The Fred Hirst – Update

The Fred Hirst first round is well under way and the first pairings of round 2 have emerged. We’ve even had one played already and have our first quarter finalist in the 4th quarter of the draw..

After defending champ Matty Sax (10) had to overcome the quality of Phill Ellis (11) in the prelims with some superlative quality of his own, it was his battling nouse that sees him past Adam Gibson (16) and into round 2. Adam was 2up twice after a smashing his drive into the road on the 2nd only for it to bounce back on the fairway! (We think that was shear luck, not Dez Crossley being in the right place at the right time). Matty was hanging on to stay at 2 down but a real steely back nine saw him win 3&1. Adam, who is nearing “bandit’ status after some glowing performances, was unlucky and met his match in a player on hot form. A champions performance from Matty Sax and with John Whitham (12) v Bobby Fielden (12), Rich Mills (10) v Ryan Gaffney (16) and Anthony Barnett (6) v Mick Heys (14) yet to play, this quarter of the draw is far from over.

In the fourth quarter of the draw Dez Crossley (this time definitely seen on the tee) faced Lee Earnshaw (11). The Showman (20) was shown the door, however, on the 15th and after said of Lee, “He didn’t miss a “damn”[sic] thing”….Lee has certainly been put through his paces. David Marshall (20) and Stu Jackson (20) fought it out in another quality match. Had it been scored in stableford fashion Stu’s front nine would have returned 20 pts but Marshy’s march toward his holiday seemed to be crushing all in his way with a 5&4 victory. Without wasting time, and the plane waiting, Lee Earnshaw was summoned to the tee. After being 4 down with 4 to play Marshy’s mind must have drifted to the beach. 4 pars later and a 5th on the 19th hole saw Lee clinch victory and be the first player to reach the quarter finals. Marshy said, “Earny started playing well and I was a little unlucky as my golf ability became a factor…”. We think he meant “I choked”. He is now on the beach with a variety of strong cocktails.

Reaching round two is Marcus Calvert (8). Fresh off 3rd place in the JHJ in his first season at TGC, Marcus is quickly getting used to the TGC track and will be a tough test for anyone. With Mark Wareing (9) – 2nd in the JHJ – playing Jim Frain (18) in round one, this quarter will provide one hell of a semi finalist.

With the first quarter not yet moving into gear, quarter three is beginning to take shape. Wins for Dale Chew (15) and Andrew Lupton (11) see them cruise into round two and Dale, after dispatching Matt Edwards 6&4, sets up a round two match against Craig Vest (17). Andrew Lupton now awaits the victor between Dan Fielden (10) and Chris Hartley (19).

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