Greetham Valley Past Club Captain Neil Crees has qualified for the Final of the English Golf Union Golf Captains’ competition. Open to all English captains (past and present) the competition is played over a qualifying round at a number of courses and the top ten at each qualifying location go through to the two day final being played, this year, at Fulford Golf Club. Playing at the Royal Mid-Surrey in a field of 106, Neil scored a fine 34 points on a course unknown to him, and his back nine score of 19 points gave him a qualifying entry on countback.
Over the weekend there was a fine battle in both Ladies and Gents sections in the Greensomes competition. Between the top two teams in the Gents section there was little to choose with both teams scoring 40 points; ultimately second place went to Darren Haughton and Joe Sargood but the overall winners, on countback, were Jamie Lowndes playing with Terry McNulty. The Ladies Greensomes was won by Liz Taylor and Pat Jamieson with 39 points leaving Jackie Friend and Bev Dolman in second place with 35.
On Sunday the Gents 18-28 Championship was a close run thing, with 39 players competing. This stroke-play competition has trophies for both gross (Hinch Trophy) and nett (Easson Trophy) scores and the top two players took those positions in both cases. Third place in the Easson Trophy was won by (Junior) Winston Childs who had an exciting round which faded slightly over the last three holes but he still carded a nett 70 and earned a one shot reduction to his handicap; in the gross competition Winston was pushed into fourth place by Frank Hinch who scored 93 gross. Second place went to Chris Ellis with a nett 68 (gross 90) including a birdie on the 6th hole; Chris was shaping up for an overall win with room to spare but got carried away on the final hole where he took a nine after several penalty shots; in spite of this he still carded a good score and,as a result, his handicap has been cut to 19. The overall winner of both categories was Ray Pagett with 87 (gross) and 67 nett; Ray played a remarkably consistent round with only two scores worse that a bogey but he mitigated one of these with a birdie on the long 15th although that was needed after a visit to the water on the previous hole. Ray was delighted to see his handicap reduced by 2.
The Seniors played the first of their two rounds (one on each course) which aggregate to decide the Seniors Champion golfer. Playing the Lakes course in sweltering conditions most of the field found the heat sapped their energy as the round went on. With prizes for the best gross and nett scores over the two rounds there was a lot to play for. Steve Taylor will be kicking himself for letting the pole position slip on the final hole in each half of his round; on the ninth and the eighteenth he carded a triple bogey but still had the score to take third place with a nett 73 (gross 88). Second position was held by low handicapper Ken Porter, also with a 73 nett (gross 84) thanks to a solid back nine with only 3 shots being dropped to gross. The overall winner was Graham Smith, playing off 5, who had a nett 72 including birdies on the short par 3s. With eight players within five strokes of Graham, there is still all to play for in Round 2.