Cowdray golf seniors’ open invite is taken up by 80

Cowdray seniors' open prizewinners
Cowdray seniors' open prizewinners

Cowdray Park seniors’ biggest event of the year, the seniors’ open, was played in unbroken sunshine and the course in pristine condition, with players giving praise to head greenkeeper Jonathan Smith and his staff.

Eighty players were representing 37 different clubs with four – Paultons, Royal Winchester, Seaford Head and Crowborough Beacon – represented for the first time, a tribute to the hard work put in by organiser David Imlach.

Eighty players were representing 37 different clubs with four – Paultons, Royal Winchester, Seaford Head and Crowborough Beacon – represented for the first time.

The players went round in teams of three, scoring individual or team Stableford points.

Overall winner with 42 points was Martin Sugarman (The Dyke) who, like last year’s winner, had not played the course before. In addition to his prize, he also received awards for two nearest-the-pin shots and was part of the three-ball with the highest combined total.

Winner of the home players’ prize for the best score went to the evergreen Dave Hirons with 39 points.

Former Cowdray Senior Jan de Vries (Littlehampton) used his course knowledge to good effect to set the standard with a score of 38 points, finishing third eventually.

Russell Braham (Bognor) recorded a score of 39 points for the runners-up spot playing alongside home player Peter Laws, whose 37 points put him fourth in the home section.

Barry Overington and Peter Hallt followed each other in with 38 points and Hallt won the prize for the over-75s.

Seniors’ captain Sam Howes praised the work of bar and catering staff, starters, ball spotters from the seniors and ladies’ sections, and, in particular, Imlach, who had worked tirelessly to get sponsorship, prizes and players.

Generous sponsorship was received from Harwoods Motors, Southdown Property Company and Cowdray Park Golf Club, with Harwoods also offering two luxury weekend driving experiences for auction, which raised £150 for Dreams Come True, resulting in a total of £542 being raised for the charity.

Prizewinners: Visitors – 1 Martin Sugarman (The Dyke); 2 Russell Braham (Bognor), 3 Jan de Vries (Littlehampton), 4 Gerald Brunton-Smith (Bramley), 5 Alan Wilson (Romsey), 6 Steve Smith (Cams Hall). Homne players: 1 Dave Hirons, 2 Barry Overington, 3 Peter Hallt, 4 Peter Laws. Nearest the pin: 3rd & 9th Martin Sugarman, 11th Harold Williams (Romsey), 17th Robert Mummery (Goodwood). Nearest in two: 12th Bill Hummerston; 18th Greg Townsend (Romsey). Best three-ball: Martin Sugarman, Peter Ruffle, David Sharp.

(Photos courtesy of David Heard and Tony Castley)

Cowdray Park Golf Club hosted Treloar’s annual charity Golf Day. After completing a fantastic 18 holes, around 100 people gathered on the green and watched one of the highlights of the day: hundreds of golf balls plummeting on to the specially-made temporary hole as an Atlas Helicopter, hovering at 90ft above a green, dropped 1,000 balls.

Balls were sold for £2.50 each and the one that went in or closest to the hole won their lucky buyer £500 with the rest raised going to Treloar’s.

The idea was tried successfully last year and Atlas Helicopters’ managing director Mike Burns was keen to do the drop once again.

While no balls went in the hole this year, the ball closest belonged to Noelle Nutman, an occupational therapy administrator at Treloar’s, who purchased the golf ball for her five-year-old son Harry. Both were delighted to find out they had won the competition.

Harry was thrilled with his golf ball and has kept it with him since. Noelle will use some of the prize money to treat Harry and his father to an overnight stay at Legoland. They also plan to buy a sensory toy for the children of Harry’s age at Treloar’s.

Cowdray ladies played in the Ping four-ball better-ball off three-quarters handicap.

Winners were Wendy Street and Barbara Smith with 42 points. Tessa Stockwell and Solveig Burton were second with 41 points, closely followed by Judy Stillwell and Jenny Nichols with 40 points.

CHICHESTER

Chichester ladies held their invitation day involving 11 teams on a sunny day but with a strong wind which made conditions challenging.

A new format was tried this year – teams of three with two scores to count. Most teams comprised two Chichester members with one guest.

Results: 1 Elaine Fell, Lisa Jackson and Pam Homer (Littlehampton) 75pts; 2 Kathy Donohoe, Trivia Robertson and Jean Barnett (Cowdray Park) 74; 3 Sang Porter, T Toto and Jackie Heard 73.

BOGNOR

Andrew Field and his Bognor PGA pro Matthew Kirby are a step away from following in the footsteps of Europe’s Ryder Cup heroes with an appearance in the Lombard Trophy final at Gleneagles.

Field teed up a chance to tread the fairways of the PGA Centenary course, venue for the dramatic matchplay win over the United States last year, on September 1 and 2 when he won his club qualifying competition with a nett score of 65.

He and Kirby advance to the regional final at Royal Ashdown Forest Golf Club on July 20, where they will compete against up to 70 other clubs for the chance to secure one of 16 prized spots available for the 36-hole grand final.

Lombard, the UK’s largest asset finance provider which invests in local and regional business, has enjoyed a long association with the event, helping make it the biggest pro-am in Europe.

The tournament attracts entries from upwards of 700 clubs across Great Britain and Ireland.

The PGA National Pro-Am Championship has a total prize fund of £80,000, with the winning professional at the grand final taking home a cheque for £12,000.

Field, a 46-year-old area sales manager from Middleton, has been playing golf for 35 years and plays off a handicap of four.

Kirby, 40, has been a professional at Bognor for 11 years.

GOODWOOD

Marco Penge has been crowned Henry Cooper junior masters champion after a dominant performance across three days of competition at the Nizels Golf & Country Club in Kent.

Competing against a field of 128 players from around the world, the Goodwood ambassador finished on an imposing 14 under par to claim the coveted title by a staggering seven points from Bathgate Golf Club’s Joseph Bryce in second.

Recognised as one of the most prestigious under-18 championships in the world for boys and girls, the tournament is set up to replicate a European Tour event with tee boards, a hospitality marquee, giant scoreboards and caddies.

On route to his victory, the 17-year-old scored a hole-in-one on the 16th par three to finish on 66. Moving into the final round, Penge shot seven birdies to finish with a fine five-under par 67.

The victory topped an impressive week for Penge, who was also named Sports Aid athlete of the month for June following his stellar victory at the Scottish Open strokeplay championship, widely seen as the biggest win of his career.

Stuart Gillett, Golf At Goodwood general manager, said: “Once again Marco delivered a brilliant performance in what was a highly-competitive field of international players at the Nizels Golf & Country Club.

“After a difficult event in Scotland at the amateur championship, Marco showed great character to bounce back and win the event by a staggering seven shots. We are delighted to have a young talent such as Marco represent Golf At Goodwood.”

Penge has been named in the England Golf boys’ teams to compete at the European team championships in Finland, which start today (July 7).

COUNTY SCENE

Sussex ladies had a fantastic week competing against Surrey, Hampshire, Kent and Middlesex at Worthing GC to win the England Golf south region county match week.

Having prepared throughout the winter with practice rounds and coaching, the team put their hard work to good effect and maximised home advantage winning by the slimmest of margins – the very last game on the final afternoon.

The team of ten players, highest handicap just three, was led by county champion Chelsea Masters (Highwoods) and included Bognor’s Chloe Court.

Early in the week Sussex notched up good wins, beating Middlesex 9-0 and Kent 6-3. Against Hampshire, Court – unbeaten in her five matches – helped Sussex to a vital win.

Alice Barnes (West Sussex GC) clinched the crucial win on the final afternoon against Surrey.

LITTLEHAMPTON

Scratch handicap golfer Sam Dix won the club championships on the links at Littlehampton GC after a thrilling three way play-off which last fully seven holes.

The annual event, played over 36 holes on a medal format, attracted a large field of club members and the morning spoils were shared by former champion Simon French and 18-year-old Josh Strudwick after they both carded one-over-par 71s to hold a one-shot lead over Dix, Chris Sykes and Paul Marjoram.

As the wind strengthened scoring proved harder but when Strudwick got up and down from sand on the 18th he posted a testing 144 aggregate total. Playing in the last group Dix and Sykes both had birdie chances to win outright on the last hole but after both players repeated their

morning 72s a four hole play-off ensued.

When Sykes bogeyed the first two play-off holes, and Dix ran up a double bogey six at the par four second, it looked as if Strudwick would be the youngest winner of the club’s elite trophy but bogeys on the last two holes meant the threesome went into sudden death as the light began to fade.

Three became two when Sykes lost a ball on the first hole – the fourth time in one day the golfers had played it. After two nerveless pars the play off was eventually decided on the par three third hole in favour of Dix when Strudwick’s par putt shaved the hole after pushing a tee shot into the right hand greenside bunker.

In the handicap division, Ben O’Connor won the Presidents’ Cup with a nett aggregate of 134, six under par, to win by one from David J Baker, who was one clear of Paul Kitcher on 136, four under par. Ian Coleman was the only other player to be under handicap for the day on 139.

Club captain Mike La Forêt thanked the greenstaff for the much-improved condition of the course. Trophies were presented by 11-time club champion Wayne Hawes.

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