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Round-up of the action from Burghley Park Golf Club



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The welcome arrival of spring at Burghley Park is preceded by the finals of the various Winter League competitions and this year’s contests were as hard-fought and difficult to predict as ever.

In the ladies’ final, involving the Greensomes format, Elaine Brown and Barbara Newell were pitted against Janet Farrington and Liz James.

Liz and Janet went two-up early on and managed to maintain this advantage until the turn. They were three up after 11, but then Barbara and Elaine rallied impressively to bring the match to all square after 15 holes.

Liz James and Janet Farrington.
Liz James and Janet Farrington.

Barbara and Elaine must have been expecting to go one up themselves on the 16th, but Janet’s excellent putt earned her and her partner a vital half. They then used their shot advantage on the 17th to take the narrowest of advantages down the last.

Both teams ended up in the front right bunker and it was Janet who held her nerve best by splashing out onto the green to secure a thrilling two-up victory.

A few hours earlier, the Ladies’ Plate final saw current captain Pippa LeSage and last year’s captain Stephanie Crook beaten 4&3 by Mary Gates and Gail Hunt, a result largely down to their exceptionally long and straight driving.

Length and accuracy off the tee are also particular strengths of the teenage dynamic duo of Tommy Johnson and Jamie Crowson.

However, the excellent short game of their canny, experienced rivals Dave Jackson and Javan Argent ensured that the final of the men’s Winter League, like that for the ladies, was only decided on the 18th green.

Birdies by Tommy on the third and Jamie on the sixth were matched by nett birdies by David on the second and Javon on the fifth and, when David won both the ninth and the 10th, the match was all square.

This was followed by arguably the shot of the match as Jamie drove the green on the par four 11th and his birdie there again put his team one up. Javon then made good use of his shots to win the 12th and 14th with pars and, for the first time in the match, he and his partner had their noses in front.

At this point, however, Tommy came to the fore with an outstanding performance on the next three holes.

His chip and single putt on the 15th brought the scores level and his two putts on the 16th matched the par secured by Javon, who had feared the worst when putting his tee shot into a bunker. With two holes to play, the scores remained level.

Tommy Johnson and Jamie Crowson.
Tommy Johnson and Jamie Crowson.

Both Javon and Tommy then hit the 17th green in regulation, but while the former left his putt for a birdie agonisingly short, Tommy drained his from 15 feet, putting him and Jamie one up with one to play.

Amazingly, Tommy then lost his ball on the 18th but he was more than happy to pass the baton to his partner, who duly halved the final hole with a par to secure a tense, thrilling match, one up.

Their better ball gross score of 70 was very impressive and their opponents warmly congratulated them at the end as worthy winners.

Last weekend also saw two four-ball better ball competitions.

Forty-six pairs teed off in the men’s competition and there were some remarkable scores.

Lee Fraser and John Tilley returned a stunning nett total of 47 Stableford points and they must have found it hard to believe that another pair, Adi Ward – who plays off three – and Steven Dawson – who is off four – had done even better with an incredible 48 points.

The ladies’ event was won by Sara Harris and Penny Campbell with 44 points, four clear of Barbara Newell and Lynn Collen in second place



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