Playing partners Ross Overton and Adam Walker both lower York GC course record
YORKS OoM: Wednesday May 4th
FORMAT: 36-hole gross stroke play
Ross Overton and Adam Walker have both been playing golf for quite some time but even they couldn’t quite believe it as both players broke the York Golf Club course record on Sunday… playing in the same group.
Yorkshire Matchplay champion Walker (Huddersfield) has become something of a late bloomer having made his way into the Yorkshire county side at the age of 31. However he is a baby compared to 47-year-old Overton (Sherwood Forest), the Midlands Mid-Amateur champion, who has now accumulated eight course records.
But, playing in a Yorkshire Order of Merit event at the Strensall course, the two just fed off each other to shoot seven-under-par 63s in the second round. That sliced three off the previous amateur best and was also one below the professional record, set when York GC was acting as a qualifier for the Benson & Hedges International, which was a regular European Tour event at Fulford in the 70s and 80s.
The record-breaking effort got Walker into a play-off to win the York Rose Bowl with Brancepeth Castle’s Richard Aisbett, who shot 64 after lunch to finish eight under overall.
However the County Durham player took the title by virtue of Walker finding trouble at the fifth but the Huddersfield golfer was hardly disappointed.
“It was weird because I still felt like I had won,” he said. “Everyone wanted a picture with me and Ross and I have never been as happy to lose in a play-off before.
“To be honest, as I walked off the green, after shooting 63, I thought I had won. But then someone shouted over that I was in a play-off and I thought…’right I better get my clubs.”
Walker started the second round two behind Hessle’s Aaron Brettell, who had won the previous Yorkshire Order of Merit event at his home course just four days earlier. Overton had opened with a 74 (+2) so was out of the overall reckoning.
And strangely the conversation on the first tee in the afternoon, with the captain of York GC, centred on the course record.
Walker, who runs the 2020protour.co.uk with former European Tour pro Chris Hanson, added: “When we were waiting to tee off our other playing partner Tom (Hirst of Waterton Park) asked what the course record was and we were all quite surprised when the captain said the amateur record was four under.
“He also said that ‘nobody tears it up around here’ and then Tom birdied the first two holes and was “right this is on.”
Overton, who went bogey-free during his record-breaking effort, added: “It was strange that we were laughing and joking about the course record on the first tee but, after my first round I said: ‘It’s not coming from me, so you two better get it done’.”
However, on the front nine, it was Walker who looked most likely to threaten as he got to four under par thru eight.
“It just felt like I was cruising around,” added the Yorkshire champion.
“Tee to green I was excellent and just kept hitting it close. I also didn’t miss anything from inside ten feet although I did hole a good one at eight. That said the greens were in fantastic condition.”
Walker found the bottom of the cup from 20 feet at the tough stroke index one to get to four under before a bogey at the next saw him turn in 32. At that point Overton was one shot worse off on two under and stayed that way until he birdied 13.
Walker also birdied that hole having got back to four under at the tenth. And further birdies at 14 and 15 left the White Rose player seven under wth three to go.
The Nottinghamshire stalwart was still only four under, having also got a four at the par five 14th, but then he holed his approach shot from 90 yards for an eagle at 16 and then registered another two with a bomb across the green at the par three 17th.
Knowing they were both sat on a course record score with one to go, the 18th proved a tricky experience, especially for Overton, who found sand with his drive and did well to escape with a par while Walker couldn’t get it close with his second and had to settle for a two-putt four.