The seventeenth week of the Winter Order of Merit saw yet another first time winner. Ray Hughes returned a solid 39 points to win, just edging out Club Captain Trevor Smith with an equally impressive 39 points off scratch. Ray was docked two shots off his handicap and will now play off ten, Trevor also loses a shot and will play off plus one in his next game. Andrew Queen finished third on 38 points, he pushed Terry Smith into fourth place on count back. Andrew will play off eight in the next round after losing point five.
Paul Jenkinson produced another solid round and came in with 37 points, this takes him to the top of the Order of Merit leaderboard for the first time with 186 points, deposing overnight leader Ian Copley into second place some nine points behind. George Grant moves up to third with 161 points, just four ahead of Tony Mould in fourth who slipped back as he didn’t play this week. The injured Adam Clegg falls another place to fifth, he will be out for several more weeks yet and seems destined to drop down the leaderboard.
Trevor Smith jumps up nine places to enter the top ten once again and Ray Hughes moves up eleven places to enter the top twenty. Thirty one players have finished in the weekly top three places and have had a handicap reduction. Neil Harris is the only player in the top twenty five still playing off his original handicap.
Former Seniors’ Captain Peter McDonald Pearce had his first hole in one last week while playing with the seniors on the Valley course. Peter’s ace came on the par three third. Hitting into a strong headwind, Peter decided to go up two clubs and selected a six iron. The flag was on the far left hand side of the green which meant that he had a choice: go over the branches for the flag or go for the middle of the green. Peter went for the direct route and hit the ball cleanly over the trees, the ball landed six inches or so past the hole and spun back into the hole for an ace and five points. He and everybody in the clubhouse celebrated afterwards with a bottle of Jamieson’s Irish whisky to the delight of all who were eager to help him empty it.
The first round of the Gents’ Mail on Sunday competition saw Greetham Valley drawn away at Priors Hall, (Corby) The match was played in cold, wet and windy conditions – far from ideal to play in a competition like this.
Trevor Smith beat Tony Ferns two and one to set Greetham Valley up on the right track; Fraser Denholm continued the trend by beating Ryan Jeffray two up. Steve Anderson managed a half against Graham Thompson in a game that swung backwards and forwards for the whole round. Wayne Terrett lost to Corby Club Captain John Leneghan seven and six.
With everything hanging on the last match Neil Harris fought back twice against Mark Asher from two down to level the match coming in to the final hole. The team just needed a half to secure a win. Neil was unlucky on the flooded last green, he just lipped out on the final par putt. With the overall match all square Neil and Mark had to go head to head on extra holes in a sudden death shoot out.
With both players finding the hazard off the tee, the game was poised on a knife edge. Another flooded green and a second lip out for Neil saw the match slip away in favour of home player Mark Asher. Both teams battled hard in the cold winds and heavy rain for the tightest of finishes but the home advantage proved decisive in the end for Corby.