Terry toasts his 50th year of membership at Stamford club
The completion of the league phase of the Men’s Winter League at Burghley Park took place last weekend with some cracking scraps for the final places in the last eight.
Stuart Blessett and Darren Fellowes were in pole position in League A, three points clear at the top of the division, and made no mistake by beating Gary Harrison and Dave Marsden two up to finish as league winners.
Harrison and Marsden were in with a mathematical chance of going through if they could beat the leaders, but found them too strong on the day and slipped down to finish fourth in the table.
David Gibson and Peter Barnes, who started the day in second spot, needed to win to be sure of reaching the knock-out stages as runners-up and piled on the pressure right from the start in their match against Alan Cole and Chris Townsend, never letting them into the game and running out 4&3 winners to seal their qualifying spot.
Robert Howe and Andrew Sandel, lying third, had to win their match and hope that other results went their way.
They delivered their part of the bargain, overcoming Andrew Vaughan and Stewart Pringle two up, but missed going through by a single point as both the teams above them won.
David Jackson and Javan Argent made no mistake in League B against Glynn Woolf and Steve Barnett, securing a 3&2 win that sent them through to the knock-out phase as divisional winners.
Competition was intense for the second qualifying spot with three sides on 10 points and all watching each other closely.
In the end, it was Jon Young and Lewin Auciello who held their nerve best, edging out Tommy and Mark Johnson, who were also in the mix, with a one up win on the 18th.
Steve Hopkins and Graham Camp finished third after losing two down to Adrian Hill and Angus Keech with Dave Tilley and Richard Gilbert also losing (one down to Terry Austin and Bill O’Driscoll) to finish fourth.
League C saw the biggest upset with long-term leaders Matt Pettit and Dan Elliott crashing to a 4&3 defeat against Mark Musgrove and Hugh Riddlesdell who leap-frogged them to the top of the table as a result.
Things then got even worse for Pettit and Elliott as Neil Harden and Mark Norman squeezed out a half in a really close match with Jim McEwan and John Coulter to propel themselves into the second qualifying spot, going through on holes won by the narrowest possible margin.
Dave Lennie and Chris Quinn finished fourth, after their one up win over Anthony Barnes and Graham Shaw.
Leaders John and Jordan Mayman were already sure of making the knock-out stages in League D, but made no mistake in their encounter with Mike Powell and Matt Payton, winning 5&4 on the 14th green to finish as divisional winners.
Jason Rudkin and Steve Coultas also did what was required of them, holding onto second spot with a 6&4 demolition of Charles Cade and Robin King, thereby extinguishing the lingering hopes of past champions Richard Allen and Paul Ramm who found that a two up defeat of Ray Rose and Derek Reid-Hughes wasn’t enough to see them through.
The quarter-finals are due to be played this weekend and the strong field of qualifiers has thrown up some intriguing match-ups.
In the top half of the draw, Stuart Blessett and Darren Fellowes are pitted against Jon Young and Lewin Auciello while David Jackson and Javan Argent play Dave Gibson and Peter Barnes.
In the bottom half Mark Musgrove and Hugh Riddlesdell take on Jason Rudkin and Steve Coultas with John and Jordan Mayman up against Neil Harden and Mark Norman.
It was all change for Burghley Park’s Seniors on Monday when incoming captain Phil Hunt took over from George Clayton-Jones at the coffee morning.
The event was the traditional season-opening nine-hole Mixed Waltz, played in teams of three, with one to score on the first, two on the second, and all three on the third, before starting the cycle again.
Fifty-one players turned out to welcome the new seniors supremo, making the most of the bright spring weather.
Conditions were challenging for the early starters, the light frost giving rise to some interesting bounces, but nonetheless scoring was impressive.
In the final analysis, victory went to Barry Doggett, Chris Clarke and Michael McCarthy with their 41 points who were well clear of the pack.
Terry Lill celebrated his 50th year of membership at the club by claiming second place along with partners Dierdre O’Sullivan and David Cleminson on 37 points, ahead of Roger Metcalfe, Janet Metcalfe and Zillah Taylor on the same score.
Doing the presentation, captain Hunt thanked outgoing skipper Clayton-Jones for an excellent year and announced that his charity for the year was to be Diabetes UK.
Terry Lill, who has now been a member at Burghley Park for 50 years, including a stint as seniors captain in 2007, received a special award at the annual meeting last week.
He was presented with a framed picture of the golf course by club captain Bob Collier, along with other mementoes and free membership for 2019.
Terry thanked the club for their generosity and spoke warmly about the friendships which he had enjoyed with so many people since he first joined in 1969.
Outgoing club captain Bob Collier reflected on his year, thanking the many people who had helped ensure it had been enjoyable and successful.
He announced that he and ladies’ captain Lynda Lancaster had raised more than £6,000 during the year for their charity, the On Course Foundation, and thanked everyone for their generosity.
He was especially grateful to all those members who had done so much for the Ccub during the year as committee members or volunteers, especially Jim Clarke who was standing down after five years as the opens organiser.
The incoming club captain will be Mike Powell and the ladies’ captain will be Michelle Powell and they will both drive-in to office next month.