Despite an overnight frost which left Greetham Valley looking like a Christmas scene, Course Manager Adi Porter gave the go-ahead to use main greens for week eleven of the Winter Order of Merit. The first of the 38 players teed off using coloured golf balls but after an hour the frost had departed for pastures new. Former GV Captain Geoff Woolley, who has only played a couple of games in the 22 round competition so far, dealt with the conditions better than most.
While the frost was still around, Geoff had a very impressive 20 points on the front nine, despite a blob on the par three sixth. He had a further blob on the par five sixteenth but still scored a very creditable 17 points on the back nine to give him a total of 37. This was enough to earn him the win this week. He moved up from 52nd to 24th and saw his handicap cut from 17 to 15. Geoff said that the key to his round was using one club less on each hole, this helped to slow the ball when it got on to the green. By doing this he managed to stay on the green instead of shooting through it as many others had done, giving him a chance to putt instead of chipping.
Behind Geoff were three players with 36 points: last year’s winner, Steve Anderson, took second place, he was cut one shot to five. Carl Causbrook took third and will play off eleven next week, Ben Miles was relegated to fourth but while he didn’t get a cut he did miss out on this week’s prize fund. Ted Burke, Dave Copley, James Gore and Club President John Sparks all came in just a point further back with 35 points.
Adrian Cunningham didn’t play so well this week but still came in with 33 points and was placed tenth. However he retains his place atop the order of merit table, some 76 points ahead of second placed Kev Hingle. Steve Anderson moves up from fifth to third, Graham Smith and Fred Aspin both drop a place to fourth and fifth respectively. Only 18 points cover fifth to second so watch out for further changes next week. Carl Causbrook moved up from fourteenth to sixth, Ben Miles jumped up from eleventh to seventh while John Sparks moves up from tenth to eighth. At the half way mark of the series, organiser Neil Harris said that he is very happy to have welcomed many new competitors to the series this year. He went on to say that nobody would have been able to predict what the top ten would be as several “newbies” are well and truly in the mix.
The full line up of Team Captains for 2014 was announced this week. Chris Steele takes over the First Team Captaincy from Neil Harris, Steve Anderson will take over from Alan Bennett as Second Team Captain. Club Vice Captain Fred Aspin will look after the B Team and the Mixed Team, Neil Sellars will remain as C Team Captain. Liz Haughton will Captain the Ladies’ Scratch team, Jackie Friend will look after the Ladies’ League team and Ladies’ Captain Bev Dolman will sort out the friendly matches. Seniors’ Captain Radley Wardhaugh will lead the Senior teams, ably assisted by Vice Captain Peter Wood. Pat Jones will look after the Juniors.
PGA golf professional Neil Curtis completed his move from Melton Mowbray to start his Greetham Valley career off when he officially joined the Club on 6th January. Neil will be running the Golf Shop as well as visiting schools to spread the word about golf. He also intends to heavily promote junior lessons. He can be contacted at the Greetham Valley Golf Shop on 01780 460666.