Volkswagen Masters 2008 - Walton Heath

The second Volkswagen Masters regional qualifier of 2008 took place at one of the best inland courses in the country. With US Open qualifying taking place at Walton Heath less than a week after the Volkswagen Masters the course was in immaculate condition and competitors enjoyed a fantastic day

After difficult weather conditions during the first regional qualifier at Hunstanton competitors were greeted with glorious sunshine in Surrey for the second event. When you arrive at the welcoming clubhouse at Walton Heath you are given little indication of the beautiful 36-holes which are sculpted through gorse and heather just yards away. The first hole on the Old Course is a great 235 yard par 3 opener but it is not until you cross the road to the second that you know how special the layout is. The four par 3s, 10 par 4s and four par 5s test every part of the game with both length and accuracy needed for low scoring.

After a week of rain before the event the course was playing long and the rough was thick. This combined with fast and beautifully true greens competitors were given a true test of heathland golf. A field consisting of players from top clubs in the area competed for three places in the UK final which will take place at The Westin Turnberry Resort on the famous Ailsa Course.

Considering the difficulty of the course, players in Group A produced some impressive scores. Gary Coldwell came agonisingly close to winning the event with a score of nett 72 playing off 3. He was piped to fist place on a count back (which went to the final three holes) by Daniel Bowerin from Burhill. Bowerin finished with two birdies in the last four holes to take the title. Ian Barker finished in third place after a round of nett 73 playing off a handicap of 1.

In Group B it was Royal Cinque Ports member Peter Wills who sealed his place in the UK Final. The Australian also shot a round of nett 72 to win by four shots from Lamberhurst member Paul Crisp. Third place in Group B went to Peter Leckie of Ashford Golf Club who finished with a round of nett 78.

After two second place finishes for Lamberhurst members, Daniel Holt went one step further to take victory in Group C. The 19 handicapper finished with 35 points on the testing layout for a convincing victory. Richard Dunkley of Princes amassed 28 points to finish second and London Club member Gareth McMaster finished third with 26 points.

Paul joined Golf Monthly in 2006 in a junior role and has since worked as senior staff writer and now as technical editor. He writes equipment and instruction content and tests the vast majority of golf clubs that are introduced every year.