Exciting finish to first Open at Burghley Park

Burghley Park’s first open competition of the year - the Spring Am-Am - attracted a full field of 28 teams of four last week.

The Spring Golf Day was a mixed 27 hole event, for any combination of players, with a 9-hole Texas Scramble in the morning followed by an 18 hole Am-Am in the afternoon.

Competitors from 37 clubs across the East Midlands took part and scoring was impressive throughout the day, with some outstanding scores being required to secure a podium place.

The morning Texas Scramble comprised two separate competitions, for the front and back nines with spectacular scoring from David Gregg, Andy Latter, Paul Showler and Andy Stewart from Peterborough Milton and Thorpe Wood on the back 9. They came in with a gross 6 under par, and a net score of 26.9. Second place went to Jon Senescall (Stoke Rochford), Martin Rudge (Willesley park), Tony Ablewhite (Newark) and Chris Lawton (Carholme) with 28.55, and third went to the Burghley Park team of Paul Wilkinson, Kay Hircock, Javan Argent and Mary Sharp with 28.9.

The front 9 competition was much closer, with second to fifth places separated by only 0.2 of a shot.

Victory went to the Belton Park team of John Willis, Bob Rodgers, Pete Jackson and Kim Ferguson with 29.2. They were just ahead of Mike Barradell, Steve Pilgrim, Graham Barradell and Mike Reynolds from Longcliffe and Park Hill with 30.05, and Andrew Green, Simon Green, David Burnell and John O’Brien of Sudbrooke Moor and Radcliffe on Trent, also on 30.05.

The afternoon AM-AM was dominated by the prize winners from the morning, with the result being in doubt until the very last team came in.

The tussle for first place was a close run thing, going down to the last putt on the last green, where an unfortunate miss by Burghley’s Paul Wilkinson meant that his team missed out on victory by a single point. The winners were David Gregg, Andy Latter and Paul Showler (Peterborough Milton) and Andy Stewart of Thorpe Wood, whose 89 points on ¾ handicap was good enough to prevail.

Paul Wilkinson, Kay Hircock, Javan Argent and Mary Sharp from Burghley Park took second with 88 points, ahead of Andrew Green and Simon Green (Sudbrook Moor) and David Burnell & John O’Brien of Radcliffe on Trent in third with 82 points.

Burghley’s club captain Richard Gilbert said: “We were delighted to see so many clubs represented here today and to see our visitors do so well.

“It was clear that they enjoyed the course, with many commenting on the speed and trueness of the greens - testimony to the excellent work by our Head Greenkeeper David Salisbury and his team.”

Burghley’s A team had mixed fortunes against Peterborough Milton at the weekend, playing them on consecutive days.

On Saturday, Burghley travelled to Milton for the annual Directors Cup match, which had been rearranged from earlier in the year due to snow. Burghley could only field a weakened team, and were on the wrong end of a 6-0 whitewash which saw the cup return to Milton.

However, the tables were turned emphatically the next day, when Burghley hosted Milton in the 4 th Round of the nationwide Mail on Sunday knockout competition.

This time, Burghley were able to field a strong team, and secured a 4-1 victory to progress to the 5th Round.

Dean Vaughan won 4&3, Richard Keal won 1 Up, Matt Lem halved, Mark Yarham halved, and George Beadle won 2 Up.

The B team hosted Sleaford in the South Lincolnshire League, and managed a half against a team stronger than expected.

James Vaughan & Richard Allen won 2 Up, Anton Wells & Dan Carr lost 5&3, Richard Keal & Joe Regis lost 3&2, David Jackson & Jason Clarke lost 1 Down, John Tilley & Alex Cole won 2 Up, and Jon Sewell & Jake Brown won 1 Up.

The C team travelled to North Luffenham last Wednesday and were narrowly beaten 3½-2½.

Pride of place goes to Burghley Club Captain Richard Gilbert, who had to take on his North Luffenham opponents single-handed as his partner had pulled out, but nonetheless managed to grind out a creditable half. Chris Quinn & Terry Moss won 1 down, Mike Beaumont & Mick Chapman lost 5&4, Stuart Ward & Alan Cole won 7&6, Jim McFerran & Chris Lees lost 5&3, Mike Barton & Paul Woods lost 4&3, and Richard Gilbert halved.

Burghley welcomed Greetham Valley for a mixed match on Saturday and played solidly to take the match 4½-1½.

This was the Burghley vice-captains’ first inter-club match of the year, and Richard Cook & Chris Wright were delighted with the success of their first team match.

Janet Duff & Richard Gilbert lost 3&2, Margaret Middleton & BobEmmins won 4&3, Judy Cade & David Shales won 1 Up, Mollie Plowright & Charles Cade halved, Julie Emmins & Brian Plowright won 5&3, and Chris Wright & Keith Duff won 3&1.

The May Midweek Medal was played in challenging conditions, resulting in CSS rising to 73, and no one beating par. Scores of the day went to Ryan Birtles and Brian Barber in Division 2, both of whom came in with net 70s which resulted in cuts of 1 shot each.

Results – (Division 1) 1st Rod Wright 84-13=71, 2nd Graham Camp 88-14=74, 3rd Alex Cole 80-6=74; (Division 2) 1st Ryan Birtles 87-17=70, 2nd Brian Barber 85-15=70, 3rd Kelvyn Tow 90-19=71.

Burghley men played Round 1 of the Peck Memorial and Tate & Lyle Cup on Sunday, in balmy conditions with run on the fairways at last. 97 players turned out, and scoring was good, with seven competitors breaking 70.

Score of the day went to Simon Richards in Division 3, whose net 66 saw him cut by 2 shots to 14. Best gross score of the day was an excellent 71 by David Scott. Results - (Division 1) 1st David Scott 71-4=67, 2nd David Tilley 79-11=68, 3rd Joe Regis 76-8=68; (Division 2) 1st Jim Clarke 82-13=69, 2nd

Doug Hunter 85-15=70, 3rd Steve Coultas 82-12=70; (Division 3) 1st Simon Richards 82-16=66, 2nd Bill Simpson 85-16=69, 3rd Alan Simmonds 90-20=70.

The Ladies held their round of the nationwide Coronation Foursomes competition on Sunday, with the winners going forward to the knockout stages later in the year.

Mollie Plowright and Doris Sissons were outstanding on the day, coming in with 42 points in this difficult format, well clear of 2nd place Hannah Vaughan & Jo Bell on 34, and Margaret Middleton & Joan Hickman in 3rd, also on 34.

Bank Holiday Monday is traditionally a family day at Burghley, with separate foursomes competitions for Fathers & Sons, and for Families.

Steve & Alex Cole took the Father & Son title, with 34 points, ahead of Simon & Harry Tee on 31. In the Family Foursomes, Beryl & Andy Peill took the honours with 36 points, ahead of Bill Simpson & Alex Sherwin in 2nd with 35, and David & John Tilley in 3rd, also on 35.