Cambridgeshire: Men’s County Championship

The Gog Magog captain Gareth Jones presents the Cambridgeshire County Championship trophy to Ed Dimambro. Picture courtesy of Kevin Diss Photography (www.kevindiss.com)

Ed plots his way to hat-trick of county crowns

CAMBS: Monday June 14th

Ed Dimambro secured a hat-trick of Cambridgeshire County Championship titles last night and this time it was all his.

Last year the 30-year-old shared the honour with ten-time-winner Lee Yearn (Ely City) after a four-hole play-off failed to separate them.

This time the Gog Magog plus four handicapper had no such worries on his home course, winning by two shots from Ely City’s James McLaughlin in the 72-hole strokeplay contest.

Ed, who finished strongly to claim third at last month’s Lagonda Trophy, used all his local knowledge to keep big numbers off his card, which critically meant keeping out the ‘brutal’ second cut of rough.

“The course was in the best condition I have seen it but also playing the hardest,” said the new champion. “The deep rough was brutal. If you put your ball in there it was basically a reload job.”

The 2017 champion repeatedly took an iron off the tee and his safety-first approach worked so well, as did his insistence on not wanting to know the state of play with live scoring in operation.

“I made a conscious decision to not follow what everyone else was doing,” said Ed. “I stuck to my gameplan and the course strategy worked out nicely.”

The Gog Magog entrant, one of 20 from the home club in the 65-strong field – it was cut to 30 after the first day (36 holes) –  was playing in the final group for the last two rounds.

And stood on the 18th tee he needed a par or better to win after after an impressive closing 68 from McLaughlin, who was two groups ahead.

“One of my playing partners mentioned on 10 that James was playing well so I had an inkling it was close,” added Ed. “That said I don’t know if I would have hit driver on 18 had I known the state of play.”

With a bunker in play 280 yards down the left and trees all up the right, the leader took the decision to aim up the left and proceeded to hit his best shot of the day, fading it off the sand trap and into the fairway.

He was left with 116 yards to the pin, which was tucked behind the trap, front right. He left himself with a downhill 15-foot putt and rolled it in for birdie and was then quickly told the good news.

Ed started the final round five clear of the Ely player but there was a four-shot swing on the front nine. McLaughlin, who went bogey free on the final afternoon, birdied six and eight while the long-time leader bogeyed the first and seventh.

The soon-to-be-champion bounced back with a birdie on the par five 14th but bogeyed the next leaving him a shot ahead with three to play with his nearest challenger parring every hole on the back nine.

Both players opened with level par 70s while the surprise first-round leader was two handicapper Andrew Grimwood (St Neots). His 68, together with a second round nett 74, gave him the January Cup.

A second round 76 saw Grimwood drop back while Ed surged into the lead with a second-round 67 and then followed it up the next morning with a 69 to give himself a five-shot lead over three players going into the final round.

Top 10 scores (par 70)
1) Ed Dimambro (The Gog Magog) 70, 67, 69, 71, 277 (-3)
2) James McLaughlin (Ely City) 70, 73, 68, 68, 279 (-1)
3) Joe York (The Gog Magog) 70, 70, 71, 71, 282 (+2)
4) Luke Bowers ((The Gog Magog) 72, 74, 68, 70, 284 (+4)
5) David Marris (Links (Newmarket)) 75, 68, 71, 70, 284 (+4)
6) George Howard (The Gog Magog) 74, 69, 68, 73, 284 (+4)
7) Richard Southall (Saffron Walden) 72, 72, 75, 67, 286 (+6)
8) Joshua Austin-Tierney (The Gog Magog)  71, 72, 69, 74, 286 (+6)
9) Oliver Toyer (St Neots) 74, 70, 71, 76, 291 (+11)
10) Danny Loveday (St Neots) 71, 71, 77, 72, 291 (+11)
For full scores click here