In the three years that the Winter Order of Merit has been running, almost sixty rounds have been held so far. In the first two years, only two people managed to win more than one round in either of the two years. In the 2013/14 season and after just thirteen rounds, Melton Mowbray’s Adrian Cunningham has already had three wins. The weather was cold and windy but mercifully, dry for round fourteen on Saturday, Adrian took full advantage of it to register yet another win. He finished just one point ahead of Carl Causbrook and two ahead of Martin Boughton. Adrian loses two further shots off his handicap, Carl loses one and Martin, point five. Graham Smith was relegated to fourth on countback, no money for that but also no handicap cut either which could be a small relief when you have already been cut to two. Adrian said that he is playing much better this year than he did in the last series by being less aggressive, and planning his way around the course better.
Adrian’s win gives him a 98 point lead at the head of the table over Carl Causbrook who moved up from sixth to second and a further ten more than Kev Hingle who dropped to third. Graham Smith moved up to fourth place and Trevor Smith drops from third to fifth. Steve Anderson drops to sixth place, Fred Aspin retains seventh, Jim Wheeler had a good move this week, he jumped from thirteenth to eighth. Adam Clegg and Ben Miles round off the top ten on the leaderboard.
WOOM organiser Neil Harris said that even though Adrian has a commanding lead at the moment, with fifty points available for a win, anything could happen over the next eight rounds.
Hayley Hunt had another win in the Ladies’ Order of Merit on Saturday, Jackie Friend was second and Sue Ellis was third. Hayley leads the field as a multiple winner, Helen Woolley who has also had a win in the series is second and Jackie Friend is in third place overall. Hayley, who only joined Greetham Valley a few months ago, said that the excellent short game practice area that is the par three Academy course has really helped with her short game and given her a lot of confidence.
The Seniors play ten games in their Order of Merit, they then take their best five scores from the ten. Steve Taylor sits at the top of the table with 178 points after seven rounds. Second placed Peter Morris is just nine points behind him and single handicapper Ken Stewart sits just three points behind him. Seniors Captain Radley Wardhaugh said that with three more rounds to count and the possibility of icy weather arriving at some stage this winter, it is still possible for anybody in the top seven or eight to take the win and the title.
The top two pairs in each division of the Winter League will go forward to the quarter finals after the round robin series finishes next week. In division one, James Ablett and Bryan Birchall have played five games, they have won four and drawn one, so no matter what happens in the next game, they will go forward into the quarters any way. Andy Dickinson and Brian McInerney have eight points but Gary Moat and Adam Smith have six; next week’s game is very important for both pairs. Ali McNaughton and Dave Pusch, who lead division two, also look destined for the quarters as do Bill Skinner and Peter Key, they have nine and eight points respectively.
Trevor Smith and Club President John Sparks look to set to triumph in division three, they have won four of their games and drawn one to give them nine points. Former winners Pete Dickinson and Peter Smith have won three, drawn one and lost one and have seven points. Club Captain Shaun Denholm and Wayne Terrett look to have nailed the top spot in division four after they won again on Saturday, they have nine points from three wins and a draw. Another former winning pair, Iain Bain and Dave Morgan have seven points and currently sit in second, however, Alan Bennett and Nick Cunnington also have the same amount of wins, a draw and a loss and also have seven points. Next week will be crucial for both pairings.