The 2012/13 Winter League started on 27th October with a round robin series of games from which two players from each division went forward to the quarter and semi finals in March. The final on the 24th was called off due to a large influx of snow but finally took place this weekend. The finalists, Peter Dickinson off six and Peter Smith off twenty four played four handicapper Ben Gasson and Matt Asher off thirteen on the Lakes course off yellow tees on a dry but very cold day.
First blood in the front nine went to the two Peters who were two up after four holes; this deficit was reduced to one after Ben made a birdie on the long par four fifth. After the completion of the front nine, the two Peters were still one up in spite of another birdie from Ben on the ninth. Ben and Matt took the tenth to make the match all square but Peter Dickinson managed to win the thirteenth to reinstate their lead. After halving the fourteenth, Ben and Matt birdied fifteenth, but this was halved by a par with a shot. Ben got his third birdie of the day on the index one par five sixteenth only to see this also halved when Peter Smith parred it with a shot.
With only two holes to go and just the one hole in it, things were getting a little tense for both sides. On the seventeenth, Ben hit a massive drive to give himself a short iron shot to the green and a chance for another birdie to level the match. Peter Smith who was on the green in regulation went first and hit his putt close to the hole. Ben just lipped out with his birdie putt which meant that Peter, who had a shot on the hole, had to drop his par putt in to win it, he said that he felt very tense but took his time and sunk the putt to win the hole, the match and the title.
Ben and Matt said that they couldn’t have played any better in the conditions, Ben was one under gross for the round. Nobody enjoys being beaten in the final of any game but they were gracious in defeat and congratulated their opponents. The two Peters said that it was a very tough competition all round but the final was their toughest game of the series and they thought that Ben and Matt were going to pull them back on the fifteenth and the sixteenth. They don’t receive their trophy until prize night in November but their thoughts turn now to next weekend when the first white tee competition of the year, the Anniversary Trophy, gets under way on Saturday 6th April.
The Easter Pairs competition, which is always played on the Valley course, looked to be in jeopardy at the start of the week but even though it was very cold, the snow melted enough to allow it to go ahead. Not all of the snow had departed and with all of the bunkers still full of it, they were judged to be GUR meaning a free drop if you ventured into one of them. Played over three days, Friday, Saturday and Monday, members could play all three days as long as it was with a different partner each time.
In the men’s competition, forty three seemed to be quite a popular number as the top four all came in with the same score and were separated on count back. The first of the forty three’s and winners overall were Peter Key and Graham Day, they beat Darren Want and Leon Wyche into second place. Club Secretary Dennis Millington and Club President Martin Boughton were third and Alan Bennett playing with Simon Bateman were fourth.
Sophie Beardsall and Pat Jamieson won the Ladies’ competition with a score of thirty six. Ladies Vice Captain Bev Dolman and Jackie Bailey were second, they scored thirty five. Gilly Grant and her partner Helen Woolley were third on thirty two.