Powerplay crowns first champ

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David Kemp has been crowned the UK’s inaugural National PowerPlay Golf Champion – after winning the first ever national championships to be played anywhere in the world featuring the new way to play golf.

The 20-year-old from Guildford, Surrey, lifted the Crown Golf National PowerPlay Golf Championship trophy with a 34pts score at Hampton Court Palace Golf Club – which was set up especially to host the final on its opening nine holes.

Playing in the last but one group, David stood on the final hole just one point behind clubhouse leader Pete Day and two ahead of Sean Lockyer, who had earlier staked his own claim for the title with a brilliant Black Flag bonus PowerPlay birdie on the last – rocketing him from 24pts to 30pts.

But needing just two points for victory, the supermarket cash clerk played it cool, refusing the optional last-hole PowerPlay and collecting par on the ‘safe’ White Flag, which was a brilliant strategy as it edged him to glory by a single point.

Representing Merrist Wood GC, David had played superbly in his round, shooting a gross 4-under par 32 and collecting an impressive 20pts from his three mandatory  ‘PowerPlays’ - where golfers opt to shoot for the more difficult Black Flag pin position, earning double Stableford points for a net birdie or better.

“I am absolutely delighted. In fact, to become the first PowerPlay Golf champion anywhere in the world is amazing,” said the three-handicapper, who even had to contend with a film crew from Setanta filming his 15ft birdie attempt on the last, which he lagged to six inches!

Forty golfers played in the final after successfully negotiating qualifiers held at 29 Crown Golf courses around the country. Players from as far afield as Nottinghamshire and Staffordshire descended on Surrey for a crack at the title.

PowerPlay Golf is described as ‘golf’s answer to Twenty20 cricket’. Played over nine holes, there are two flags on each green – one the ‘PowerPlay’ Black, one the ‘safe’ White. Players must take three PowerPlays in the first eight holes and earn double Stableford points for net birdies or better.