With just three places remaining in the Volkswagen Masters UK Final 42 competitors were treated to a wonderful day at Royal Porthcawl for the last Regional Final of 2008.
The fantastic links in South Wales completed a world class list of courses which have hosted this years Regional Finals. Porthcawl is a course that oozes history and is a fine representation of a classic seaside layout. The venue is renowned for its warm welcome and more than lived up to its reputation when golfers from all over South Wales arrived to compete in the Volkswagen Masters.
The course constantly changes direction which means the often strong winds from the Atlantic Ocean make shot shaping and control the key attributes to scoring well. As with many of the classic links courses bunker placement at Porthcawl is not far from perfect. Pot bunkers severely punish any wayward approach shots and, as many competitors found out, even on a relatively calm day the course is a tough test.
With a trip to Turnberry at stake the pressure was on and St Pierre member Arnie Pidgeon thought his challenge was over early on when he dropped four shots in the first four holes. The 5-handicapper fought back brilliantly though and was two under par on the back nine, which was good enough to take victory in Group A. Ian Edwards of Neath Golf Club was unlucky not to qualify, loosing out on count-back after a magnificent round playing off one.
Geraint Evans from Pyle and Kenfig managed to overcome adversity to claim victory in Group B. The 12 handicapper is scheduled to have knee surgery in two weeks time and after his superb round of nett 72 faces a fight to be fit for Septembers UK Final.
After taking six to escape one of Porthcawls intimidating bunkers Tenbys David Henry thought he had blown his chances. He battled on and finished with 34 Stableford points which gave him victory in Group C.