MANCHESTER — Dave Sherborne admitted his best game was missing as he made his way through three days at the 60th Manchester City Golf Men’s Championship. What Sherborne brought instead was consistency, which on Monday landed him his third city title in five years.
Sherborne fired an even-par 70 in the tournament’s final round at Derryfield Country Club, putting him atop the leaderboard at 1-over overall and four shots ahead of runner-up Austin Fox. Sherborne spent much of the day tangling with Ryan Tombs, who entered Monday with a lead and would’ve been runner-up had he not been disqualified for hitting the wrong ball on the 18th hole. The scales tipped in Sherborne’s favor with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 15 and 16 to get a two-stroke cushion over Tombs, who opened the door for Sherborne with back-to-back bogeys on the 11th and 12th.
“I didn’t defend well in 2016 and didn’t play in this last year because of a bad back, so to get back into it and win is a good feeling,” said Sherborne, who captured city crowns in 2014 and 2015. “I kind of scratched it around all three days so it came down to keeping the ball in front of me. It’s always tough playing with guys like Ryan and others here who are bombing the ball all around. I know these aren’t super long golf courses so I don’t have to do that and can limit mistakes.”
Miscues were few and far between for Sherborne, a former Derryfield member who now plays out of Laconia CC, as his three bogeys on Monday were offset by three birdies.
The biggest of those birdies came on the par-4 15th as Sherborne rolled in a putt from around 55 feet while Tombs came away with a par.
“You don’t expect to make those putts, but being a member here at Derryfield for about seven years definitely gives me a little bit more of an idea of where putts are going to go.” Sherborne said. “I find when the nerves are on, the long, lagging putts are easier. There’s feel there, but not as much as from 8-10 feet. Nerves can play into those more as opposed to when you’re just hitting long to get it up somewhere close.”
While Sherborne played his way into another birdie on No. 16, he did not do so with aggression or urgency. After the work on No. 15, Sherborne played conservatively with his club selection, aiming to control shots rather than go all-in to assure he’d shed more strokes.
The systemic style allowed Sherborne to churn out a pair of pars on his final two holes to close out the win.
“I knew if I went par-par in, then Ryan would need to go eagle-birdie to match so I was just looking to stay away from mistakes,” Sherborne said. “It was five years ago that I lost to Austin (Fox) in this here. I had a two-shot lead into No. 17 and I hit it out of bounds. That was definitely playing in my mind and I just did enough to bring it home in the end.”
Sherborne’s win was not in doubt heading into the 18th hole, but second place proved to be a different matter. Tombs hit two tee shots on the final hole after believing his first ball was lost. Tombs ended up finding that first ball and played it out, which was what brought his disqualification. According to City Championship committee chairman Todd Becker, rules state that Tombs was supposed to play his second ball after hitting it, making the first ball he finished a wrong ball.
Rounding out the tournament’s top-three with Sherborne and Fox was Dan Arvanitis at 6-under, which was good for the Senior Division title as well.
Elliott Wallace, who finished 13th in the Championship Division, was the Junior Division winner at 13-over.
The Super Senior Division (age 65 and up) was topped by Alan Zawisza’s 15-over.