lewis Medal for lowest round of the day went to Kemp, who beat MacArthur on countback.

WGC Golf Club champion David Wheatcroft did not have his best day and was a little way off the prizes.

In his acceptance speech at prizegiving, MacArthur was quick to praise the organisation of the tournament, the superb condition of the course and the hospitality received by all competitors and guests.

Next year’s competition will be on Saturday, July 30 with entries welcomed from all 2015 club champions.

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