Moor Hall trio Daniel Bardsley, Rob Bardsley and John Paul Banbury came storming back to win the English Champion Club at the weekend and have now targeted similar success when they face Europe’s best next month.
The Warwickshire representatives began the second round of the 36-hole event at Lilley Brook Golf Club on Sunday a shot behind the team from Henbury GC, who had hoped to win on home soil after making the finals from the Gloucestershire round of qualifying.
However, Moor Hall proved unstoppable in the final charge for the line with all three players shooting par or better to seal the victory ahead of 30 of their rivals.
In the end, the Moor Hall men ended with a combined three-man team score over 36 holes of 411 (-3). That tally allowed them to win the event by six shots from a Henbury side featuring Nick Day, Michael Day and Calum Mortimore.
Hexham and Yorkshire qualifiers Hallowes ended the event tied on a total of +12 with the Northumberland side edging third spot on countback. A total of 31 clubs took part.
On top of the title as English Champion Club, the Moor Hall team will now get the chance to fly the flag for England at the European Men’s Club Trophy, which will be held next month at Troia Golf Club on Portugal’s Algarve coast.
Speaking after the win, Banbury said: “We’ve all been friends for over 20 years through the juniors and onto the county scene and it’s great to win this as a team. We’ve all got similar games and are generally pretty solid. The idea was to make sure we were still in contention after round one and then to push a bit more in the second round. It helped that we were all playing with the guys from Henbury so that we could work out what they were doing. There was also a point around the turn where we could speak to each other and work out the state of play.”
Moor Hall’s opening day score of level par was highly commendable but they had their work cut out to try and pip Henbury. However, with Banbury firing a three-under par round of 66 featuring five birdies and just two dropped shots the deficit was soon overturned.
Daniel Bardsley’s consistency was also key – two level par rounds of 69 providing a solid base for the team. Rob Bardsley went one shot better to record rounds of 69 and 68.
Now the Warwickshire trio has their eye on more glory in Portugal. “Fingers crossed if we play as we did in this event then I think we have a decent chance in Portugal,” added Banbury. “We all can’t wait to play out there. I’ve checked out the venue online and while there’s a bit of planning and some re-arranging of holidays that need to be done first, we’re looking forward to competing.”