Kent Open 2014
Lost Island Adventure Golf, Sidcup
Kent wait until next season.
On a dry Sunday morning in November (which is the best you can ask for to be honest), the 2014 Kent Open took place at the Lost Island Adventure Golf course at Sidcup.
Preston was wary of what could happen as this was another new course to learn on the day and a new ball to contend with as this tournament as well as the World Crazy Golf Championship are the only two events on tour where you can only use the one ball which is the same for all players to use.
After being the first to arrive at the course, it was difficult to practice without the tournament ball but once John 'Big Top Ted' McIver pointed Preston in the right direction to practising on the correct course, things started to click into place.
The aim for the weekend for Paul was to finish in the Top 20 as he had no prior knowledge of the course before the day versus some really good players from the highest echelons of the game.
Paul was paired with the experienced John 'Ted' McIver and the debutant, Kathryn Haynes.
The first round started well with eight pars but dropped shots on Hole 9, a downhill left to right hole and Hole 13, a double uphill ramp hole meant an opening round of 38 to open the tournament.
Preston was 10th after Round One, surely he would be caught after Round 2 as there were a few surprising opening round scores.
Round 2 saw the first ace for Paul at the one angled hump Hole 5. The one under score did not last long as dropped shots at Hole 8, inside a cave and Hole 11, when a poor tee shot deserved a bogey score, meant a second round of 37. This kept Preston in 10th place and in with a shout of a prize in his Category sitting in third place behind fellow Wasp, Steve Lovell and Andy Exall.
The final round didn't see a last hurrah and a charge up through the field. Especially after being two under after seven holes, a bad spell of four bogeys in six holes put pay to a good finish. A final round total of 38 put Preston in a good spot beating both his playing partners, Mark Wood and John McIver by one shot overall.
With just three groups behind Paul's group, it was not certain if any moves up the leaderboard would be seen. And after a number of tied scores at the end of the tournament and no technology available, it would be the days after the event that we would see the final position and it was a final position of 11th for Preston which is a great achievement considering the level of competition and a debut course and ball. Coupled with a third place in Category Two, the day was certainly one to build on for the future.
Paul also finished with the best average for Hole 5 with two aces in three attempts.
Average Hole Scores for Tournament
2.08 2.09 2.07 2.24 2.13 2.07 2.31 2.46 1.94 2.33 2.23 2.18 2.37 2.28 2.09 2.09 2.98 2.20
Average Round Score - 37.67
Aces - 3 (24.07%)
Pars - 43 (68.52%)
Bogeys - 8 (5.56%)
Double-Bogeys - 0 (0%)
Triple-Bogeys - 0 (0%)
British Ranking - 26 (up 5)
Season Ranking - 6 (=)