Salisbury and Talbott scoop the spoils

Salisbury and Talbott scoop the spoils


David Salisbury celebrates his success in the East region Championship at Bishop's Stortford Golf Club

David Salisbury (D.S Golf) surged to victory in the East Region Championship, thanks to a dazzling eight-under-par 63 in the second round.

The Essex professional signed off at seven-under-par for his two days’ work at Bishop’s Stortford Golf Club.

That 36-hole tally left him one clear of Mark Talbott (Thorpe Hall). But the runner-up, who equalled the course record with a 62, had significant consolation as he finished top of the East Region’s three-tournament 2021 Order of Merit series.

Both men were in exceptional form on day two as Bishop’s Stortford offered up eagle and birdie opportunities. Indeed, Talbott made no less than three eagles to power up the leaderboard after opening up with a first-round 74.

He almost notched an albatross on the fourth hole as a towering 6-iron pitched just in front of the cup and somehow finished behind it for a tap-in three. 

Top dog Mark Talbott with the spoils after finishing first in the East Region's Order of Merit for the second successive season

Another imperious iron set up a further eagle on the 12th before he chipped in from behind the green for a two on the short par-4 14th.

At that point it looked as if Talbott might add the East Region Championship crown to the East Anglian Open title he secured at Ingrebourne Links last month. But Salisbury – who teed off 75 minutes later – came up with plenty of fireworks of his own, covering all the bases to secure a second Order of Merit win.

The Benfleet golfer chipped in for a birdie at the third and then eagled the next. With the wind in his sails, Salisbury delivered a stunning back-nine birdie burst– four on the bounce from the 12th.

He got up and down from a greenside trap at 14 and then holed out with a ‘belly wedge’ shot from the side of 15. But the telling blow was delivered at the tough par-3 17th where he sank an uphill putt from the best part of 50 feet for a two. 

Keeping cool under pressure at the final hole, he ripped a 7-iron approach from 164 yards to 12 feet before two-putting for the win. It meant Salisbury had gone one better in the event than two years ago when he lost in a play-off to James Watts.

Salisbury, 46, said: “I’m really pleased. I’ve been struggling with my body this year a lot and I’ve spent the last week, pretty much, laying down and not being able to swing a club. To shoot a round like that was really good.

“Honestly, I didn’t really hit it that good until I was doing better. Then, I guess more of an automatic mode takes over. Not so much adrenalin – more auto-pilot stuff. I was just trying my best.”

For Talbott, it’s the second successive season that he has finished top of the pile in the Order of Merit race.

Talbott said: “It means a lot. Coming into this week, I knew I needed a reasonable event to win the Order of Merit. So, the first-day plus-three wasn’t exactly the dream start. But I knew I’d been playing well all year, so I just kept patient and started to get a couple of putts dropping.”

Sailsbury, Talbott and Dodd
Mark Talbott (c) is flanked by David Salisbury (l) and Lawrence Dodd (r) - the leading trio from the region's 2021 Order of Merit

Joining Talbott from the East Region in the PGA Play-Offs will be overall Order of Merit runner-up Lawrence Dodd (Culford School) and Salisbury, who edged third spot in the annual rankings ahead of James Ruebotham (Welwyn Garden City). 

Dodd completed a consistently fine season with an excellent 65 at Bishop’s Stortford, lifting him into sole possession of third place in the tournament.


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