The tournament, taking place in association with NMB~Heller, has already seen a wealth of golfing talent from the accountancy profession compete at some of the finest golf courses across the UK during the regional finals stage. But in the end the competition was to end as it had started. In the wet. When the Masters teed off at Slaley Hall in Northumberland back in June, torrential rain had an inevitable effect on the lower handicapped players' ability to compete. The wet conditions slowed play down, with run on the fairways reduced to a minimum and putting becoming crucial to success. Many players found putting out difficult with the conditions demanding shot power over deft touches. The final, played at the famous Forest of Arden Hotel & Country Club near Birmingham, suffered the same fate with heavy and prolonged downpours throughout the day reducing scoring chances in the individual stableford. As one player commented: 'It was a long course and the weather made it even longer. Ultimately, it had to have an effect because a 17 handicapper won it.' Nick Moss of PricewaterhouseCoopers was eventually crowned as this years' champion, albeit with a relatively low score of 34 points. Moss was presented with the Accountancy Age Masters jacket by editor Douglas Broom and NMB~Heller chairman Stuart Parker. Moss, who had previously won the South East regional final at Nizels golf club, was delighted to take first place. 'It was a great day, apart from the weather. Even when I came in I didn't think I had won. When we got to the half-way point one of the guys in our four-ball said 17 points would win it on the back nine. The rest of the time was just about hanging in there,' he explained. Moss conceded the weather played a major role in the final and pledged to compete to defend his title in next year's event. 'The most annoying thing about the weather was having to put on your wet weather gear and then taking it off again,' he said. Second and third places were decided by a countback with Richard de Dombal edging in front of Dave Allison, of Ellis & Everard, with a crucial 19 points on the back nine holes to Allison's 17. Aside from their scores, de Dombal and Allison were connected by the fact they both play most of their golf as members at the Headingly club in Yorkshire. The tournament attracted an initial entrance of nearly 600 golfing accountants with just 42 making it through to the grand final. Finals day began with a three-ball Texas scramble competition on the club's Aylesford course. The four-ball of Andrew Merrick, Nick Moss, Michael Leigh and Ian Jacobs took the morning competition with 28.95 points. Individual stableford competition rules were in place for the final played on the Arden course, which hosted the British Masters tournament in 1997 and 1998. Although considered a parkland course, the Arden boasts a number of water hazards including the 209-yard 18th called Tontine. But the most famous feature is the island in the lake on the 17th hole. The courses' five-inch rough and notorious 13th also proved a challenge for competitors. The prizes for nearest the pin were taken by Malcolm Jones of the Ministry of Defence on the 8th and Richard de Dombal on the 18th. Longest drive was won by Andrew Jones of GW Jones & Co on the 3rd hole and last year's champion Ralph Brindle on the 12th. Winners were presented with their prizes during a gala dinner after the final. The event typified the good spirit in which the entire tournament was played in. Now established as a fixture on every golfing accountant's social calendar, the Masters has become a premier occasion for sporting and networking excellence in the profession. Entry forms for the next Masters, which will take place in the year 2000, will be printed in Accountancy Age later this year.
WINNERS 1999 ACCOUNTANCY AGE MASTERS FINAL, FOREST OF ARDEN HOTEL & COUNTRY CLUB, 29 SEPTEMBER Individual Stableford 1st Nick Moss 34 points 2nd Richard de Dombal 33 points (19 back 9) 3rd David Allison 33 points (17 back 9) Nearest pin 8th Malcolm Jones 18th Richard de Dombal Longest Drive 3rd Andrew Jones 12th Ralph Brindle Texas Scramble The four-ball of Andrew Merrick, Nick Moss, Michael Leigh and Ian Jacobs took the morning competition with 28.95 points.
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