Golf: George Forder sets new York Rose Bowl record

York Press: Master of York, Fulford Golf Club’s George Forder Master of York, Fulford Golf Club’s George Forder

YORK golfer George Forder may have lost out on the main prize, but he still emblazoned his name across the pages of the city's golf history.

The Fulford Golf Club ace, York Union champion two years ago, came agonisingly close to lifting the York Rose Bowl at the competition's immaculate host base, York GC.

Forder was only toppled at the second play-off hole by Jamie Harrison of Rotherham GC.

But on a superb day of scoring, the not so scant consolation was Forder was that he posted a new course record 64 at the Strensall-based circuit, ironically besting the previous lowest score which was set in the inaugural Rose Bowl of 35 years ago by Sheffield player I McKenzie, who also set the two-round tournament record of 135 at the same time.

Forder's fantastic achievement proved a fitting celebration of the 35th anniversary of a tournament, which is regarded as one of the premier events on the York calendar and which also carries Yorkshire Order of Merit status.

Prepared by new head green-keeper Michael Rogers and his team, the course was in superb condition, boosted by a short rain storm at the outset of the tournament. That helped to soften the greens enough to enable competitors to attack even the most exacting of pin positions.

Evidence of sharp scoring quickly flared with a dozen players below the par-70 score, including two on 67, after the morning round.

Harrison, who had shot a 69, just had to navigate the 18th in par to not only equal the course record 65 but also set a new 36-hole Rose Bowl best of 134.

A fine drive, followed by an even better approach, and two solid putts yielded the new record two-round low.

Forder was in even more searing afternoon form. Four-under-par in the first nine holes, he birdied the 12th, but another birdie for a 64 proved elusive over the next five holes, all parred.

But that changed, again on the closing hole. A masterful drive, matched by an approach, left him a 15-foot putt, which he duly sank to eclipse the existing record and equal the new tournament best set by Harrison.

When the applause finally quelled, Forder and Harrison started the play-off, both parring the first extra hole.

Nerves started to take hold and needing a three-footer to halve the second, Forder's shot slipped agonisingly by.

Harrison won, but Forder joined him in the record books.

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