Greetham Valley Juniors continue their excellent season with a win for Kian Pearce at the Ping Junior Open at Gainsborough Golf Club and a win for the junior team in the South Lincolnshire junior finals played at Sleaford. Kian won the Junior Open on his first visit to the course with a score of 66 (nett), playing off 16 whilst the Junior Team go forward to the Lincolnshire finals at Boston West following a convincing round-robin win at Sleaford. In their competition, the Greetham team of four played singles against each of two other teams and emerged unbeaten in any of the games recording 13 out of a maximum of 16 points. The team consisted of Tom Haynes, Harry and Joe Sargood and Izzy Haughton.
Saturday was a highlight in the golfing calendar at Greetham Valley with the Ladies and Gents Captains’ Day. With Stableford Qualifiers, a putting competition, target golf on the range and the par 3 challenge, there were prizes across the board thanks to generous sponsorship from Savvi Travel, Proputt, Nature’s Naturals, Pasqualino Risi, Harboro Hotel, Bruce Strickland and G&A Builders. Over 160 players entered the qualifiers but regrettably thunder and lightning in the afternoon, coupled with monsoon rainfall meant that most of the competitions were unable to be completed and were not decided. The one exception were the Ladies, who started and finished before the weather deteriorated, and Lesley Young took third place with a fine score of 38 points including a birdie on the third hole; playing off 19, Lesley held her game together well until the last four holes where she dropped a few strokes. Second place went to Jackie Friend with 39 points in a well-constructed round after the first hole where she took a six, but thereafter scored regularly. The overall winner, on countback, was Valda Austin who had the thrill of scoring a birdie on the final hole to take the top place.
The highlight of the day, however, had to be the Club Captain’s Charity haircut in which Club Captain Micky Fish and his step-daughter Corinne Barker had their heads shaved for the Captains’ charity, Dove Cottage Day Hospice; this event raised over £670. Not only did the two have their heads shaved but a golf break group staying in the hotel also joined in, with their captain also having a close cut and donating £90. Members were all very generous with payments for being allowed to take a turn with the shaver as well as Bob Scrafton and Ally McNaughton donating tickets to the British Seniors Masters at Woburn which were raffled and raised £150.
In the Gents Mid-week competition there was a very close finish with countback being the deciding feature amongst the top places. Fourth place was taken by young Winston Childs, whose handicap is coming down rapidly; Winston (23) started brilliantly with 19 points on the front nine and was well placed until a failure to card a score on the final hole. His score of 35 was beaten by Peter Maksymiw (also with 35) but he also fell foul on two holes with nil returns; a birdie on the fourteenth was enough to allow him to pip Winston for that place. Second place went to Darren Want (12) in a steady round of 37 which included a run of five pars in the middle of the course. The overall winner (also on 37) was Robert Lewin who must be kicking himself for not exceeding that score as he failed to score on two holes on the back nine.
Mike Pare recorded a hole in one in a friendly mixed match at Greetham Valley and was surprised to see the ball disappear into the hole on the Lakes course 12th hole. Whilst being naturally delighted he said the high spot was receiving kisses from all the lady players; he has now put his name down for more mixed matches.
The weekend at Greetham Valley saw the ever popular Moore Stephens Trophy, played in strokeplay format, being fought out in fine conditions but with a swirling wind that increased throughout the day. With a field of over 100 the Lakes course was in full use from 6.30 in the morning until late afternoon. From a host of scores of 71 Steve Anderson took third place on countback with 71 (nett) thanks to a finishing birdie on the final hole; Steve (9) played very steadily throughout his round although he was undone by the wind conditions on the 16th. Second place went to Neil Crees (9) with a fine score of 70 and, although he also struggled with the wind on the sixteenth, successive birdies on the back nine edged him into second place. The overall winner, with 68 was Luc Affleck who was cut from 16 to 14 following his excellent round; Luc, like a lot of the players ran into headwind problems on 16 but his consistent putting, where he took only 29 putts over the 18 holes, took him to the top of the leaderboard.
The Ladies also played for the Ladies Moore Stephens Trophy and, in their competition, Annie McCulloch took third spot with a nett 77. Second place went to Izzy Haughton (15) with a score of 73 nett and would have finished on top spot if she had been able to keep her form over the last two holes; with a remarkable start to her round Izzy only dropped six shots over the first twelve holes and was looking good for a top finish but weakened towards the end. For her efforts, Izzy’s handicap was reduced to 14. The top finisher was Sue Brand (16) who scored a nett 72 and finished with a flourish when she parred the final hole. Sue also had her handicap reduced by one for her day’s work.
The Gents Moore Stephens competition forms part of the Martin Boughton Summer Order of Merit competition, with results from 13 qualifiers being taken to identify the overall winner; with 50 points being awarded for a win and decreasing points for lower positions there is always a fight for the top spot. With four qualifying competitions to go, Nick Cunnington heads the table with 155 points but he is being closely pressed by Sam McCall on 150. Steve Anderson (111) and Chris Proudman (110) are also in the chase.
Following the Bank Holiday, the Seniors Section played their annual 3 club challenge on the Valley course and, as ever, the lack of available club selection on the course seems to have little effect on the stableford scoring. Third place was taken by Jack Vernal, with 36 points, who seemed to have the Alan Hodgkinson Trophy in the bag until he failed to score on the 17th. Second place went to Keith Smith with 37, but he also failed to score on the 16th when he carelessly missed a tap-in putt. The overall winner was current Seniors’ captain Mel Clarke with a fine score of 39.
During the week the Ladies played both a 9 hole qualifier, which was won by Maureen Wildblood, and a full qualifying stableford competition. The full competition proved to be a very tight finish with six players separated by only two shots. With the benefit of countback, Liz Haughton took third place with 36 points whilst Angela Wheeler was second with 37 in a round which oscillated in variety with a steady front nine (4 over gross) and a failure to score on the 14th. The overall winner was Ellie Haughton, also with 37, in a remarkable round that included an eagle, twelve pars and three failures to score.
Following the windy conditions of the Moore Stephens competition, calm returned to Greetham Valley for the Seniors’ September Medal, played on the Valley course, and low scoring came to the fore. Third place was taken by Bernie Bell with a nett 64 in a round in which he never made worse than a bogey and concluded the last nine holes in 4 over gross. Bernie, who played off 15 had his handicap reduced to 14. Taking second place on countback, also with 64, was John Dowding (15) and he played the back nine even better at 3 over gross. The overall winner was Steve Anderson, fresh from his triumphs at the weekend, with a fine nett 63 in a round of 5 bogeys and one birdie. Steve was cut to 8 for his efforts.