Sixty six competitors, with handicaps ranging from plus 2 to plus 6,turned up on a grey, breezy day at the Gog Magog Golf Club to compete in the 46th staging of this prestigious amateur event. It was the 31st occasion the event has been staged at the club since it was moved from the Camberley Heath GC in 1990.
One very significant item was missing for the first time – the 1930 Lagonda Tourer motor car which usually sits proudly behind the 18th green, was sadly back at home in Surrey having caught fire the previous day whilst being prepared to make the trip to Cambridge.
This year’s field included Jack Brooks from the Mere Golf And Country Club, a current England International, and 5 members of the England Boy’s squad, including Harley Smith from Essex who plays of +5.7.
For the first time in many years, the home club had 7 players in the starting line-up and were hoping to have a home club winner for the 1st time since Russell Claydon won in 1988 when the event was held at Camberley Heath.
The competitors were looking to join an illustrious list of past winners that include previous world number ones Luke Donald and the irrepressible Lee Westwood, as well as Ryder Cup players Andy Sullivan and David Gilford
The Old Course was in magnificent condition, thanks to the hard work put in by Andrew Howarth and his team. He had set testing pin positions on some of the holes and all was set fair for a wonderful tournament.
The competitors were obviously finding the conditions testing as only 3 players broke 70 on the first morning. The 1st round leader with a fine 67, was Alfie Hickman from the Langley Park Golf Club. He was closely followed by Ben Loveard from Woburn GC and Ben Quinney from Kings Hill GC on 69.
Ben Quinney jumped out of the pack in the 2nd round, coming home in a magnificent 65 as his fellow competitors struggled in the stiff breeze and rainy conditions. His round contained 6 birdies and only one dropped shot at the 13th hole. He now held a 5 stroke lead from Ben Loveard, Max Hopkins and Alfie Hickman on 139.
Home club member George Howard had a very interesting round, after holing a 25 foot putt for a triple bogey 7 on the 2nd hole he then proceeded to score a hole in one at the 338 yds 5th hole. He then made eagle on the par 5 eighth hole and finished with a 71 for a halfway total of 141. Nobody at the club can ever remember an ace at this hole as most of us cannot reach the green in one shot!
Another Albatross was achieved by Jake Walley of Enville GC who holed his 2nd shot at the par 5 eighth hole.
The cut after day one came at 149 and after 2 withdrawals. 42 players set out on the 3rd round in wonderful sunny and calm conditions. This was certainly reflected in the scoring as 14 competitors equalled or bettered the par of 70.
Ben Quinney kept the rest of the field at bay with another sub par round of 68 which included a double bogey 6 at the relatively easy 5th hole.
His nearest competitor and 5 strokes adrift was Jack Garnett of the Five Lakes Golf Club who scored an excellent 67.
Best score in the 3rd round came from home club member and the current Cambridgeshire County Champion, Ed Dimambro with a fine 66 which included dropped shots at the last two holes.
In the final round Ben played very conservative, steady golf and was 2 under for his round after 13 holes. In the meantime a real challenge to him was developing in the group ahead where Jack had closed the gap to 2 strokes.
Unfortunately Jack then dropped a stroke at the par 5 fourteenth hole but recovered it on the 16th hole with a fine birdie 3.
Ben missed the green left at the 16th but a very delicate chip and a putt of 5 feet saved his par.
With Jack making pars at the last 2 holes and Ben standing on the 18th tee 2 strokes ahead the result of the tournament was in his hands.
He hit a tremendous drive just short of the cross bunkers but with the adrenalin flowing, he overshot the green with his 2nd shot. A chip and missed putt for his first dropped shot of the round left him on 69 and the winner by one stroke.
His rounds of 69,65,68 & 69 for a total of 271 meant that he became only the 4th player in the history of the Lagonda Trophy to score 4 rounds all in the sixties.
With Jack Garnett an excellent runner up on 272, it was very pleasing for the Gog Magog members to have Ed Dimambro, one of their own, finishing in 3rd position on 278 after playing the final day in only 133 strokes.
Ben Quinney now joins the list of famous winners of the Lagonda Trophy which includes Ryder Cup players David Gilford, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Andy Sullivan. He 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 thanks go to all the competitors for making our main event of the year 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, marshals, office staff, a huge thank you from the Tournament Chairman.
And lastly a very special thank you from everybody at the Gog Magog Golf Club and the competitors to Clive Smith who founded the Lagonda Trophy back in 1975 and has sponsored the event ever since. His ambition was to help develop future amateur golf and he has certainly been successful in that respect.
All scores and statistics for each hole can be found on the Gog Magog website.