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in slick greens, test­ing pins and holes like the 10th and 18th that are ca­pa­ble of play­ing games with the mind as well as the golf swing, and there was no doubt that the win­ner would be a thor­oughly de­serv­ing cham­pion.

Iconic holes like the 10th and 18th did, in­deed, sort the men from the boys and the women from the girls, with the 10th tee teas­ingly placed to make many think that it was worth tak­ing on. Of those who did, some found a watery grave; oth­ers were re­warded for their brav­ery.

Rhys Lawrence was crowned the 2016 Titleist Order of Merit Cham­pion, and in his first com­pet­i­tive round with the new Titleist 917 driver, his big hit­ting also helped him pick up the Long­est Drive award. Mean­while Pat Do­ran, who claimed the Ladies’ Divi­sion 1 ti­tle by the nar­row­est of mar­gins on count­back, was no doubt aided by her Near­est the Pin ef­fort. The other divi­sional prizes went to Gary Wright, Barry Elsby, Barry Wil­son, Kath­leen King and Liam Dun­can, who all walked away with new Titleist stand bags and a dozen Titleist golf balls.

The spoils of over­all vic­tory for Rhys Lawrence in­cluded a cus­tom-fit set of Titleist irons, an im­pres­sive Titleist tour bag, and a dozen Titleist golf balls to help re­place any that may have fallen prey to The Brabazon’s fa­mous wa­ter haz­ards along the way.

All the win­ners – in­clud­ing team vic­tors, Eng­land – were pre­sented with their prizes fol­low­ing a splen­did three­course gala din­ner, be­fore a lux­u­ri­ous overnight stay at The Bel­fry. All were also un­der­stand­ably thrilled and proud to have made it through to the Grand Final from a start­ing cast of over 27,000. If all that has fired your com­pet­i­tive juices, and you’re a mem­ber at any of the 1,800+ HowDidiDo clubs, make sure you get your free en­try in when de­tails of the 2017 Titleist Order of Merit pow­ered by HowDidiDo and Golf Monthly are an­nounced early in the New Year. Who knows – next year it could be you at the Grand Final. Best eight net scores from ten 1st – Eng­land – 696 2nd – Wales – 700 3rd – Scot­land – 710 4th – Ire­land - 714

di­vi­sions, with ten com­peti­tors for each coun­try – Eng­land, Scot­land, Ire­land and Wales. Each team in­cluded five men, three ladies and two ju­nior qual­i­fiers.

With HowDidiDo au­to­mat­i­cally col­lat­ing scores, all the Titleist Order of Merit en­trants had to do was check their progress ev­ery Mon­day morn­ing fol­low­ing the week­end com­pe­ti­tions at their clubs. Those putting in good per­for­mances ea­gerly logged in to the HowDidiDo web­site to see if their good show­ings had pro­pelled them to­wards the very pin­na­cle of the Titleist Order of Merit for their cat­e­gory.

Com­pe­ti­tion for places at the Grand Final was, as you can imag­ine, in­tense, with no qual­i­fier guar­an­teed of his or her spot un­til the last medal at any reg­is­tered club was com­pleted. Sev­eral fi­nal­ists com­mented on the nail-bit­ing wait to see if their ef­forts had been good enough, pend­ing the out­come of com­pe­ti­tions else­where up and down the coun­try beyond their con­trol.

For the 40 fi­nal­ists, the Brabazon course that awaited them was a suit­ably fit­ting arena over which to de­ter­mine the 2016 Titleist Order of Merit Cham­pion. The course was in in­cred­i­ble con­di­tion for late Oc­to­ber, but play­ing long. Add Tak­ing on the iconic 10th hole Over­all win­ner Rhys Lawrence

Eng­land took the spoils in the team com­pe­ti­tion

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