Golf: Ruggieri repeats his Al Nassar success

Leonard Ruggieri picks up the trophy from Chi club pro Harry Pyett
Leonard Ruggieri picks up the trophy from Chi club pro Harry Pyett

We have action from Chichester, Cowdray Park, Bognor and Goodwood in our latest local golf round-up.

Send your reports, results and pictures to steve.bone@chiobserver.co.uk

CHICHESTER

Chichester GC held the Al Nassar Junior Open, with young golfers from all over the county coming to play in the Sussex county order of merit competition.

Leonardo Ruggieri from Goodwood took the winner’s trophy for a second year in a row, winning with a gross score of 76 on the par 72 course, closely followed by Joe Aston in second place.

Ruggieri still has time to make it three in a row – at just 17 this year, he will be eligible to play next year.

As well as the scratch competition, there were also prizes for category winners. Division-one winner (0-9 handicaps) was Ruggieri,and Jack Holmwood took the prize in division two (handicaps 10-17). Alexander Westerdyke from Chichester took the third-division prize. Nearest the pin prizes went to Westerdyke on the 15th and Holmwood on the sixth.

Thanks went to all who helped make the day a success, including Aaron Squires, David Thompson and Harry Pyett, who gave up their time to help. Praise also went to the greens staff at Chichester who had the course in such great condition.

Chichester GC are very supportive of junior players and offers membership for under-18s at just £100 for a year. This includes unlimited play on four 18-hole courses with no restrictions. For more information go to www.chichestergolf.com or call 01243 536666.

Chichester veterans began their order of merit for the season with their first major competition, the Spring Trophy medal.

There were 62 players on a bright day but with a strong wind and tricky greens, scoring was not easy. Only six managed net par or better and one was last year’s winner, Gordon Williams, who made a valiant attempt to retain his title with a two-under-par nett 70.

He had to be content with second place as Robert Stainsby played consistently to score a nett 69 and win the cup.

COWDRAY PARK

A grand total of 88 Cowdray Park seniors contested the monthly Stableford with the course drying out rapidly. This meant that the ball was running further on the fairways, giving an advantage to the big-hitters.

Division one featured the day’s highest scores with Peter Hardcastle using his powerful hitting to good effect for 43 points, featuring an eagle two on the 15th hole.

Consistent John Sanderson claimed second with 42 on countback from Mick Fillary, whose round also featured an eagle two, this time on the tenth, with a shot from more than 180 yards finding the hole. Fillary achieved his score without resorting to using his driver at any stage.

Also high on the division-one leaderboard with 38 points was Mike Hughes, celebrating his elevation to the top flight, while Colin West finished in the top six for the second month in a row.

Winner of division two, with 40 points, was John Fife, ahead of Neville Gibbons on 38. Third on countback was the redoubtable George Crouch while Arthur Mayson recorded another top-ten finish, only to find himself in the buffer zone again.

Only five players claiming a share of the pool for hitting a two – apart from Hardcastle and Fillary, they were Gordon Kendall, Paul Owen and John Barrett.

The raffle raised £179 for Dreams Come True.

Leading scores: Div 1 - 43 Peter Hardcastle; 42 John Sanderson, Mick Fillary; 38 Colin West, John Doran, Mike Hughes, Nick Austin; 37 Dave Hirons. Division 2 - 40 John Fife; 39 Neville Gibbons; 38 George Crouch; 37 Graham Thompson, Rodney Fisher; 36 JohnKitchener, Dave Darby, Arthur Mayson.

Cowdray Park seniors travelled to face the Pilgrims of Puttenham in their latest match, which ended 5-1 to the home side as they showed once again how strong they were on their own course.

On a gloriously-sunny day, although the visitors were defeated, three matches were decided only on the 18th green.

In the opening match, Cowdray’s Bill Brownlee and Derek Smith missed the chance to halve on the 18th green, when both failed to sink vital putts. Mick Folkes and Gary Strowbridge had a fine front nine but fell away on the back nine with some erratic driving.

Cowdray’s sole win came in the final match from David Wickham and Barry Overington.

Results (Cowday names first): Bill Brownlee & Derek Smith lost to John Scott & Tony Luscombe 1dn; Ian Heustice & Peter Hallt lost to David Vowles & Alan Gilmore 4&3;Ken Marjoram & John Newman lost to Terry Pettit & Tony Robinson 3&2; John Doran & Terry Adsett lost to Neil Willis & Richard Lisowski 2&1; Mick Folkes & Gary Strowbridge lost to Malcolm Jeffrey & Alan Henson 1dn; David Wickham & Barry Overington beat Malcom Holland & Norman Pavey 1up.

Cowdray ladies played in the 2015 Peugeot LGU Coronation Foursomes Stableford. The competition is open to all members of affiliated golf clubs in GB and Ireland. The winning pair will be eligible to compete in any of the area finals.

The winners with a superb score of 38 points were Brenda Rees and Jo Fife.

Ladies with a handicap of 15 and above also were able to compete in the Australian Spoons Stableford foursomes tournament organised by England Golf. Winners were Anne Tyrrell and Jenny Clegg with 33 points, on countback from Sandra Barber and Georgie Miller.

GOODWOOD

Goodwood provided the perfect platform for the Sussex junior girls’ elite squad to fine-tune their game ahead of a busy competition calendar this summer.

Enjoying the final session of the three-part series, twelve girls participated in the two day training event with ages ranging from nine to 17 years and handicaps from five to 20.

The emphasis was on mastering the all-important short game skills including bunker shots, chipping, pitching and putting.

Par-three competitions on the Goodwood Academy course took place on both days with rewards for good scores and improvements on the second day.

The weekend began with the girls receiving careers education on the opportunities within the golf industry from past Sussex junior girls’ captain and Golf At Goodwood assistant manager Amy Yeates.

Kerry Knowles, Golf At Goodwood academy manager, was the lead coach for the weekend and the girls particularly enjoyed the one-to-one sessions Kerry gave to each individual on the range and the advice on bunker shots and technique.

Golf At Goodwood have announced a number of new Get Into Golf initiatives with the aim of introducing women to the sport.

Hosted by Goodwood PGA professional Kerry Knowles, the initiatives will include complimentary introductory sessions for females of all ages and abilities to learn the game in a fun and relaxed environment.

They range from a one-day session offering the chance to learn short-game skills such as chipping and putting to a six-week course where ladies will master the basics of the game and be confident to play the Park course at Goodwood.
Knowles said: “We hope our new Get into Golf initiatives will help attract females to take up golf and learn the game in a fun and friendly environment. Our aim is to break down the barriers that currently exist between women and golf.

“It is a great game to learn whatever age, gender or ability and a sport that offers the perfect combination of exercise, social interaction as well as competitive edge once you get going.”

Following the free introductory sessions during National Golf Month in May, ladies can continue their ‘Get Into Golf’ sessions throughout the summertime for as a little as £10 per session, with a number of early morning or evening times available to suit those with busy family or career commitments.

Knowles continued: “Our lady golfers will have access to our par-three academy golf course, which is a fantastic place to play and learn at your own pace. Beginners are able to pick up the basics without any pressure from other golfers, whilst the course is still challenging enough for the more advanced player to perfect their golfing techniques.”

Get Into Golf Introductory sessions are also available for mixed groups, families and individuals during National Golf Month at Goodwood.

To view the list of sessions during National Golf Month visit www.golfatgoodwood.com, call 01243 755058 or email golfacademy@goodwood.com

Goodwood’s Darren Wright was on top form at Royal Ashdown Forest Golf Club in East Sussex as he claimed first place at a 2015 Players Tour event.

Competing against an 18-strong field, the 26-year-old won the event by three strokes with an impressive four-under-par 68.

On winning the fifth event of the series, he said: “Even though it wasn’t the biggest event I’ll be playing this year it was great to get a win early on in the year. Any win is good for the confidence and the reassurance of knowing all the hard work is paying off and what I’m working on on and off the golf course is proving itself to be a winning formula.

“I’ve now played three of the Players Tour events in the last month, which started with the Goodwood event in March and I’ve been knocking on the door for a win. My first three events this year I’ve had a third, fourth and first – it’s all good preparation for the long season ahead.”

Wright secured victory and the winner’s cheque with a confident putt to claim his seventh birdie of the round.

He said: “Next on the schedule will be the start of the EuroPro season in May. The first event will be at Celtic Manor on the Montgomery course. I’m really looking forward to getting back to full-time golf and getting stuck into the busy season ahead.”

BOGNOR

Seventy-eight players entered the men’s Hardwick Bowl and Junior Cup on a sunny but blustery day. Scores were very good despite difficult conditions.

The Hardwick Bowl is a medal competition for men with handicaps up to 12 and the Junior Cup a medal for those with a handicap of 13 and above.

Father and son Gary and Marcus Embleton came first and second in the Hardwick Bowl while Ian Stoneham and his two sons came sixth, sixth and seventh.

Results: Hardwick Bowl: 1 Gary Embleton 76 gross, 65 nett; 2 Marcus Embleton 78 (66), 3 Olly Longlands 74 (68).

The Junior Cup was a tight affair with the first three places decided on countback.

Results: 1 Graham Lucas 87 (72), 2 Bill Cronin 87 (72), 3 Chris Lovell 86 (72).

Some 36 players took part in the midweek Stableford, won by Ian Simpson with 40 points ahead of Ron Stevens, second on countback with 36 from Norman Horton.

Bognor seniors travelled to Selsey and won 5½-1½. The weather was perfect, as was the hospitality. Stars for Bognor were Vic Ward and Gary Steventon with a 5&4 win.

Results: Barry Ingate & Andy Isitt won 3&1, David Turner & Dave Chalmers won 2&1, Allan Delves & Chris Hickling halved, Brian Madgwick & Derek Whiting lost 3&2, Vic Ward & Gary Steventon won 5&4, Hugh Diaper & Steve King won 3&2, Frank Hodder & Peter Collins won 3&1.

Bognor seniors visited Ifield on a perfect golfing day, but lost 4½-3½. Most games were reasonably close, but Bognor pair Turner and Braham came up against Mitchell and Walters, who were three under gross when the match finished on the 12th.

Results: Allan Delves & Richard Hedge won 2&1 over Brian Dodge & Mike Dean, Russell Braham & David Turner lost 7&6 to Mitch Mitchell & Dick Walters, Jim Catt & Mel Henry won 3&2 over Steve Date & Vic Wells, Frank Hodder & Derek Whiting lost 1 down to Dale Gates & Neil Carville, Brian Wolstencroft & Ken Catt won 2&1 over David Young & Brian Francis, Richard Kaemena & Peter Collins lost 4&2 to Fred Mitchell & Ray Stewart, Alastair MacDonald & John Woodhead halved with David Oke & John Mather, Clive Millett & Alan Fitzgerald lost 4&2 to John Trusson & Rik February.

More than 50 Bognor seniors took part in the seniors’ Spring Cup, one of the majors at Bognor. Scores reflected dry and blustery conditions.

Seniors’ captain Allan Delves informed the players last year’s winner Jim Stephenson was back home recuperating well after a recent major operation. He then presented the prizes.

Results: Overall winner Richard Hedge 41pts; 2 Russell Braham 37. Div 1: 1 Mike Oates 34; 2 John Owen. Div 2: 1 Paul Black 37; 2 Allan Delves 36.

Bognor ladies held a Memorial Bowl Stableford, which was won by Berit Smallcorn with 37 points.

Results: Silver – 1 Lyn Harbutt 36pts (cb), 2 Chris Tuke 36, 3 Lynn Miller 34p (cb), 4 June Salt 34. Bronze A: 1 Berit Smallcorn 37, 2 Georgina McCormack 34, 3 Sally Cameron 33, 4 Liz Quinton 31. Bronze B: 1 Davina Rumsby 36, 2 Margaret Delves 34, 3 Cathy Kitt 33. Bronze C: 1 Vanessa Cole 34, 2nd Maleta Cole 31.