Determined display by Burghley ladies to maintain push for promotion
Low scoring was the order of the day on Sunday at Burghley Park where nine of the 96 starters in the Sandy Gray Smith competition recorded scores under gross par of 70.
It turned out tight at the top with two players returning net 65s and in the final analysis Paul Betts (7) just edged it on countback from Brian Eldred (12).
Betts had a shaky start, with a double bogey on the first, but recovered quickly, parring the rest of the front nine, except for an impressive birdie on seven, to get him to the turn in just one over gross.
He continued in similar vein on the inward half, carding five successive pars and then birdying 15, before a slight wobble saw him drop shots on 16 and 17 before getting back on track with a par on the last to finish with a two over gross 72 for a net 65.
It was as well that he did par the last, as Eldred had already birdied it, and any slip up by Betts would have cost him the win.
He saw his handicap cut to six and also carded the best gross score of the day (72) along with Trevor Smith (1) and James Hargreaves (4).
Division One, not surprisingly, was won by Betts, with a photo finish needed to separate the others in the frame.
Once the calculations were complete James Hargreaves (4) was confirmed as finishing second with his net 68, having shot level par gross on the back nine, a birdie on 18 cancelling out a bogey on 15.
This was enough to push Stewart Ward (8) into third spot on the same score and resulted in his handicap being cut to seven.
Brian Eldred’s impressive net 65 ensured he came out on top in Division Two, having played steadily to card just three over gross on the way out and four over on the way home.His great scoring saw him cut two shots to 10.
Jon Bostock (12) was clear in second place with a net 70, ahead of Robin King (13) in third with a net 73.
Division Three was also tight at the top. Both Mark Musgrove (17) and Nigel Kaye (24) came home with scores of net 67 and both were rewarded with two-shot handicap cuts.
Musgrove just shaded it on countback, with Kaye second, and Graham Bedford (16) third on net 71.
Success in Quincentenary Stableford for Jane Saggers
More than 30 Burghley Park Ladies turned out on Sunday for the Quincentenary Stableford, which is a qualifying round for the England Golf Trust Women's Stableford event.
Jane Saggers (18) emerged as the winner, coming home with 38 points, despite failing to score on the first and the 18th.
But the rest of her round made up for these lapses, including the birdie she made on the fifth, as she kept her card free of double bogeys.
Jane was run close in Division One by Helen Cox (15) who finished just a shot behind on 37, her cause not being helped by a no score on the fourth, although her birdies on the third and seventh got her back into contention.
Gill Bedford (20) was third with 35 points and was left regretting the no scores she had on holes one, 15 and 17.
Division Two was won by Clare Farrell (26), who came home with 37 points, to win from Barbara Newell (22) with 35 and Sara Harris (26) with 34.
Burghley Park’s Ladies B team hosted Kirton Holme in the Lincolnshire League and found themselves facing a determined side keen to secure promotion.
Burghley are also looking to be in the promotion picture so this was always going to be a tough match.
Things got off to a great start for the home side with lead-off pair Mel Griffiths and Gail Hunt piling on the pressure from the start, reaching the turn four up and winning 5&4 on the 14th green to get Burghley’s nose in front.
Anne Fensom and Jane Saggers kept up the momentum, again building a solid lead on the front nine, and finishing the match on the 14th green for a 6&4 win, to ensure that Burghley would secure at least a half from the fixture.
The last two matches were really tight from beginning to end.
Judy Cade and Chris Taylor kept themselves in the match to the very end before being beaten one down on the last green, a score that was replicated in the last match, where Gill Bedford and Lynda Lancaster lost in exactly the same place and way.
The end result was a 2-2 draw which meant that the points were shared with both sides still in the hunt for advancement to the next division.
Burghley Park’s John Coulter and Jim McEwan continue to make progress in the national Daily Mail Foursomes knockout competition, travelling to Elton Furze in round three.
They found themselves receiving four shots from their opponents and made the most of them, winning three of their four shot holes.
By the turn they were three up and, having established a good lead, hung on doggedly despite efforts by the Elton Furze pair to pin them back.
Although they lost one hole on the back nine, the Burghley pair kept their nerve to run out 2&1 winners on the 17th.Their reward is a home tie against Ramsey, to be played by June 16.
More by this authorJames Bedford