Duo join forces to continue progress in knock-out event
Burghley’s B Team travelled to Blankney for their second match in this season’s campaign, knowing that this was always going to be a difficult fixture against a side who don’t often lose at home.
The course looked in good condition, but the very firm greens meant that approach shots needed to be carefully planned and executed.
Blankney had already won both of their opening games so a stiff challenge was on the cards and things looked grim as Burghley’s first two pairs went down to heavy defeats.
Chris Rose and John Tilley were never in it against determined opponents, going down 6&4, while Paul Ramm and Dave Tilley found it even tougher on the wrong end of a 7&5 loss.
Thankfully, the other Burghley pairs out on the course had no idea what was going on up front and played their own games.
Andrew Vaughan and Matt Pettit gelled well in match three and kept with their opponents all the way, before grabbing the 18th to take the match one up.
In match four, B Team captain Jim Scutt and Paul Evans streaked into a big lead to go five up with five to play, only to lose the 14th and 15th before settling again to halve the 16th and take the match 3&2 to level the tie at two matches all.
Richard Keal and Barrie Dawson were up against it on the front nine, reaching the turn behind, but drew on their considerable experience and determination to peg their opponents back and take the lead on the 17th.
Solid play down the last won them the hole to take the match two up and put Burghley ahead for the first time in the overall match.
Now certain of at least a half, Burghley’s spirits were high and tension had begun to appear among the home side.
Playing last, Paul York and Mark Duffen were enjoying themselves, having established an early lead which they never surrendered, pulling away from their opponents to record the travelling side’s best result of the day, a 5&4 victory to give Burghley the match 4-2.
This was a great result against the side which had, until then, topped the table. Morale is high for the next match.
Burghley Park’s Nicky Plumtree (14) and Jane Saggers (22) continue their progress in the national Daily Mail Foursomes knockout competition.
Round three saw them welcome Belton Park to Burghley, with the prospect of a tight match against the Grantham side.
In glorious sunshine, with the course looking superb, the home team took an early lead with pars on the first and third, but the experienced pair from Belton Park fought back to close the gap with a win on the fourth.
The closely matched pairs then settled into a pattern of halving holes until a superb chip from Plumtree on the eighth stretched Burghley’s lead to two again.
The home pair increased the pressure into the back nine, taking three holes in a row from the 10th, and when the Belton park pair found themselves in one of the new bunkers on the 13th, Plumtree and Saggers calmly putted out to win the match 6&5 and progress to Round 4.
“It was a tough match against two respected and experienced golfers” said Plumtree, the reigning Burghley Park Club champion, “and much closer than the scoreline suggests.
“We look forward to seeing who we draw in the next round and hope we continue to gel as well as we have done so far.”
The May Medal at Burghley Park was contested by 94 players with five going under par.
Matt Payton (15) was early out and his net 66 looked likely to be the winning score for most of the day, before late starter Scott Downie (5) came in with another 66, and pipped Payton on countback for the overall prize.
Downie went off fast, reaching the turn in one under gross, and only dropped two shots to par on the way home.
He also took the Division One prize, ahead of Adi Ward (4) on 68 and Sanjay Nithiyilingam (2) on 69, with Sanjay pipping Downie for the best gross score (71) on countback. Ward was cut to three.
Dean Wilson (14) took Division Two with his net 69 and was cut to 13, ahead of Chris Quinn (13) on 70 (cut to 12) and Paul Wallwork (11) on 71.
Payton’s impressive 66 gave him the win in Division Three and saw him cut two shots. Dave Gibson (15) was second on 71, beating James Wright (17) on countback.
The Men’s May Stableford also drew a big field (95 players) with Darren Russon (8) reaching the turn in level par gross for 22 points and adding another 19 on the way home to take victory with 41 points, which saw him cut to seven.
He was pushed hard in Division One by Sanjay Nithiyilingam (2) who reached the turn in three under gross after a front nine which contained four birdies and a bogey, and then added another 18 for a final total of 40. Charlie Barwis (6) took third on 39 points and came down to five.
Division Two was won by Dave Marsden (9) with 38 points, beating Neil Harden (12) on countback, with Javan Argent (12) third on 36 and being cut to 11.
Division Three went to Tony Grant (17) on 39 points, ahead of Stephen Cheeseman (19) on 38 and Chris Lees (18) on 36 - all three were cut a shot.
Scoring was also impressive in the Sandy Gray-Smith Medal on Sunday with six players going under 70 in near perfect golfing conditions.
Rob McGarr (5) was the stand-out performer of the day, taking victory in the net event and also recording the best gross score of the day with his net 66/gross 71.
This was despite carding a double bogey six on the first and a bogey five on the second, but after this shaky start he only had one more bogey, and balanced that with three birdies.
His performance gave him the Division One prize, ahead of Charlie Barwis (5) on 69 and Richard Vaughan (6) on 71.
Division Two went to Tom Wallis (9) on 67, who birdied two par fours in a row on six and seven, with Andy Carr (12) taking second with his net 68.
Carr went off like a train, parring the first seven holes before doubling the eighth and, if it hadn’t been for another seven on the 14th, he could have taken the overall win. Carl Taylor (13) was third on 69 and came down to 12.
Division Three was won by Mark Musgrove (20) on 67, who was cut to 19, ahead of Tommy Johnson (18) on 71 and Graham Bedford on the same score.
After two rounds of the season-long Order of Merit series, sponsored by Sycamore BMW of Peterborough, Mark Musgrove leads with 21 points, ahead of Rob McGarr and Jim Scutt both on 16.
Burghley Park’s Ladies have been very active in recent weeks, with a big turnout of 28 players for the Quincentenary Stableford on Sunday.
The event was a qualifying round for the England Golf Trust Women’s Stableford.
Anu Kumar (32) delivered the performance which many had been expecting for a while, coming in with a winning 42 points which saw her handicap cut three shots to 29..
Her outward 22 points was impressive and, staying calm, she added another 20 to finish one shot ahead of the field.
In Division One, Nicky Plumtree (14) was well clear with her 39 points and came down to 13. Margaret Middleton (20) was second on 35 with Kay Hircock (15) third on the same score.
Anu’s 42 points also gave her the win in Division Two, but only just, as Barbara Newell (24) finished a single shot behind on 41 but did at least have the consolation of a two shot cut to 22. Jane Saggers (22) was third on 39 and came down to 21.
After four rounds of the BMW Order of Merit, Saggers leads with 45 points, ahead of Anne Harrison-Smith on 34 and Nicky Plumtree on 32.
The Ladies’ Bailey Foursomes last Sunday produced some good scoring in this challenging format.
Jane Saggers and Jackie Wurr, attempting a successful defence of the trophy they won last year, were well clear of the field with an outstanding 39 points, despite failing to score on two holes on the back nine.
Second place was claimed by Lynn Collen and Barbara Newell on 35, with Claire Farrell and Chris Redfern third on 34.
In the Golf Foundation Medal, Kay Hircock (15) edged out Gail Hunt (19) on countback, both players carding a net 72, closely followed by Michelle Powell (17) on 73.
The Midweek Stableford saw Jackie Wurr (36) win with an impressive 40 points, which saw her cut to 34.
Pauline Crampin (30) was second on 36 (cut to 29) and Michelle Powell again finished third, on 35 points.
Sixteen Burghley players travelled to Market Harborough Golf Club for their inaugural mixed match against the Leicestershire club.
Most had not played the course before and enjoyed the experience of the hilly track, although the slopes on the greens proved challenging for everyone.
The hosts had chosen a novel format for the match, in which two Burghley players were paired with two from Market Harborough, and then the event was played as an AM-AM with mixed home and away teams.
The view from both sides was that this was a very enjoyable format, which they may use in other fixtures.
The winning team was Richard Cook and Janet Duff, along with two Market Harborough members, with a score of 86 points.
Sue Churchill and Phil Hunt were second with 83 points, beating Bob Pimlott and Michelle Powell on countback. Brian Churchill and Gill Bedford took fourth on 82. Keith Duff won nearest the pin for the men.
“We’ve all really enjoyed this inaugural fixture” said club captain Bob Collier, “especially this novel and effective format. Market Harborough were great hosts and we look forward to welcoming them to Burghley next year.”
Burghley Park seniors’ up and down season continued with mixed fortunes in their recent matches against Rutland County and Peterborough Milton.
The away match at Rutland saw captain George Clayton-Jones arrive with a strong side, determined to get back to winning ways.
It looked good early on as Clayton-Jones and Richard Cook got in front and stayed there for a 3&2 win to get the first point on the board.
Losses for Alan Kinch and Richard Gilbert (2&1) and Stephen Cheeseman and David Taylor (3&2) put Burghley on the back foot, but three wins in a row from Mike Wright and Jim Clarke (3&2), Maurice Egglestone and Peter Symonds (1 up) and Pete Hickman and Rob Sorrell (2&1) put Burghley into a 4-2 lead and sure of at least a half.
Unfortunately, Rutland County had back-loaded their team and their last two pairs proved too strong for the visitors, Chris Harrison-Smith and Dave Rae going down 6&4 and Phil Hunt and Bill Purchase losing 3&2, leaving the result a 4-4 draw.
A couple of days later Burghley welcomed Peterborough Milton to Stamford and again found themselves up against a determined side.
Burghley were on the back foot from the start with Alan Gray and Mike Powell (3&2), Jim Clarke and Bill Purchase (4&3) and Phil Hunt and Barry Doggett (2 up) being the only winners.
Rob Sorrell and Geoff Kevan secured a half, but that was it. Losses for George Clayton-Jones and Maurice Egglestone (3&2), Mick Marriott and Brian Plowright (3&2), Alan Kinch and Richard Cook (3&2), and Bill Glencross and Paul Wilkinson (4&3) meant that Milton secured a 4.5-3.5 win.