Crowson comes out on top in junior trophy
The annual Past Captains’ event at Burghley Park drew the usual good turn-out with 33 players taking part and another eight joining the celebratory dinner afterwards.
Mollie Plowright claimed the honours for the longest service, having been ladies’ captain more than 40 years ago back in 1977.
Mollie still plays a couple of times a week and has lost none of her competitive instincts. John Price was the longest serving club captain present, his year of office being 1981.
Competition was keen in both the ladies’ and the men’s events with high scoring being the order of the day for the ladies.
Kay Hircock was the star of the show, playing excellent golf all day, coming home with 42 points to retain the trophy she first won last year. She also took the nearest the pin prize on the 16th.
There was a tight battle for the runners-up spot between Anne Hughes and Gail Hunt, both finishing with 39 points, with Anne prevailing on countback.
In the men’s event it was even tighter.
Once the calculations had been completed the winner, by a single point, was Brian Plowright on 35 points, ahead of Bill O’Driscoll and Keith Duff on 34. O’Driscoll took second place on countback.
Plowright was delighted to have won the trophy for the first time, going one better than his second place last year, a fitting tribute for one of Burghley’s oldest regular players.
Javan Argent won nearest the pin on the 16th, an appropriate outcome for the person who had master-minded all the organisation of the event.
Powright said: “It’s terrific to see such a big turnout for this event and to be part of a very special annual celebration of all the efforts made for the club by all the past captains.”
The ladies’ club champion at Burghley Park, Nicky Plumtree, had a busy time last week, representing the club in two national events.
She and Anu Kumar played in the England Golf Trust finals of the pairs betterball competition held at Kings Norton Golf Club in Birmingham.
They qualified for the event as one of the 30 top-scoring pairings in the nationwide qualifying event and finished in a very creditable 14th place, scoring 39 points.
They would have had to go some to win the event though, as the winners (from up the road at Belton Park) came in with a mightily impressive 47 points.
A couple of days later Nicky was on the road again, this time travelling to Stoke-on-Trent for the Queens of Clubs Midlands North Final at Trentham Park.
This is a gross medal play event for club champions from the previous year, with prizes also for the best two net scores.
In a strong field of 38 players, Nicky carded a gross 84 to finish in 16th place, with her net 72 placing her ninth in the net event
Burghley Park’s juniors contested the John Price Trophy and, in a tight finish, Jamie Crowson (20) came out on top with 37 points.
It could have been better if not for the problems he encountered on the par four 12th hole, where he failed to score courtesy of a four over par eight.
In the end, however, it was close with Tommy Johnson (17) also coming home with 37, but losing out on countback. Both did, however, see their handicaps cut by a shot.
Teddy Crooke (5) ran them close, finishing a point behind on 36 and was left reflecting on what might have been if he hadn’t failed to score on the last hole.
Burghley Park’s seniors have had a tough week on the road, playing three away matches on the trot against tough opposition.
They made the long trip to Loughborough to take on Rothley Park and, on a course which most of the team was playing for the first time, put on a creditable display.
Leading from the front, captain George Clayton-Jones and his vice Phil Hunt got Burghley off to a good start, winning 2&1 to claim an early lead.
This was soon cancelled out, however, as Maurice Egglestone and Mike Wright were overwhelmed by determined opponents, going down 4&3 as Rothley levelled the tie.
Two tight matches followed with both Pete Hickman and Peter Symonds and Bill Glencross and Dave Lennie winning one up to put Burghley 3-1 up halfway through the fixture.
Then it all started to go wrong as Stephen Cheeseman and Tony Chick couldn’t get to grips with experienced opponents, going down 2&1, before Rowland Davies and Rob Sorrell found themselves outplayed to go down 3&2.
To cap it all, John Read and Bill Purchase also went down 3&2, leaving Burghley 4-3 down with just one match to come home.
To the unbridled joy of captain Clayton-Jones, Mick Marriott and Dave Rae cruised home with an overwhelming 7&6 win to make the final score a 4-4 draw.
A couple of days later the team had a much shorter journey, travelling to Peterborough Milton for what is traditionally a challenging match.
It became clear from the start that Burghley were up against it, despite of a fighting half in the first match from George Clayton-Jones and Paul Wilkinson.
Stephen Cheeseman and Maurice Egglestone fought hard but eventually capitulated two down before a magnificent 6&5 win for Brian Plowright and Tony Chick squared the match.
Mick Marriott and John Mayman kept the visitors hopes alive with another good half before the Burghley tail found themselves up against it.
Pete Hickman and Dave Rae lost 2&1, Keith Duff and Chris Harrison-Smith were well-beaten by 4&2, and Dave Taylor and Mike Wright went down 3&1.
Bob Emmins and Phil Hunt scrapped hard to salvage a half in the final pairing, but by then the damage had been done with Milton taking the match 5.5-2.5.
Tuesday saw the Seniors at Toft, looking to do the double after a 6-2 win in the home fixture earlier in the season.
George Clayton-Jones and Jim Clarke set the visitors off to a good start with a two up win in match one, but second pair Stephen Cheeseman and Mike Wright couldn’t match this, being crushed 7&5 for Toft to level the match.
The next two matches saw Burghley fielding some ex-Toft players, who made the most of their familiarity with the hilly track, both Mick Marriott and Rob Sorrell and Keith Duff and Tony Chick coming home with convincing 5&4 wins.
When Pete Hickman and Richard Cook then delivered a 2&1 win for the visitors it was looking good for Burghley who led 4-1 with three matches to finish.
At this point the wisdom of Toft’s tactic of putting their most experienced players towards the end of the field began to pay off as first Bill Glencross and Mike McCarthy lost 6&5 and then Dave Rae and Chris Harrison-Smith went down 3&2, leaving Burghley sweating on the outcome of the last match.
Phil Hunt and Charles Cade found themselves on the back foot from the off, losing the match 7&6 on the 12th green and allowing Toft to complete a memorable comeback to make the final score 4-4. The team next travel to Sleaford on Monday looking for an elusive away win.
Burghley is now closed for 10 days while the Horse Trials take place, allowing Paul Mills and his team of greenkeepers to carry out a major programme of course maintenance which will get the course into good condition for the winter and next year.