Course record: Ponteland

WHEN HE SHOT 64: Andy Minnikin’s amazing scorecard

Super September continues for Champion of Champions Andy

NORTH EAST: Tuesday Sept 21st

It’s been quite a month so far for City of Newcastle’s Andy Minnikin as he followed up his victory at the England Golf Champion of Champions tournament with a course record at Ponteland.

The Northumberland county champion was playing in a Newcastle and District League competition on Sunday as part of a City of Newcastle team and, despite finding himself two over par after three, put together a quite brilliant 64 having come home in 31 shots (-6). His efforts helped his club win the team event although he wasn’t eligible for the individual contest.

It sliced a shot off the previous best, set by Ben Sayer last year, and it was also the first time Andy had ever shot eight under par having gone close so many times.

It is also his only current course record. He grew up playing at Gosforth where his seven under mark has subsequently been surpassed. 

Nine days ago he finished two shots clear of Warwickshire champion Seb Cave to claim his first ever national title at Woodhall Spa.

Andy Minnikin (City of Newcastle)

“You don’t get rounds like that very often,” said the 41-year-old, who is part of the Northumberland ‘Six’ who will contest the English County Championship at Remedy Oak this weekend (Sept 24-26).

“I hit 16 greens in regulation and it was a pressure-free round in respect of I didn’t have many tricky par putts. It was mostly just missing out for birdie or making birdie.”

The plus three handicapper, who finished four shots back of winner Peter Finch at the Gerald Micklem Cup on Sunday, started off with a standard par but then it got slightly messy at the par three next. After missing the green with his approach and then splashing out to 25 feet, he three putted for a double bogey.

Another par followed at the third but things really cranked up with three birdies in a row as he twice holed from 10 feet and once from eight feet.

With the driver working so well the par fives were always going to represent good opportunities for the North East stalwart and at the eighth he stuck a five iron to 12 feet and bagged himself an eagle.

Andy’s Super 64:
1) Par
2) Double Bogey
3) Par
4) Birdie
5) Birdie
6) Birdie
7) Par
8) Eagle
9) Bogey
10) Birdie
11) Par
12) Par
13) Birdie
14) Birdie
15) Par
16) Birdie
17) Birdie
18) Birdie

However his front nine would finish on a downer as he put himself out of position with his third and with 25 feet for par, could not prevent himself dropping back to two under par.

What followed was simply majestic. He registered six birdies coming home but also lipped out for others at 11 and 12.

Birdies at 10 and 13 were followed by another at 14 but it was agonisingly close to another eagle. His gap wedge finished an inch short of the hole. One more roll and he would have been six under.

He didn’t threaten the cup with his 20 footer for birdie at the short par three 15th and then the wheels literally did come off as his electric caddy broke down and it had to be carried to the clubhouse in a buggy.

Carrying his bag for the last three holes did not disrupt his rhythm as he holed a 25 footer for birdie at the long par four 16th and then wasn’t tempted to try and drive the green at the short par four penultimate hole. It proved a wise choice as four iron was followed by gap wedge and then successful putt from eight feet.

His ninth birdie of the round would follow at the last. The short par five was expertly navigated. With the danger all at the back of the green, he left himself a 60-foot eagle putt from the front edge and he cosied it up to a foot, giving himself a tap-in four.