Warwickshire: Men’s County Championship

Warwickshire champion Seb Cave

Birthday boy Seb’s second-round surge to glory

WARKS: Friday June 11th

It was a very happy 17th birthday for new Warwickshire county champion Seb Cave, who put on a short game masterclass to win the title for the first time by two shots at Handsworth GC last night.

The highly-rated, Belfry-based plus three handicapper surged to victory with a second-round 66 in the 36-hole strokeplay competition. Recent Hertfordshire Bowl winner Louis Sanders (Copt Heath) was two shots back in second.

For Cave, who is targetting a place in the England Boys squad for the Home Internationals later in the Summer, his chipping was the key to maintaining the momentum on the back nine after bagging four birdies going out.

“My short game was incredible,” said the 2019 Warwickshire Boys champion. “I just kept getting up and down for pars and was really pleased after a disappointing first 18. When I came in I heard one under (69) was the best score in the morning and thought it was going to be lower than that so knew I had a chance.”

In the morning the teenager bogeyed three of the last four holes to open with a 72. That left him three back of halfway leaders Sanders and Moor Hall’s Rob Bardsley while Wishaw’s Sam Easterbrook was in third on one over par (71).

However Seb stormed into contention with birdies on two, five, seven and eight. Another birdie on 11 got him to three under for his round before two critical up and downs on 15 and 16 kept him ahead of Sanders and a birdie at 18 rounded things off.

Nominally the top eight qualify for the Warwickshire Matchplay Championship, which starts on June 25th but Seb won’t be competing as it clashes with the inaugural England U-18s Strokeplay Championship at Farnham.

The last eight draw is as follows: Josh Davenport v John Banbury; Sam Easterbrook v Richard Bush; Rob Bardsley v Luke Allen; Ryan Gavin v Karl Smith.

A DAY earlier former pro Warren Bladon won the Warwickshire Seniors at Harborne. A one-over-par 71 gave him the title by one from Stratford-on-Avon’s Stephen Creed. A week earlier Bladon finished third in the English Seniors. 

Top 10 scores (par 70)
1) Seb Cave (The Belfry) 72, 66, 138 (-2)
2) Louis Sanders (Copt Heath) 69, 71 (level)
3= Jack Drury (Stratford-on-Avon) 73, 70, 143 (+3)
3= Joshua Davenport (Maxstoke Park) 72, 71, 143 (+3)
3= Rob Bardsley (Moor Hall) 69, 74, 143 (+3)
6= Ryan Gavin (Coventry) 74, 71, 145 (+5)
6= Sam Easterbrook (Wishaw G&CC) 71, 74, 145 (+5)
8= Richard Bush (Coventry) 75, 72, 147 (+7)
8= Karl Smith (Handsworth) 75, 72, 147 (+7)
8= Leon Walker (Nuneaton) 74, 73, 147 (+7)
8= Luke Allen (Olton) 73, 74, 147 (+7)
For full scores click here