North West Round-up: Augusta record holder in CheshireApril, 2015 News & Tour
Maurice Bembridge at Delamere, Didbury storm damage
The only European golfer to hold the course record at Augusta National with a score one shot better than Rory McIlroy’s best effort in 2011, returned to another venue where his 48-year-old course record still stands.
Maurice Bembridge, 70, qualified for the 1967 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool by scoring a 9-under par 63 at Delamere Forest in Cheshire.
Maurice’s record was matched last year by 16-year-old club member Lewis George and featured a back nine of just 29 shots.
‘I have very fond memories of the club’ Today, in the company of Lewis, Maurice played over the final holes that have been remodelled by Mackenzie and Ebert.
“It was really great to be back at Delamere Forest and to remember what I achieved all those years ago,” said Bembridge. “They’ve done a great job with the re-design, but I can still see some of the course that once stood out there.
“I have very fond memories of this course and it was a pleasure to be playing with Lewis who recently matched my record, although he wasn’t playing for a place in the Open.”
Seven years later, Bembridge set the course record at Augusta National during the final round of the 1974 Masters thanks to a remarkable back nine where he birdied every hole around Amen Corner on the way to a final round 64 to finish tied 9th.
Bembridge held the course record for 12 years before Nick Price shot a 63 in the third rounds of the 1986 Masters.
On his return to Delamere Forest, Bembridge was presented with a silver scorecard plaque honouring his long-standing course record. He was also made an honorary life member of the club.
Didbury damaged by storms
A golf club was damaged after storms and 70mph winds tore down trees and flooded the course.
Didsbury took a battering with trees brought down and the River Mersey burst its banks and flooded the 9th hole.
New drainage ensured the course drained completely by the following day.