Week ten of the Greetham Valley Winter Order of Merit got under way in unbelievable weather on the Lakes course on Sunday. Last year golfers were up to their knees in snow but this year throughout Rutland short sleeve shirts were the order of the day. The new year also brought a new winner – Gents’ Captain Jim Wheeler had a very impressive score of 41 points to take the win on the day, also scoring 50 points in the Order of Merit table which meant that he moved from thirty first place to seventeenth. Do you get extra golf skills when you become Captain?
Following up on with his win in the one off Christmas special, former Gents’ Captain John Sparks, playing off 12, had a brilliant front nine scoring twenty three points. However, with “only” eighteen on the back nine, this meant that he had to be content with second place on countback from Jim, he moved from twentyeighth to eighteenth place. John said that two silly mistakes cost him dearly, one on the fifteenth when he fluffed his chip on to the green, and an even sillier one when he went out of bounds on the eighteenth. These cost him not only the win but more importantly, a chance to get a really good score to start the year off well.
Long time leader Bob Beverley had yet another steady round and came in with 39 points to take third place. Bob said that he is concentrating on playing steady golf and is not going for any “miracle” shots. Second Team player Adam Clegg and Second Team Captain Alan Bennett both scored 38 points but Adam took fourth on countback.
The top four in the Order of Merit remain the same but Bob Beverley has extended his lead to 195.5, he is now 20 points ahead of Neil Harris on 175. Dave Copley slipped back a little and is now on 153.2 but he still remains ahead of Steff Dutton in fourth place, Steff has 134.8 points. The leaders are looking over their shoulders at Adam Clegg on 129.5, he has jumped up from tenth place to fifth and is improving week by week.