Wales: Men’s Inter Counties

BACK ON TOP: The victorious Glamorgan squad

Fired-up Glamorgan regain top-dogs status

WALES: Tuesday Sept 14th

FORMAT: 18-hole 4BBB (2 from 3 to count)/ 18-hole strokeplay (5 from 6 to count)

Glamorgan regained the Welsh Men’s Inter Counties trophy in comprehensive fashion, finishing ten shots clear of Gwent at Llandrindod Wells.

The six-man team, half of which were due to represent Wales this week at the Home Internationals, put in a superb effort in both the fourball betterballs and the singles to take the title back off Caernarvonshire, winners in 2019.

Before then, Glamorgan won the event for three years in a row (2016-18) and team manager Rhys Clark (Whitchurch) believes that losing two years ago gave the new champions extra motivation.

“The guys were hungrier than normal and wanted it back,” said Rhys, who was leading his county for the first time in this event.

“Consistency was the key. Our worst scoring individual round was 72 and the guys also combined really well in the betterball.

“All round it was a great competition to be part of. The club, the head pro, the greens staff, the catering… everything was run brilliantly.”

Glamorgan’s winning team:
Ian Flower (c) (Mountain Ash)
Keiron Harman (St Athan)
Tim Harry (Pyle & Kenfig)
Craig Melding (Neath)
Richard Hooper (Neath)
Stuart Clark (Whitchurch)

After day one, Glamorgan were one shot clear of the reigning champions. Richard Hooper (Neath) and Craig Melding (Neath) got off to a particularly hot start and after nine holes were six under par. They would eventually close with a seven under 62.

Their other scoring pair – Keiron Harman (St Athan) and Stuart Clark (Whitchurch) – also carded a 62 but did it the other way around, tearing up the back nine. Stuart in particular found top gear as he birdied four holes on the bounce starting at the 11th and they were six under for their back nine.

Glamorgan’s strength in depth was highlighted by the fact their third pair – Tim Harry (Pyle & Kenfig) and captain Ian Flower (Mountain Ash) – combined for a 63, which included an eagle for Ian on the par five 15th.

The following day Harry led the way superbly as he posted the joint lowest score in the competition (67) and won the individual prize on countback from Gwent’s Matt Harris (Southerndown).

And he received fantastic support from Flower (70), Hooper (71), Clark (72) and Harman (72).

Rhys added: “We were expected to win but that brings added pressure. The players dealt with it and they went out and got the job done. That’s all you can ask.”

On day two Gwent moved from fourth to runners-up with Harris and Newport’s Logan Westley (69) to the fore.

Scores (par 69)
1) Glamorgan 476 (352 (singles) + 124 (4BBB))
2) Gwent 486 (356 + 130)
3) Caernarvonshire 494 (369 + 125)
4) Brecon & Radnor 497 (366 + 131)
5) Flint 499 (368 + 131)
6) Dyfed 505 (374 + 131)
7) Anglesey 507 (373 +134)