6:00pm Friday 20th June 2014
By George Thorpe
CORNWALL’S golf skipper has said he was “not surprised” to see his side clinch their spot in the England County Finals for just the second time.
The Duchy’s team reached the final at the Royal North Devon Golf Course when the three day match starts on September 26 after winning the South West region qualifier at the same course on Tuesday, June 10.
Facing off against five other counties, Cornwall’s six nominated players carded a combined score of ten over par, six ahead of nearest rivals Gloucestershire and Devon, at the end of the weather affected contest which saw the competition sliced from 36 holes to 18 due to storms.
Star of the show was Tom Fox, a member of China Fleet Golf Club in Saltash, who carded -4 while Bude’s Adam Curtis had a round of +1 and West Cornwall’s Harry Hall finishing on +2.
Perranporth’s Conor Wilson scored +3 and Matt Richards, West Cornwall, and Rob MacGregor, Tehidy Park, carded rounds of +4.
Captain Richard Simmons said he was proud to reach the final, but said he expected his Cornish side to do well.
Simmons said: “I wasn’t surprised that we won through as we have an incredibly strong team.
“We have guys who have competed on the national stage and I was expecting us to do well, although it does all come down to the day.
“The weather played a massive part, but Tom Fox got round before the storms came and his round set us up well and sent a real buzz around the other guys who all did fantastic.
“We have a young side and I think we will only get better, but this is a huge achievement we can all be proud of.”
Looking ahead to the final, Simmons believes his team have a great chance of winning it due to their local knowledge.
“Royal North Devon is quite a quirky course and there are not many like it around,” he said.
“So the fact the final is at the same course will be a massive advantage for us.
“Our guys have played there a few times and we are also setting up a couple of friendlies there ahead of the final so we’ll be well prepared.”
The strokeplay contest was played during the same week as the South West Counties Golf Association Inter Counties Matchplay Shield at the same course.
Somerset claimed the shield after winning four of their five matches which included defeating Cornwall 7.5 – 6.5 on the second day.
The Duchy’s team also lost 7.25 – 6.75 to Dorset but did beat Gloucestershire 10.5 – 3.5, Wiltshire 7.5 – 6.5 and Devon 7.25 – 6.75 to take second place overall.
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