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Playoff Win For Parry!
The Grand Final of the Golf Days UK Essex Tour 2013 was played on Friday 22nd November at the excellent West Essex Golf Club. A cool day and cold winds made conditions tough, but with thirteen qualifiers players fighting for the title of Essex Tour Champion a great day of competition was set.
Armed with live scoring, the finalists took to the fairways and it was 2012 Essex Tour Champion, Nigel Goude who led the way after six holes with his score of -1 to his 3/5 handicap of six. Goude played some great golf on the front nine and at the halfway stage led the field by five shots and the title looked certain to be his.
A group of players were starting to gather on +1 through nine holes hoping that Goude would drop shots on the inward nine to open the door for them to make a back nine challenge! Goude struggled over the opening holes on the back nine and he came back to the field and whilst many players also struggled, it was Dave Parry who was steadying his round to maintain his position on +1. Goude dropped further shots and with three holes to play there was a tie at the top of the leaderboard between Goude and Parry. Both players had distanced themselves from the rest of the field and it was a shootout between the two of them.
Goude was playing in the group ahead of Parry and so had the chance to set the score for Parry to chase and after making a bogey six at the uphill eighteenth, the score for Parry to catch was +3. Parry stood on the final tee leading the field on +2 and a par would have been good enough for him to take the title. Parry pulled his drive into the trees and had to take a drop from an unplayable lie. He then hit two excellent shots to make it on the green for four, leaving himself twelve feet to take the title in normal play. Parry was a touch aggressive with his putt, rolling the ball past the hole to leave himself eight feet back to now make the play off with Goude. As the early finishers watched on, Parry duly held his nerve and holed the putt to force extra holes.
Goude and Parry headed to the seventeenth to start a sudden death playoff. Goude won the toss and elected to drive first and put the pressure on Parry with a perfect drive to the right side of the fairway. Parry pushed his drive to the right rough but had left himself with a gap to get to the green in two shots. Both Parry and Goude played their second shots just short of the game and Goude was first to play sending his chip to within four feet of the hole. Parry could only manage to get the ball to eight feet and then missed his putt, leaving Goude four feet to secure the title for the second year running. Leaving his putt just inched short of the hole and a rare error from the 2012 Champion meant the two challengers moved to the eighteenth to play the second playoff hole.
Goude still had the honour and hit a poor tee shot into the trees on the left and Parry hit a superb high drawing drive to the middle of the fairway. Goude could only chop out of the trees and Parry had the advantage. Parry then hit strong fairway wood to leave himself a pitch into the green and he was on the putting surface in three shots. Goude could only manage to get the ball to the fringe of the green four shots and after leaving his fifth shot short of the hole, Parry had two putts to win the title. Nerves were setting in and Parry hit a tentative first putt, leaving himself with a five footer to take the spoils. Goude missed his putt and finished in seven, leaving Parry two putts from five feet to secure the title, to which he did and the new Golf Days UK Essex Tour Champion was created.
As 2013 Essex Tour Champion, Parry wins a trip to the world famous Celtic Manor Resort in South Wales where he will stay in the five star hotel and play two rounds of golf, one of which will be on the 2010 Ryder Cup Course, The TwentyTen.
We would just like to take this opportunity to thank all the players who have supported the tour this year. Unfortunately, the Essex Tour will not be running in 2014, but the golfers who have played on the Essex Tour are more than welcome to join one of our other tours – Norfolk and Surrey/Sussex. Details of these tours will be sent out soon with both competitions starting on February 2014.
If you would like to be added to any of the mailing lists for the other tours, please do let us know!