‘Brutal’ La Moye the ultimate test

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ONLY one person broke par during the 2023 Jersey Strokeplay Championships, and that player went on to lift the men’s edition of the trophy by one shot.

Royal Jersey’s Matt Parkman battled through a stout challenge from clubmate Sam Quail as he called upon ‘past experience’ to get over the line.

Meanwhile, in the women’s event, Flora Keites, fended off the challenge of Hannah Scriven after the pair were tied after the first round.

The now three-time champion Parkman said: ‘I was just enjoying being out there.

‘The conditions were super tough and I think the fact there was only one score under par all week showed exactly that.

‘Even after making three doubles on the front nine of the final round, there wasn’t really any panic there.

‘I knew I still had a chance and had a little word with myself between the ninth and tenth to remind me of that.

‘Playing with Richard [Ramskill] I knew that he was one ahead of me with nine to go, so I kind of got a little absorbed in playing him head-to-head back nine to ensure I finished ahead.

‘What Sam [Quail] did final round was incredible.

‘To shoot 75 in those conditions and to give himself a great chance of winning was seriously good after starting the round a few shots back.

‘He’s a top player and I’m certain he’ll have many more opportunities to win this tournament.

‘What most people don’t realise is that none of us are used to playing 72-hole events.

‘It is the only tournament we have during the year structured this way and that takes its toll physically as well as mentally.

‘You know that there will be difficult times during those four rounds and I think you have to be gritty and ride them waves.’

In the women’s championship, Royal Jersey’s Flora Keites was able to tame the ‘brutal’ conditions best to coast to a six-stroke victory over Hannah Scriven, both of whom will represent Jersey in the Island Games this summer.

What makes her victory that much more impressive was the fact she used a makeshift set of unfamiliar clubs, with her usual set on the mainland.

She said: ‘It was pretty brutal out there, bordering on a four-club wind.

‘The course was really firm and if you went off the fairways, you needed a provisional ball as the rough was so unforgiving.

‘Having the Jersey Legends tournament there in a couple of weeks’ time, La Moye really set the course up for a tough test.

‘When the weather is like that, it is important to manage your expectations.

‘You know that you’re going to drop shots, it’s all about limiting those to bogeys as opposed to making doubles or worse.

‘Patience is key also and not letting one bad hole ruin your frame of mind.

‘I was only home for one day and it happened to coincide with the event.

‘But my clubs were still in the UK, so I used a mixture of some of my old clubs and also my brothers’.

‘I think that helped going out with zero expectations in conditions like those.’

Keites and Parkman were both big supporters of playing the men’s and women’s event in tandem.

She said: ‘It seemed to work really well playing together.

‘It’s a sign of the times really and I think it gives the women an additional buzz playing on the same day as the top men in the Island.

‘The joining of the golf unions is great for the game and it seemed to really work well for this tournament.

Parkman echoed those sentiments and added:

‘I think everyone enjoyed it.

‘The women’s game is so well supported and they all seem to cheer each other on really well, which was refreshing to see.

‘I don’t think anyone knew whether the combining of the event would work, but it certainly has and looks like it will become more familiar in the future.’

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