Hertfordshire: Men’s County Championship

THAT’S HOW TO FINISH IT: Reis Suart pitches it stone dead at the 15th at Knebworth

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.

TOP TEAM: Reis with his coach Ian Parker (left) and caddie for all 108 holes … Mickey Spencer

“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.

Matchplay qualifers (par 71)
1) Zach Little (West Herts) 70, 68, 138
2) George Williams (Knebworth) 71, 69, 140
3) Reis Suart (Welwyn Garden City) 69, 72, 141
4) Adam Le Vey (Old Ford Manor) 73, 70, 143
5) Samuel Caney (Hadley Wood) 72, 71, 143
6) Matthew Lockwood (Moor Park) 71, 72, 143
7) George Leversuch (South Herts) 70, 74, 144
8) Liam Slade (South Herts) 73, 72, 145
9) Tony Wilkins (Harpenden Common) 75, 71, 146
10) Jamie Plews ( Stocks) 74, 73, 157
11) Ewen Wilson (Porters Park) 74, 73, 147
12) Joss Gosling (Harpenden) 73, 74, 147
13) Phil Dormer (Letchworth) 74, 74, 148
14) Greg Hurley (The Hertfordshire) 78, 71, 149
15) George Castle (Moor Park) 72, 77, 149
16) Bradley Robinson (Cheshunt) 78, 72, 150
Matchplay rounds – last 16
– Little lost to Loria 2&1
– Wilkins beat Slade 3&1
– Caney beat Gosling 2&1
– Dormer lost to Le Vey 3&2
– Suart beat Hurley 2&1
– Wilson lost to Lockwood 19th
– Leversuch lost to Plews 1 hole
– Williams beat Castle 2&1
Quarter-finals 
Loria lost to Wilkins 2&1
Caney beay Le Vey 1 hole
Suart beat Lockwood 6&4
Plews lost to Williams 3&1
Semi-finals
Wilkins beat Caney 19th
Suart beat Williams 20th
Final
Suart beat Wilkins 5&3