Gloucestershire: Men’s County Championship

SENSATIONAL: Six-time Gloucestershire County champion Nick Day

Day to remember for six-timer star Nick

GLOUCESTERSHIRE: Monday, May 17th

There was an extraordinary final day in the Gloucestershire Men’s County Championship, which was won by Henbury’s Nick Day for the sixth time.

The 40-year-old, who last won the event two years ago, started the fourth and final round six shots behind last year’s British Amateur Championship runner-up Joe Harvey but tore up The Players Club course to close with a nine-under-par 63. He also hit every green in regulation.

However his remarkable score, which got him into a play-off with English Amateur champion Jack Cope, was tinged with sadness because he had a two-foot putt on the last for his first ever round of 10 under but the ball shoe-horned out.

At the first extra hole Day holed from six feet at the 14th to take the contest down the 18th where Cope missed a short putt for par, handing his experienced county team-mate the title.

Day had no idea how Harvey was doing in the final round because there was no live scoring option and did not realise his tiny putt at the last would have been enough with the third round leader closing with a 70.

“Funnily enough I joked with someone before the last round I would need to shoot 10 or 11 under to win so when I got to 10 under after 16 I thought I had to be in with a chance,” said Day.

“I was so peeved after I missed that two-footer at the last because I have registered nine under a couple of times and how often do you get to double digits under par?

“And obviously it would have also meant not having the play-off. Plus when it’s against someone like Jack it adds to the disappointment because you know how good he is. He saw me miss the short putt at the last in real time so I guess he returned the favour at that second play-off hole.”

What makes Day’s win all the more remarkable is he has a full-time job and young family so is not even a regular player.

“When I tell people how often I play they don’t believe me. I genuinely don’t have time to practise and to be honest I was absolute rubbish the last few times I had played before this.”

Day was ten shots behind after round one thanks to a 78 whereas Lansdown’s Edward Butler finished birdie-birdie-birdie to open up an early three-shot lead.

In the afternoon Harvey had a blistering back nine to take a three-shot halfway lead with Butler carding a 75 while Day recovered plenty of ground with the best score of the round (67) and was five back.

In the third round Cope got himself into the reckoning and into second place with a superb 67 but Harvey was also in fine form and his 68 left him five ahead of the field.

However the birdies dried up for the long-time leader on the closing inward nine of round four, allowing the eventual first and second to storm through, Cope shooting a brilliant bogey-free eight under par 64 but, incredibly, it was still not quite enough.

Leading scores (par 72)
1) Nick Day (Henbury) 78, 67, 69, 63, 277 (P/O)
2) Jack Cope (The Players Club) 75, 71, 67, 64, 277
3) Joe Harvey (The Kendleshire) 71, 69, 68, 70, 278
4) Jake Phillips (Cotswold Hills) 71, 73, 72, 69, 285
5) Edward Butler (Lansdown) 68, 75, 72, 71, 286
6) Thomas Workman (Minchinhampton) 75, 74, 70, 71, 290
7) Joshua Millington (The Players Club) 77, 73, 69, 72, 291
8) Chris Shanks (The Players Club) 73, 77, 72, 73, 295
9) James Bath (Lydney)  74, 79, 72, 72, 296
10) Kieran Sutton (Broadway) 77, 76, 75, 69, 297
Nick Day (left) is presented with county championship trophy by GGU President Tim Clink (centre)