Gog Magog Golf Club

The LAGONDA Trophy

25 & 26 may 2022

Sixty six competitors with handicaps ranging from plus 2.4 to plus 4.8 turned up on a very breezy day at the Gog Magog Golf Club to compete in the 47th staging of this prestigious amateur event.

Clive Smith, the founder of the tournament, ran the event successfully at the Camberley Heath Golf Club in Surrey from it’s inception in 1975 until 1989 when the sale of the Surrey club initiated a move to Gog Magog in 1990.   The event has always attracted a high class field both at Camberley Heath and Gog Magog and this year being no exception.

The Old Course was in excellent condition thanks to the hard work put in by Andrew Howarth and his team. The greens were true and running fast on the stimp meter and they were certainly going to test the competitors.

 John Cross, the Captain of the Club, looking resplendent in his green blazer, got proceedings under way at 7:20am as Richard Temple of the home club hit the opening shot of the tournament.

The stiff breezes throughout the morning session reflected just how difficult it was, with the low round of the morning an even par 70.   The leader was Warren Bates from the Heacham Manor Golf Club in Norfolk who also led the field in the 2019 Lagonda Trophy where he opened up with a magnificent 63 in calmer conditions. Warren also had a hole in one at the 13th hole on the practise day this year so he certainly must love the Old Course.

The afternoon scores improved as the wind died down a little and Gog Magog member George Howard came in with a superb 67 that included 5 birdies and only 2 bogeys. Last year George holed in one at the 340 yards par 4 fifth hole, a feat that none of the Gog Magog members can remember happening before.

Trailing by just one shot on 141 were Carter Rowe of the Chelmsford GC (72,69), Max Hopkins of Bishop Stortford GC (72,69) and Luke Quint (73,68), closely followed on 142 by Tyler Weaver of Bury St Edmunds GC, and Ben Humphrey of the Chelmsford Golf Club.   The cut line fell at +13, the highest in recent memory, with Gog Magog members Ed Dimambro tied 19th (148) and Richard Temple tied 39th (153) joining George Howard in making it through to the final day.

T he weather looked good for the 3rd round as the wind was not as strong, although the forecast was for it to return to a strong breeze for the afternoon round.   Soon into the 3rd round there was some exciting news that Ed Dimambro had holed in one at the difficult 4th hole with a 5 iron into the wind. Ed went on to birdie the 6th,7th,8th and 15th holes to finish with a credible 69 and move up the field.   In the meantime, the leaders were battling it out and the lead changed hands several times during the 3rd round.

Coming out on top at lunchtime was Max Hopkins who followed his 69 of the previous day with another one for a three round total level par 210. He was closely followed by Tyler Weaver on 211 and overnight leader George Howard also on 211. George had started badly with a double bogey on the 2nd hole but recovered well with 3 birdies and an eagle on the 14th hole.

There was nothing in it after nine holes of the final round with Max Hopkins and Reis Suart of the Welwyn Garden City GC both on 1 over par for the tournament, closely followed by Tyler, Howard and Rowe all on 3 over par. Suart had sprung into contention with a fine 33 strokes to the turn.

By this time the wind was blowing strong as the leaders ventured into the difficult back nine holes of the course. Tyler Weaver really got into his stride and followed up 4 straight pars with an excellent eagle 3 at the 14th hole. A par at the 15th hole gave him a one shot lead over the rest of the filed with Carter Rowe a stroke behind and Max Hopkins two strokes back.

What followed next was incredible as Tyler knocked it onto the 16th green with an iron 2nd shot into a very strong wind and holed the putt for a much needed birdie 3 which gave him some much needed breathing space from his nearest contenders.   The results from this hole on the final day really decided the winner as Rowe and Hopkins played the hole in 5 strokes and 6 strokes respectively.

Tyler finished his round in style rolling in a birdie putt from around 8 feet on the last hole for a round of 69 and a winning total of level par 280 (71,71,69,69).   His father Jason, a famous Newmarket jockey and broadcaster, was there to see his son win the Lagonda Trophy as was his brother Max, another fine golfer who played and made the cut.   The margin of victory was 4 shots from Carter Rowe which seems comfortable but until the 16th hole it was fairly close with a number of players still in with a chance.

Tyler now joins the list of famous winners of the Lagonda Trophy which includes Ryder Cup players David Gilford (1986), Lee Westwood (1992)Luke Donald (1997), Andy Sullivan (2010) and home club member Russell Claydon who won at Camberley Heath in 1988.  H e was presented with the trophy, a replica of the Lagonda car, by Clive Smith and he also received a gold plated goblet as a memento of his victory.

Our sincere thanks go to Clive Smith the founder and sponsor of the Lagonda Trophy, who without his foresight back in the 1970’s, and support ever since, this great tournament would have never taken place.

Our thanks go to all the competitors for making Clive’s event so special.

To all of the club members who gave up their time to help run the tournament including the ball spotters, live scorers, recorders, referees, starters, office staff, professional staff, a huge thank you from the Tournament Chairman.

It was great to see the return of Clive’s beautiful vintage 1930 Lagonda Tourer motor car parked by the 18th green. It was missing last year because of a mechanical problem at the last minute, but it was back after restoration to adorn the 18th hole once again.

All scores and statistics for each hole can be found here.

A gallery of wonderful photographs can be found at the website of Kevin Diss Photography.

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