The 2013 Britain’s Best Putter Regional Final stage moved on to the North East and the beautiful Moortown Golf Club in Leeds. The putting green at this Golf Monthly Top 100 course oozes character of its own. Set in the former site of a quarry, the design provides a natural amphitheatre, surrounded by the pro shop, club house and the first tee. This helped to add to the excitement and drama of the fifth 2013 Regional Final. The compact and pure putting surface, combined with some excellent putters, resulted in the lowest scores of the competition so far. The initial 18 hole stroke play round included two scores of 30 from Marcus Shepherd at his home course and Rob Walker of Bracken Ghyll. Five players, all tied on 35 putts, took part in a nearest the hole playoff for the final place in the top 16. That spot went to Brian Willerton of Cleveland Golf Club.
In previous Regional Finals the top seeds from the stroke play rounds have performed very well, so it was somewhat of a shock when both Shepherd and Walker went out in the first round of match play. After beating the number one seed, Willerton took full advantage of making it through the playoff and made it through to the semi final, securing his pace at the Grand Final at the Belfry in September. He met fellow Grand Final qualifier Tom Longhurst from Ponteland Golf Club, who secured his place with a victory over Ian McCombie on the fifth extra hole.
In the other half of the draw five handicapper, Dean White impressed in the early rounds to earn a spot in the Grand Final. He came up against +2 handicapper Nigel Sweet in the semi final. Sweet, from Leeds Golf Centre, had overcome the yips years earlier by switching from right handed putting to left handed. This was clearly a change that has worked wonders and Sweet impressed with a number of holed putts during sudden death situations. His stroke remained solid throughout the day and he went on to take the title of North East Regional champion. All four players will meet again in September at The Belfry where they will compete for the title of Britain’s Best Putter 2013 and a holiday to LUMINE Mediterránea Beach & Golf Club in Southern Spain.