Middlesex Golf Union
Ealing hosted the 2017 Gowland Finals and, as ever, the course was presented in superb condition.
The first of the semi-finals was between Robbie Lyon of Fulwell and Nick Lines of Northwood. It was a great tussle between the two, and it was Lyon that would grab the initiative and head into the last three holes with a 2 up lead. However, in Matchplay one hole can change everything, and so it proved in this case. Lines won the 16th with a par and drew level on the next after Lyon's lost a ball off the tee. It came down to the Par 3 18th and Lines' approach came up just short of the green, but in good position. Lyon pulled his tee shot left and was faced with a difficult up and down, which he wasn't able to convert. Lines had a testing 5 footer for the win, which he cooly slotted home to reach the afternoon final.
The second semi-final saw another Northwood player in Sean Maxwell take on Crews Hill's Ross Dickson. After a fairly even start, some excellent golf from Maxwell saw him pull away from Dickson. He took a 4 up lead heading into the back 9. Maxwell would extend his lead to 5 up before Dickson pulled one back on the Par 5 12th. It looked very much like he would reduce the deficit to 3 on the 13th, but a superb up and down out of the bunker from Maxwell stopped any sort of comeback in its tracks. The match was then decided on the next when Maxwell made another up and down and Dickson failed to do the same. 5&4 was the final result.
The final was decided and it would be an all-Northwood affair.
Maxwell's fine form would continue and he took the final by the scruff of the neck, leading 3 up after 9 holes. Lines would apply some pressure over the next few holes, but Maxwell produced some outstanding golf just when it counted. A birdie on the Par 5 12th was followed by a rare birdie on arguably the toughest hole on the course, 13. A perfectly placed drive was followed by an equally good approach - an 8-iron from roughly 150 yards pitched perfectly on the front of the green an released out to around 10 feet. Maxwell had two for the win, but needed just the one, as he superbly rolled in his slopping birdie putt. The match was decided once again on the 14th. Lines made an excellent up and down which forced Maxwell to have to hole another putt from distance, which he duly delivered, and in doing so captured the converted George Gowland Salver for a first time.