Hurlston Hall duo reach seventh final
LANCS: Thursday June 24th
Three-time Bell Trophy winners Mark Rimmer and Ian Kinsey reached their seventh final at their home course Hurlston Hall.
Having triumphed in 2013 at Royal Lytham, 2016 at Royal Birkdale and 2018 at Formby, the deadly duo won the second of two qualifiers at the Ormskirk course by one point from six pairs.
In the tightest of battles the three qualifying places were decided on countback with Haydock Park’s Geoffrey Kent and David Kinsley also making it through alongside another Hurlston Hall duo – Terence Barham and Nicholas Gardner.
The Grand Final takes place at Fairhaven on September 15th where the six pairs will do battle alongside the nine qualifiers for the Collinge Trophy, which is the individual event for county members.
For Mark (9 hcap) and Ian (14), they were also in a battle with their playing partners Stuart Lammond and Alan Morgan – also from Hurlston Hall – and with two holes to go the teams were level on 37 points.
Mark said: “After getting just one point on the 13th, we said we needed to par in to qualify. But we bogeyed 15 and then our partners got a three-point par on 16 to draw level and we said ‘we have to par in now’ and we managed it.”
Pars at 17 and 18 gave them six points and the edge with just two points separating the top 11 teams.
Earlier a brilliant birdie from Ian on the fourth got them four points. He put his rescue club to a foot for a tap-in three.
Mark then performed heroics on the ninth. Blocked out by conifers he decided to take on the challenge of going up and over and managed to squeeze his 9 iron almost 140 yards on to the green, where he would two-putt for a three-point par.
The duo are one of three teams from Hurlston Hall in the final. In the first qualifier 2020 champions Philip Yin and Stephen Dix won to give themselves a chance of regaining their title.