The Three Counties Rabbits Open paid the once-every-twelve-years visit to Tenby on Saturday (writes Tenby’s links reporter, Warren Hacker). The sun shone all day as the almost 12 months of planning and preparation was put to the test, but there were smiles all over the faces of the Rabbits Open Committee as the 101 competitors made their way home to all corners of the Three Counties having enjoyed a great day - the refreshments flowed, the meals eaten with gusto and the prize winners applauded to the rafters.
From Penrhos and Cardigan in the north, Milford and Priskilly in the west and Garnant and Glynhir in the east (12 teams were represented in total) the players came - all with the aim of winning the Sytner Haverfordwest sponsored Hole-in-One prize of a BMW car. The southerly breeze caused a few issues for some of the players, as did some of the rough (and the links bounces!), but there were complimentary remarks about the excellent condition of the Championship course - all due to the hard work of Scott and the rest of the Tenby greenstaff.
Eleven twos were slotted on the day - Steve Davies (Priskilly), Tony Pratt (Milford), Mike Watkins (South Pembs), Chris Harding (Milford), Gary Walton (Garnant), Haydn Davies (Cardigan) on the 6th; David Blackmore (Tenby), Steve Cole (Tenby), Ken Phillips (Penrhos), Sheldon Humphreys (Priskilly) on the 12th, with Christian Woodford from Glynhir the only one on the 17th hole. Each won a sleeve of balls.
A box of a dozen balls each was the prize for the nearest the pins of the par 3s and the sharp shooters here were Steve Harper (Priskilly) on the 6th, Sheldon Humphreys (Priskilly) on the 12th and Neal Evans (Glynhir) on the 17th.
The best score from each club earned that player a four ball voucher donated by participating clubs and those lucky chaps were Ian James-Tall from Ashburnham, Casey Walters from Cardigan with 37, Elwyn Morgan from Carmarthen, Bleddyn Williams from Garnant on 29, Alan Samson from Glyn Abbey on 40, Glynhir’s Rhys McCarley, Andy Loveridge from Haverfordwest on 34, Tony Pratt from Milford on 39, Ken Phillips from Penrhos on 33, Joe Howling of Priskilly on 36, Mike Watkins from South Pembs and Martin Durham from Tenby.
Home advantage paid off in the team event with the best six scores to count from each club - the top five being Ashburnham on 179, Priskilly on 189, Glyn Abbey on 194, runners-up Glynhir on 210, but top of the pile was the 233 points from Tenby - winning a £20 voucher each were captain Martin Durham, Wyndham Collins, Chris Smith, David Blackmore, Neil Dickinson and Mark Edwards (on countback!).
Representatives from main sponsors Carreg Construction and hole-in-one sponsors Sytners were on hand to present the top golfers their prizes and Tenby vice-vaptain Paul Crawford announced them in reverse order:
Third in the higher handicap (20-28) section was Mike Watkins (South Pembs) on 38 (wins a £75 ProShop voucher); second was Elwyn Morgan of Carmarthen (also 38), who wins a ProShop voucher for £100, but top high Rabbit was Chris Smith from Tenby with a fine 39 points, who won a ProShop voucher to the value of £150.
In the low handicap (13-19) section, third place went to Ian James-Tall (Ashburnham) with a great 42 points (£75 ProShop voucher), runner-up was Tenby captain Martin Durham with a brilliant 44 points (£100 ProShop voucher), but with a stupendous 45 points (nett 63), the title of top low Rabbit went to Glynhir captain Rhys McCarley (£150 ProShop voucher). Rhys also received the Best Overall Golfer Prize of an engraved glass memento.
In his acceptance speech, Rhys thanked the organising Tenby Rabbits for a wonderful day, as well as the sponsors, the greenstaff and the caterers, then mentioned that he was looking forward to his 2.2 cut in handicap!
Finally, as no-one had managed to ‘ace’ the 17th hole, Neal Evans was called back up to collect a special award donated by Sytner - a remote controlled BMW car - one that he wouldn’t need to insure or fill up with fuel - and he received an extra cheer for the look on his face when he was told that he had won a car after all!
The Tenby Rabbits Open Day Committee would like to thank all the players who took part, Tenby Golf Club for allowing the use of the course, Scott and the greenstaff for the great condition of the links, Emma, Lee and the bar-staff for feeding and watering(!) us all, members of the Seniors Section, the Ladies Section and various Rabbits WAGs for their assistance as starters, ball-spotters, half-way house assistants, hole-in-one observers and card checkers - thank you all.
The committee would not have been able to have created such a memorable event without the help of all their sponsors - Carreg Construction (main sonsors); Sytner Haverfordwest (hole-in-one sponsors); Absolute Event Bars; Princes Gate Spring Water; BCC IT; Bisley H Munt and Son, Haverfordwest; County Financial Consultants; Ecohaus Southwest; FBM Holidays; Forest Traffic Services; Gerald D. Harries and Sons; The Gower Hotel, Saundersfoot; Heywoods of Saundersfoot; Jones Brothers (Henllan); JCB Insurance Services; Jewson; Newey and Eyre; Nu-Heat UK; O. B. Architecture; The Parsonage Farm Inn, St. Florence; Rhys Harry, Tenby Golf Club Pro Shop; R. and M. Electrical Group; Rockwell Automation; The Old Chemist Inn, Saundersfoot; S. Craig, Fishguard; Stephen P. Watkins Window Cleaning Service, Tenby; Golwg Y Mor Holiday Cottage, Tenby; W. P. Lewis and Son.
Tenby Rabbits also wish Ashburnham good luck (and fine weather!) when they host the Open Day next summer. Hard work ahead boys!