Haughton handles conditions best to win order of merit stage at Greetham Valley

Greetham Valley Golf Club round seventeen of the winter order of merit winner Darren Haughton
Greetham Valley Golf Club round seventeen of the winter order of merit winner Darren Haughton

The high winds were once again a feature for round 17 of the winter order of merit at Greetham Valley Golf Club.

Many players struggled with the uncertain level of wind - one minute it was very heavy in your face, then for a few seconds, usually when a player was just about to hit the ball with an extra club or two, it would suddenly drop.

Darren Haughton took on board the advice from last week’s winner, Paul Clegg: “Swing slower, use two clubs extra and forget about distance, just think about where you want to take your next shot from.”

Darren, playing off ten, said it was great advice and worked fantastically well.

Playing on the Lakes course, he had a couple of putts just pushed off line by the wind as they slowed to the hole but still had 18 points after the front nine.

Darren scored better on the more difficult back nine. He had a birdie on the 13th par five directly into the wind as well as several pars, to come home with 20 points. This gave him a total of 38.

Darren said that he was pleased with the way that he had played but went on to thank Paul for the advice.

Thirty-eight points was enough to take the win this week and means that he will play off eight in round 18 on Saturday and moves up the overall leaderboard.

President John Sparks, off 14, just missed out on the top spot after scoring 37 points but said that in spite of the rough conditions, he felt that he had really played well.

John loses one shot and will play off 13 in round 18. Trevor Smith, playing off plus two and who had held the long-time clubhouse lead, took third place with 35 points on countback from Ben Miles.

Trevor loses point five which means that he will play off plus three next time. Chris Wheatland, Kev Hingle and Paul Jenkinson were a point behind with 34.

Adrian Cunningham still leads the overall table, 64 points clear of Kev Hingle, with Trevor Smith just 15 points further back in third.

Carl Causbrook drops to fourth place but Graham Smith remains in fifth, and David Copley drops down to sixth. John Sparks jumped up seven places to take over seventh place, and Steve Anderson dropped one place to eighth. Ben Miles edged up to ninth and Nick Cunnington, who has been scoring steadily, makes it into the top ten.

The Ladies had much better weather for their order of merit on Saturday. Hayley Hunt, who started the series off 18, kept up the pressure at the top of the table but had to be content with second place to this week’s winner Jacky Bayley.

Both ladies scored 35 points but Jacky took the win on countback thanks to a better back nine. Angela Wheeler was third. Hayley, who is now playing off 13, still keeps her lead at the head of the table, Liz Haughton is second and Susie Ellis is in third.

The final round of the round robin winter league threw up a few surprises.

In group one James Abblett and Bryan Birchall lost their first match of the competition but still went forward to the quarter finals as group winners.

Andy Dickinson and Brian McInerney also lost and Gary Moat and Adam Smith leapfrogged them to move into the quarter finals.

Bill Skinner and Peter Key were unbeaten to win group two, Ali McNaughton and Dave Pusch lost their last game but still go into the quarters.

Trevor Smith and John Sparks were also unbeaten in group three. They go into the mix with Pete Dickinson and Peter Smith.

Club Captain Shaun Denholm and Wayne Terrett were also unbeaten, and go forward with Bob Green and Bill Kirton.

The quarter finals will be played on Sunday.

Trevor Smith and John Sparks play Ali McNaughton and Dave Pusch. James Abblett and Bryan Birchall take on Pete Dickinson and Peter Smith.

Bill Skinner and Peter Key will play Bob Green and Bill Kirton. Shaun Denholm 
and Wayne Terrett play against Gary Moat and Adam Smith.

In round nine of the seniors winter league, new member Ian Jarvis, off 18, shot a fantastic 46 points which included birdies on the 13th and 14th on the Lakes course.

Steve Taylor, also off 18, retains his lead at the head of the overall table after scoring 40 points to take second place on the day.

Twenty handicapper Mel Clark took third place with 39 points.