Guernsey Press

Le Huray and Mahy edge the clashes of the big guns

THE 2020 final rematch ended in a repeat result last night as Tom Le Huray knocked Danny Blondel out of the Island Championship.

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While the clash of two former champions did not bring out the best in either player on this occasion, with mistakes an unusually common occurrence for golfers of their class, it was close throughout although Le Huray never trailed.

He was 2 up after three holes, but he had been pegged back to all-square by the time they crossed Mont Cuet Road with Blondel having just produced the highlight of his evening with an eagle on the sixth.

But Le Huray forged ahead once more before the turn and had re-established a two-hole lead through 10.

After a poor drive off the next tee, though, he realised that the face of his driver was damaged and he had to make do without that club for the rest of the match.

He lost that 11th hole to a par and only a well-executed up-and-down from the right of the 12th green kept him ahead.

Both played the 13th, which was halved in fours, well enough to suggest there just might be a thrilling climax, but it did not materialise.

Blondel lost a ball on 14 to briefly give Le Huray a two-hole advantage once again, but he gave one back immediately with a bogey on the 15th.

After two successive pars for both, Le Huray remained 1 up going to the last where Blondel found the green while his opponent came up short into the wind.

But the 2020 champion played a quality chip at just the right time to give himself a five-footer for a par and that proved enough for him to progress and set up a meeting with CJ Elmy, who came from behind to defeat Christophe Chedhomme.

The other big clash of the night produced some better golf as Steve Mahy and Danny Bisson needed an extra hole to decide their fate.

Mahy had drained a good birdie putt on 15 to edge one ahead, but Bisson replied with a cracking wedge to within 8in. on the 16th to get back to all-square.

The next two holes could not separate them, so it was back down the first where Mahy’s ball ran just through the back of the green while Bisson was just short in two.

The latter rolled his approach putt up to 5ft, but he could only watch as Mahy then played the perfect chip which dropped in at dead weight to give him victory with a birdie three.

He will now face Dave Nicolle, who saw off Dave Robinson.

The other former champion in action last night, Jeremy Nicolle, was made to work hard for his win by Mark Bertrand before coming through in 17 holes and he now faces the in-form junior Conor McKenna, who overcame Stuart Wallbridge.

Two L’Ancresse first-teamers came through the other two matches with Arthur Evans getting the better of Dale Rutledge and he will play Tom Pattimore, who was a comfortable winner over young Tanner Austin.