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Round-up of the club championship action at Burghley Park Golf Club

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Burghley Park’s annual Club Championship tournament took place at the weekend and there will be a new name on the men’s honours board this year.

Current A team captain James Hargreaves sealed his first victory in what is generally regarded as the most prestigious tournament in the club’s calendar.

James – who plays off two – followed a fine gross score of 68 on Saturday, which featured birdies on the second and 10th and a stunning eagle on the fourth, with a more modest 75 on the Sunday.

Sue Churchill (right), ladies’ club champion, and Elaine Brown (left), ladies’ net champion, with their trophies.
Sue Churchill (right), ladies’ club champion, and Elaine Brown (left), ladies’ net champion, with their trophies.

But this was good enough for him to seal a one-shot victory over the in-form Nick Glover, who had won this title twice as a younger man back in 2011 and 2012.

James’ namesake, Adrian Hargreaves (no relation), bucked the general trend by posting his best score on the Sunday, following a 64 with an even more impressive 61.

This meant he won the nett prize on countback from Callum Pridmore, whose 10 under par nett score of 60 on the Saturday was the lowest posted in the field, on either day, by four shots. Callum also came third overall in the gross competition.

Other highlights of the weekend included the stunning eagle scored on Saturday by Anthony Barnes on the 18th and the one achieved on Sunday by James Grant on the 11th.

The Ladies’ Club Championship is played on the same weekend as the men’s and was contested by 17 players this year.

At the end of day one it was a close run thing between Jo Bell (playing off 15) leading with a gross 87, but closely followed by Sue Churchill (15) and Mel Griffiths (18) both with gross 89.

On day two things hotted up (both in temperature and competition) with three players closely matched.

Kay Hircock (14) and Sue Churchill both came in with gross 88, and Sandy Bushby (14) appeared in the mix with 89.

However, when the scores were combined for the two days the clear winner, with a gross score for the two rounds of 177, was a delighted Sue Churchill.

Sue did not start well on round one with a couple of sevens appearing on the front nine. However, her competitive spirit kicked in for the back nine and her game improved.

She played very steadily on the second day despite a minor drama on the 14th where she found the front fairway bunker.

However, Sue used her experience and good course management to deal deftly with the situation and decided to come out sideways which was a wise decision as it allowed her an accurate pitch on to the green and she then sank the putt to keep a seven off her card.

Sue remarked that she has been itching to win the club championship for many years and was absolutely thrilled to finally do so.

Sandy Bushby ended the two days with a total of gross 179 to take second place, edging out the first day leader, Jo Bell, who finished in third with 180.

The ladies’ net competition is played in parallel with the championship and day one saw a steady Janet Duff (23) come in with a net 69, closely followed by Elaine Brown (25) with 70 and Mel Griffiths with 71.

Day two saw a change in fortunes for many, with some low scoring rounds. However, Elaine kept her nerve and calmly played her way to a net 68 giving her an excellent net score of 138 to claim the trophy.

Elaine presented the club with the trophy (a silver salver) in 1997, her ladies’ captains year, to encourage all ladies to enter the club championship, so it is most appropriate that her name will now appear on the winners’ list on the trophy.

Lynda Lancaster (off 27) took second place in the net competition, her second round score of net 69 elevating her up the leaderboard to give a total of 143.

Lynn Collen (24) played steadily both days, and her long drives and accurate putting paid off to give her net 73 on both days, and a total of 146 for third place.

Sue and Elaine were presented with their trophies by ladies’ vice-captain Anne Harrison-Smith, who congratulated all the winners and competitors and also thanked the competitions team, led by Sara Harris, who had the tricky job of administering the complications of a two day competition.

Earlier in the week the ladies’ B team won promotion in the Lincolnshire Handicap League for a second year in succession with an emphatic 3-1 win over near neighbours Greetham Valley.

Greetham sent a strong team looking to end Burghley's unbeaten run this season.

The first match pairing of Penny Campbell and Mel Griffiths won 4&2 and, when Sara Harris and Anne Hughes won 5&3, the team's promotion was secure.

Stephanie Crook and Jayne Carney took their close match to the 18th green but, when both home players found greenside bunkers, the Greetham pair were able to clinch a one up victory.

The final pairing of Bev Harpham and Judy Cade scored a 5&4 win.

The Burghley B team were promoted to Division Four at the end of last season but, due to their success this year, they will be in Division Three next year, their highest ever league position.

The ladies’ A League team was also in action during the week with a match against Lincoln at home.

It was a very challenging day where holes were being won with birdies and eagles. Team captain, Sandy Bushby, was delighted to halve the match and congratulated all who played.

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