Miracle up and down turns the tide Reis’ way
HERTS: Wednesday June 9th
The chip shot of his young life created one of those classic matchplay swing moments for new Hertfordshire county champion Reis Suart.
With the final in the balance and the recently-turned 17-year-old staring into the abyss after launching his approach shot into the trees behind the 11th green at Knebworth, opponent Tony Wilkins (Harpenden Common) was set to halve the deficit.
But Reis miraculously chipped the ball to ten feet, holed the putt for par and Tony missed his five-foot birdie putt so the hole was halved.
“It was the best chip shot I have ever hit,” said the former England boys international who finished a highly creditable sixth at the recent Lagonda Trophy.
“It was an impossible up and down so to par it was amazing and it was a huge turning point beause if I lose that I am just one ahead.”
The teenager then also went through the gears and ended the match in style. His beautiful 90-yard approach to 15 was caught on video (see above), the ball pitching just inches from the cup and stopping within gimmee range. With Tony not able to match it Reis, who lost in the final last year, ended with an impressive 5&3 victory.
Earlier in the day the Welwyn Garden City junior had a big scare in his semi-final clash with home club player George Williams.
Reis was two up with three to play but his opponent birdied 16 and 17 to square the match, which went into extra time after both players parred the last.
The youngster missed a good chance at the first extra hole to secure his place in the final but there at the next made it through after George three putted from long distance.
In the 36-hole strokeplay qualifier, West Herts’s Zach Little led the way by two shots. A superb second-round back nine set up a three-under par 68. He birdied 10, 13, 14 and 16.