Tom and Joe light up week for Cornwall
OUTSTANDING individual performances by two Cornish golfers at the South West Counties Championship helped compensate for the county's disappointing team results at Cumberwell Park last week.
Although Cornwall had to settle for fourth spot in the Strokeplay Championship and fifth place in the Matchplay Shield, there were individual honours for 2011 county champion Tom Fox, of China Fleet, and for St Enodoc's Joe Cruse.
On the Tuesday, Fox won the South West Youths Championship with rounds of 68 and 71 for a 139 total, edging out Devon's British Boys champion Harrison Greenberry on countback. The plus one handicapper's success was built on his brilliant morning round of 68 which contained four birdies and a single bogey.
As well as finishing fifth in the overall rankings, Fox also won the prestigious Clifford Burden Trophy for the leading points scorer during the week. He won eight out of his 10 matches, while Cruse finished just a single point behind with seven wins from the week.
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These superb results were recognised by their selection for the SWCGA team to play the Midland Counties in the annual friendly fixture at Copt Heath on October 18/19.
Their efforts helped lift Cornish gloom after the county could only finish fourth in the SWC Strokeplay Team Championship behind runaway winners Wiltshire on Tuesday.
The host county finished 25 shots clear of runners-up Devon, who pipped Somerset on countback, with Cornwall a further two shots away.
The best individual Cornish finishers behind Fox were Trevose's Welsh international Ben Westgate in a share of 17th place with rounds of 73 and 69 for a 36-hole total of level par 142, which was matched by St Enodoc's Antony Nash with 72 and 70.
But unfortunately Nash was not one of the six nominated players for the team event. If his fine score had been eligible to be counted, Cornwall would undoubtedly have finished in second place behind Wiltshire, whose Ben Loughrey took the individual title with superb rounds of 68 and 65 for nine under par 133.
Wiltshire will now represent the South West in the EGU National County Finals at Beau Desert GC in Staffordshire in the autumn.
Having lost their opening two matches in the Matchplay Shield against Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, Cornwall recorded their only victory of the week against Dorset on Wednesday, taking six of the eight morning foursomes and then winning two and halving the other two in the afternoon foursomes to record a handsome 101/2-31/2 victory.
But the boot was on the other foot the following day when they were beaten by Somerset 91/2-41/2, with only a 5&4 victory by Cruse and a half from Westgate to show for their efforts in the morning singles. Afternoon foursomes wins by Cruse and Fox and Jon Hancock and Nash were to no avail.
However, captain Steve Rickard's men showed their fighting spirit in their final match of the week against Devon when they turned round a 51/2-21/2 singles deficit by winning three of the afternoon foursomes, worth one and a half points each, to halve the match 7-7.
This left them in fifth place in the table with one win, one half and three defeats. Somerset won the Shield with three victories and two halved matches.