The Rock 2017
Report on the 40th running of The Rock, Saturday 14 October 2017
Oli Willson being presented The Rock trophy by Phil Scott of Scott Property Consultants
(photo by Derek Taylor)
The Rock competition is a 36-hole scratch open golf event for leading amateur golfers and was held for the 40th occasion at Charnwood Forest Golf Club on Saturday 14 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 have success in the professional ranks.
This year, The Rock attracted a field of 38 leading amateur players from the Midlands, many with scratch handicaps or lower, including past winners David Gibson (Cosby), Coby Cartwright (Cosby), Paul Dixon (Willesley Park) and Steve Watton (Enville), and of course last year’s champion, George Raitt (Whetstone).
The greens were fast, true and receptive, but the swirling breeze made scoring difficult on Charnwood’s par 69 heathland course. Amongst the earlier groups, Jonny Golding (Hinckley) took a Round 1 clubhouse lead with a 73, which included birdies on holes 14 and 15. This score was soon matched by Clay Turvey (Willesley Park) who had a rare birdie on SI 1 hole 6 and birdies on the 13th and 18th. But as the later groups came in, the scores started to tumble. Oli Willson (Longcliffe), former LRGU County Captain, recorded a 71, which was then bettered by 70s from Luke Burrows (Cosby) and Scott Wormleighton (Birstall). However, it was George Raitt who led at the end of Round 1, with a level par 69, including 5 birdies. But it could have been even better, had he not double-bogeyed the par 5 15th.
In the afternoon, both Raitt and Wormleighton found trouble and double bogeys over the opening holes and quickly fell out of overall contention. Charnwood Forest Club Champion 2017, Jonathan Garner, showed that he knew his way around the tight nine-hole format, with a 69, which gave him a two-round total of 146 and fourth place, just edging out Turvey and Raitt on countback. David Gibson, previous Rock winner on six occasions, had not played much golf in recent months, but nonetheless he recorded an afternoon score of 70 and a total of 145, which gave him third place overall. County player, Luke Burrows, continued to show great consistency, with a second round of 71, which featured an eagle on the par 4 4th hole. He had a total of 141 and took second place overall, which repeated his position in The Rock last year. But the best score of the day was a one-under gross of 68, which was recorded by Oli Willson, who closed out his round in style with five birdies from the last six holes. Willson’s total of 139 gave him a two-shot win and a very popular victory in The Rock for the first time. The Rock was generously sponsored by Scott Property Consultants and the prizes were presented by past Captain of Charnwood Forest Golf Club, Mr Phil Scott.