The Rock 2016
Report on the 38th running of The Rock, Saturday 8 October 2016
George Raitt being presented The Rock trophy by CFGC Captain, Alan Newton (photo by Derek Taylor)
The Rock competition is a 36-hole scratch open golf event for leading amateur golfers and was held at Charnwood Forest Golf Club on Saturday 8 October. The Rock has been running since 1969 and in the past has attracted names such as Lee Westwood, Paul Broadhurst and Simon Wakefield, all of whom went on to join the professional ranks. The Rock attracted a field of 30 leading amateur players, many with scratch handicaps or lower, including past winners David Gibson (Cosby), Coby Cartwright (Cosby) and Steve Watton (Enville). There was a good representation of county players, notably L&RGU Captain Oli Willson who earlier in the summer had led his team to the 'double' of the Anglian League and the Eastern Counties Foursomes.
The weather was conducive to low scoring, with almost no wind and soft, receptive greens. Amongst the earlier starters, it was only Kevin Parkes (Lindrick) and Jonathan Garner (Charnwood Forest) who came in with good scores of 71 and 72, respectively. With a later tee time, Oli Willson (Longcliffe) started strongly with birdies on holes 1, 4, 14 and 17, and despite a double bogey on the 8th, he took an early lead with a gross 70. This was soon equalled by a 70 from Jevann Parmar (The Leicestershire) who was playing his last Rock tournament before turning professional. However, nobody could match George Raitt (Whetstone), playing in The Rock for the third time. He started with birdies on the 1st and 4th holes and managed a further birdie on hole 15 to record a gross 68 (1 under); the key to his success was straight hitting off the tee, allowing him to plot his way around some of the tight dog-legs on Charnwood’s unique heathland course.
Last year’s winner Coby Cartwright got off to a bad start with a lost ball on the first hole of round one, but he bounced back with an excellent second round of 68 with three birdies. Jonathan Garner played some very consistent golf with rounds of 72 and 73, to give him a total of 145 and fourth place on countback. Third place went to Jevann Parmar with a second round of 72 and a total of 142. He almost had a disaster on the final hole of his amateur career, when he hit his second shot long into the 18th green and went out of bounds. In a stroke of genius he replayed from the same spot and holed out on his fourth shot to record a very unusual par. Luke Burrows (Cosby) played some excellent golf throughout and his second round finished very strongly with 3 birdies in the last 5 holes. His scores of 74 and 68 gave him an overall total of 142 and second place on countback. In the afternoon George Raitt held his nerve and continued to play steady and consistent golf, with a second round which contained two birdies and four bogeys, resulting in a score of 71 and a total of 139. His lead of 3 shots gave him a very-well deserved first victory in The Rock.