Golf Club Final - Portugal February 2009
NEIL Gayler is the new Gold Club golf champion for 2009. The ten-handicap player from Cheltenham beat a strong field to take the title in Portugal.
Neil, a financial planner who is a member of Cotswold Hills Golf Club, used his considerable skills over three tough courses and his consistent play allowed him to edge East Midlands APU chairman John Hardwick, who is an entertainment specialist and also a five-handicap player.
Neil, who was second in the Bristol and Gloucester regional event, carded 28 points on the first day at tight 5747 metres Pinheiros Altos, home of the Jimmy Tarbuck celebrity competition, where the greens were lightning fast. He then scored 29 at 5694-metres Quinta do Lago North and followed up by carding another 29 points at 5870 metres Quinta do Lago South. Both courses are used by the PGA. His total of 86 points was one better than John from Leicester and Rutland who won his local event.
The Rothley Park first team player scored 27 on day one, 29 on day two and the same score in the final round.
Peter Smith from Kent and Medway region was next best with 83 points and it was Neil's final day pairing with Peter, a former chairman of Maidstone branch, an ex-chairman of Kent Region and a former national vice-chairman, which turned the tide.
Knowing that they were on level points after two rounds, Neil kept a close watch on Peter (The Ridge Golf Club) and it was at the 325-metre 13th where he finally overhauled his rival.
Neil said: "I put my tee-shot behind a tree but came out well knocking it to six feet and I sank the putt for a birdie." He kept things steady to take the title and admitted he was surprised and delighted to have won. He added: "I played consistent golf and that was the key."
Second-placed John said: "I'm stunned as I putted poorly over the three days but delighted to have finished runner-up."
The popular annual event is sponsored by Towergate, Visa Commercial and Dragon Golf.
Norman Lay, Sponsorship chair who attended the event, said: "Competition was fierce and the guys all enjoyed the experience. "They were blessed with three brilliant days of weather and we are doing all we can to encourage more people to enter this superb event. "The prize is a trip to take part and all those who played will vouch for the fact that this is a tremendous three days of sport."
The event is sponsored by:
Sponsors of the Gold Club: