Edison keeps champion dad Ed on the straight and narrow
Opens: Tuesday, Sept 7th
FORMAT: 36-hole strokeplay/5 rounds of matchplay
Some victories are just extra special and that was certainly the case for Gloucestershire’s Ed Butler, who played some exceptional stuff to carry off the West of England Open Amateur Championship.
In 2008 the 41-year-old gave up golf and didn’t hit a ball for eight years. He only got back into it because his son Edison expressed an interest in playing the sport.
Fast forward five years and the 13-year-old caddied for his dad during all eight rounds rounds of his victory at Burnham & Berrow, culminating in a 5&3 success over Wales’ Daniel Bearcroft (Llanwern).
And the Lansdown player paid tribute to his son’s influence across all four days of the competition at the Somerset venue.
“He (Edison) knew exactly what to say and when to say it,” said Ed, who was the leading player as Gloucestershire won the England Golf County qualifier back in June (also at Burnham & Berrow).
“He kept my spirits up when I needed it and it was a nice moment to win it with him on the bag.”
Ed certainly saved his best stuff until last. “I didn’t miss a shot in the final,” he added.
Played over 36 holes, he went bogey-free in the morning and amassed five birdies as he built up a four-hole half-time lead having been one down after six holes
“I got a good feeling during lunch and my aim was to not let him get a hole back and I was really pleased that my lead never dropped below four.”
He won the 15th to seal victory, something he also did a day earlier against surprise semi-finalist James Reed (Exeter G&CC). The Devon player only made it into the knockout stages because three other qualifiers decided against taking their place. With the top 32 making it through, 35th proved sufficient for him to take the final spot and he took full advantage, dispatching top seed Joel Smith (Heythrop Park) on his way to the last four.
However the experienced Gloucestershire player, who also won the title back in 2003, proved a step too far. The Lansdown player was five up before the end of the front nine and again won 5&3.
Ed’s morning quarter-final with Cardiff-based Paddy Mullins (Whitchurch) was much tighter affair and he reached the semis at the first extra hole. He had been one down with two to play but a birdie on 17 levelled things up and a “solid” par at the 19th was enough to see him through.
It was also nip and tuck in his last 16 match-up with another Whitchurch player – Christopher Roberts. The eventual champion was never ahead until the 18th, which he won with a par, his opponent missing from 20 feet to keep the game alive.
Ed opened with an emphatic 8&6 victory over Dorset’s Ben Pritchard having qualified from the 36-hole strokeplay stage in fifth. Having started the competition by holing his approach shot at the 381-yard par four first, he posted a 72 and 74 to finish two back of Smith, who collected the War Memorial Trophy for finishing top.