England (East) Region
09 Oct 18
Jason Groat (Denver Golf Club) and his wife Alison made it third time lucky with victory in the Marston’s Beer Autumn Classic.
The pair had previously finished second in the Spring Classic and tied-11 in the Summer Classic, both in 2017.
But the Groat combination tasted that winning feeling with a superb display over two days at Felixstowe Ferry and Woodbridge.
They racked up 85 Stableford points over 36 holes to record a two-point triumph. Will Farley (Rushmere) and David Cockrell were second on countback from Ben Hutton (Sudbrook Moor) and Andrew Green.
Groat and 28-handicapper Alison laid the foundations for their success with a huge haul of 47 points from the greensomes format staged on the opening day at Felixstowe.
That left them with an overnight lead of four points. The second day at Woodbridge produced fewer fireworks but they still tallied a more than respectable 38 points to deliver a satisfying victory.
Groat said: “Day one is knowing your partner – how they play – and playing to your strengths. If Alison hits the fairway from the tee, then I play the second shot.
“That’s our strategy. Failing that, if she plays my drive, then all she does is keep it in play.
“Either way, we’re onto the green for two or three – safe, no risk.”
On the second day the Groats were aware that solid golf in the better-ball format would keep them at the top end of the leaderboard.
Sure enough, they reeled off the pars with the odd birdie thrown in to eventually secure top spot.
Groat has been playing well of late and last month bagged the Wanstead Pro-Am. There have been other good rounds recently and he puts it down to a new putting regime at home.
Groat said: “From a month ago I thought I’d get a putting matt and hit 50 putts a night – 30 putts with both hands, ten putts with the right hand, ten putts with the left hand. It has resulted in two four-unders and three-under in the last five rounds.”
Proof, if any reminder was needed, that quality practice pays off.