Round seven of the ten week Winter Order of Merit series was played on the Lakes course in the teeth of a very cold and biting wind on Saturday. With the wind gusting and constantly changing, it was quite tough to club and some got it badly wrong. Seventeen handicapper Peter Key played very well, coming in with 38 points to take third place. Second place usually gets a ripple of applause but this week the applause was quite thunderous. Former second team Captain Steve Anderson, playing his first full game after a major operation, took the position after scoring 40 points. Steve said that he was pleased with the way that he had played but what made him really happy was the welcome back from members, being able to play in rough conditions and still be competitive. He admitted to being a little tired but this bodes really well for the coming season for him.
The winner this week was Chris Howe, off fourteen, with a terrific score of 41 points. Chris said his game seemed suited to the conditions on the day but what really clinched it was his putting. He said that the greens were in absolutely superb condition and they gave him the confidence to go for his putts. Teacher Chris can’t play every round due to other commitments which is a pity as he could do very well. When he does play next, he will play off twelve after being cut two shots.
Martin Gore still leads the overall table with 140 points. Carl Causbrook, who seems to have crept up the table with very steady play every week, is in second place with 128. Dave Copley is just one point behind in third and Andy Webb is a point behind Dave in fourth place. Chris Tapsell, who lost three shots off his handicap after his win in week on, has 117 in fifth just one point ahead of Graham Smith in sixth. With two more games and the results from the March Medal to take into account, it looks like being a very tight finish to claim the trophy.
The twelve competitors in the Ladies’ Winter Order of Merit, who followed the men home, got caught up in the heavy downpour that also hit the last three groups in the men’s game. Last week’s winner Sheila Douty took third place this week with 29 points but that is still enough to consolidate her second place in the overall merit table. Junior Organiser Liz Haughton was second with 31 points. Daughter Ellie Haughton, not content with second place last week, bounced back with yet another win. Ellie had 19 points on the front nine including a blob on the fourth. She closed the back nine in the rain with 15 to finish with a score of 34. Ellie started the competition off twenty three and after being cut another shot this week will play the next round off eighteen. Nobody can catch her and the competition is now on for second place.
After two beautifully warm, almost early summer, days on Tuesday and Wednesday the competitors in the Lincolnshire Alliance looked forward to more of the same when they visited Greetham Valley for round six on the Thursday. Unfortunately, the weather bit back to remind everybody that we are still in the middle of winter. Constant rain coupled with a very cold gusting wind made a mockery of the previous two days’ sublime conditions.
The field of seventy two playing for the Corby Trophy nevertheless got on with it and the whole field completed the course. In the conditions the scoring was never going to be massively high but it was still very close at the top of the leaderboard. The Burghley Park quartet of Alan Kinch, Bob Emmins, Dave Jackson and Bill O’Driscoll took third place with 83 points. Second place went to a team from Waltham Windmill consisting of Steve Evans, Richard Pett, Jim Fletcher and Liam Lawton. They came in with a great score of 85 points but lost out to the eventual winners on countback.
Professional Andrew Hare and his borrowed team from Seacroft Golf Club in Skegness took the win. The Seacroft lads, Andrew Birks, Harry Lee and Keith Hussey said that Andrew led the team by example, making 41 points on his own. Andrew Hare took his own name in vain when he said that he never expected to be in a winning team consisting of Birks and Hare. Harry Lee made light of the conditions which he said were akin to a light breeze in Skegness. They were very pleased to accept the Corby Trophy from Lincolnshire County President James Lammin. Andrew Hare also won the Pro competition on the day from Paul Streeter who had 40 points.
South Lincolnshire and Midlands Secretary Neil Harris, who organises the Alliance, said that although many a scorecard came in wet and bedraggled, the course stood up to the battering and drained exceptionally well. He passed his thanks onto Course Manager Adi Porter and his team for their help.
The Rotary Club of Rutland which was formed in 1952 will hold a charity golf day at Greetham Valley on Tuesday 14th April. This has been a regular fixture at Greetham Valley since 2008. Chairman of the Foundation Committee, organiser and GV member Bruce Strickland said that all funds go to both local and international charities. Captain Fred Aspin who was in the winning team last year said that much of the work of the Rotary Club goes unheralded and urged members of Greetham Valley and neighbouring clubs to join in for a good day out and a chance to help others less fortunate. Contact Bruce Strickland via the Greetham Valley Golf Shop for an entry form.
The Greetham Valley Captains’ charity this year is for the Seb Goold Trust. They want to help Seb, who lost a leg after falling out of a bus on the way home from an under nine rugby tournament. Although he loves his rugby, Seb was also a member of the One Touch football team in Stamford before his terrible accident. One Touch are trying to raise funds for the Trust and will field a team of Coaches and Dads against a Peterborough United Legends team. The match will take place at the Borderville Sports Centre in Stamford and will kick off at 2pm on Sunday 2nd March. Greetham Valley member Karl Stokes, whose son played with Seb, said that they hope for a sell out crowd as it is not only for a good cause but will give fans a chance to meet up with some of the Posh legends.