Thirty nine players took part in week two of the Winter Order of Merit last Sunday. Missing was week one winner Graham Smith who, due to family commitments, will also miss next week’s combined Order of Merit and November Medal competition. The scores were slightly lower this week as many of the competitors struggled in high winds and occasional heavy rain squalls on the Lakes course. However, Adrian Cunningham, playing off 28 had no such problems. Adrian, who won the final round of the 2012/13 series with 46 points, won this week’s round with a total of 39 points. He had a great start with 22 points on the front nine. However, he then succumbed to the Rutland weather conditions like everybody else and found the back nine much tougher as the wind grew stronger and pulled in heavier rain.
Adrian “scored” his first blob at the par three 14th when he put two balls into the water but he bounced back with a birdie on the par five 15th. He struggled on the 17th and endured another blob but managed to bogie the last to give him 17 points for the back nine. Adrian reported that he found it tough going but said that his playing partners, Paul Jenkinson and Keith Goodacre gave him lots of encouragement. He will play the next round off 26 having been docked two shots.
Kevin Burdall took second place with 37 points just ahead of Alan Bennett with 36. Kevin will lose one shot and will play off 19 in the next round and Alan loses point five to take him to 7 next Sunday. John Sparks had another good week with 35 points to take fourth spot. Last year’s winner Steve Anderson, Chris Wheatland, David Copley, Kevin Hingle and Paul Jenkinson were all a further point behind on 34.
The overall leaderboard table has changed in the absence of week one leader Graham Smith who drops to second place with 50 points. Adrian Cunningham moves up from 16th position to head the leaderboard with 53. John Sparks jumps from sixth to third with another consistent round, he has 42 points. Kevin Burdall, who played his first game of the series on Sunday, moves straight into a joint fourth place with Peter Bagshaw, they are both on 40 points. It’s worth pointing out that it’s very early in the 22 week series, so the top places will no doubt change many times between now and the final on 30th March.
High winds kept the scoring down when the Ladies played in the end of year Former Ladies Captains competition on the Lakes course. Eve Mills, off 17, was the winner on the day. Eve said that it was played in very tough conditions but she was pleased to have ended the day with a win. 18 handicapper Jackie Friend was second on countback pushing Angela Wheeler, off 17, back into third place. Beryl Crosland took fourth place and Rena Lister rounded off the top five.
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