Cowdray Park seniors’ November Stableford signalled the end of the year for the section’s Eclectic Trophy standings, which as always saw an exciting climax.
Expectations were high going into the final round as the top six – Peter Laws, Nick Austin, Gordon Kendall, Phil Harrison, Dave Hirons and Dave Lucking – were all covered by one shot.
All were dependent on scoring those last elusive pars or sinking a few more birdie putts to secure first place.
Paul Owen, who had led for most of the year with eight pars and ten birdies, had set a fast pace but a niggling injury at the wrong end of the season prevented him from resisting the challengers.
Players who made the biggest improvement in the final round were Peter Hallt (77th to 57th), Peter Burton (48 to 29), Derek Smith (39 to 24) and Peter Hardcastle (62 to 47).
Two notable climbers into the top 20 were David Laver, up 13 to 20, and vice-captain Sam Howes, up from 14 to four after lowering his Eclectic score by three shots on the final day.
As always, it has been a fiercely-contested competition with five different players holding the lead during the year.
Not surprisingly it all came down to the back nine in the final round to determine the winner.
Three of the six leaders were able to improve their Eclectic score – Gordon Kendall and leader Peter Laws by one and the ominous figure of Dave Hirons by two.
Laws scored a magnificent birdie three on the 14th, with a driver and a lob wedge to the green, while Hirons told his playing partners which holes he needed to birdie and then promptly did so, dispelling the myth that he is the unluckiest golfer.
It ended in a two-way tie between Laws and Hirons on 54½ (1½ better than last year), with Hirons taking it on countback with a gross 27 (seven birdies) on the back nine, just coming up on the rails to win as he did two years ago.
The Cowdray Park seniors’ Captain’s Prize for 2015 is only a short time away, and the winner of the 2014 competition, Nick Austin, received his award from skipper Brian Brockhurst and next year’s captain Sam Howes.
Cowdray Park seniors held the Elliott Cup, with players only allowed two clubs and a putter. Ingenuity in the choice of clubs and initiative in how to use them became the order of the day.
Many players found their scores were surprisingly good, equalling or in some case exceeding recent scores with a full set of clubs.
Afterwards many players were puzzling over what to do with the 11 clubs they found they did not need.
Setting the early pace with 34 points was David Laver, building on his fine round in the Stableford; however Roger Poat wasted no time in recording 36, which proved sufficient to win the day.
Big-hitting Peter Laws followed up his runners-up spot in the Eclectic with second place, returning with 35 points.
Nearly 60 players took part in a weekend men’s four-ball better-ball competition.
On a wet and windy day there were some excellent scores, but way out in front were the winners Tony Parke and Ian Hendry with a magnificent 46 points.
Second were Martin Leo and Vic Vincent with 41 points, third on countback were brothers Ian and Pete Stoneham with 40 and fourth were Dave Grover and Gary Embleton.
Bognor seniors entertained Waterlooville and it went in Bognor’s favour 4½-3½. There were some big scores, as most games seemed to finish on hole 13 or 14, with Bognor pair Isitt and Hickling leading the way with a 6&5 win. The return match is in February.
Results: Alan Fitzgerald & Roger Selway won 5&4, David Turner & Ken Catt won 6&5, Frank Hodder & Alastair MacDonald halved, Clive Millett & Hugh Diaper lost 2&1, Vic Ward & John King lost 6&4 , Andy Isitt & Chris Hickling won 6&5, Peter Collins & Brian Madgwick lost 7&5, Brian Wolstencroft and Richard Kaemena won 4&3
Nearly £110 for the Poppy Appeal was raised by Bognor seniors at their Poppy competition day. Thanks go to John Owen and Frank Hodder for collecting the donations.
Bognor ladies held a Stableford.
Results: Silver: 1 Lynn Miller 38pts, 2 Wendy Johnson 32. Bronze A: 1 Sally Cameron 29; 2 Sue Sidebotham 27. Bronze B: 1 Jane Finch 31. Bronze C: 1 Carmel de Plessis 21.