Compelling competition sees Burghley Park ladies reap the rewards of their efforts

Sue Adlam, Jackie Wurr and Bev Harpham dress the part at Burghley's Ladies Christmas competition on Sunday.
Sue Adlam, Jackie Wurr and Bev Harpham dress the part at Burghley's Ladies Christmas competition on Sunday.
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The recent Ladies’ Christmas Open AM-AM at Burghley Park was a great success, despite the grey and windy weather which welcomed the players.

The field of 134 players, from more than 20 clubs across the region, enjoyed a tight and compelling competition and ladies’ captain Anne Fensom was very appreciative of the efforts of organiser Lynn Collen and her band of helpers, who had put a lot of effort into making the day a success.

Anne said: “It was good to see so many people take part, and it was especially exciting that the competition was so close.”

The team winners were Anita Cross, Gill Dewhurst, Sally West and Maureen Orwell from Spalding with 86 points, who finished strongly to open up a decisive gap over the last couple of holes.

Competition for the remaining prizes was tight, with just a single point separating the next four teams.

Emerging at the head of this pack in second spot was the Brampton Park team of Anne Norman, Kay Osborne, Karen Large and Val Williams with 84 points, edging out the Northampton team of Rosie Youngman, Claire Lindsay, Jane Petts and Annie Goodchild on countback.

A further place back in fourth spot was the Belton Woods side of Jackie Wilson, Nikki Mason, Carole Stothard and Kylie Bullimore on 83, with Judy Cade (Burghley Park), Lorna Law (Luffenham Heath), Helen Pollard and Victoria Thomas from Rutland County claiming the final prize, also on 83.

Nearest the pin prizes went to Jane Petts from Northampton on the third and Anne Edwards from Peterborough Milton on the 13th with Burghley vice-captain Lynda Lancaster claiming the straightest drive prize.

n Last weekend’s annual Christmas competitions were disrupted by the weather with the men’s event on Sunday being postponed because of the snow. It will now take place this weekend instead.

However, the ladies’ event on Saturday was unaffected, and a good field of 39 players turned out for the team AM-AM competition.

As ever, the ladies threw themselves into the Christmas spirit, with most dressing up in festive costumes and being waited on at the halfway house by Phil Hunt and George Clayton-Jones.

Despite the cold, scoring was impressive from the teams of three, and it turned out very competitive at the head of the field, with just a single point separating the prize winners.

Countback was needed to determine the winners, and in the end Carol Johnson, Penny Campbell and Jackie Wurr claimed top spot with 89 points because of their better back nine.

Second place went to Gail Hunt, Sara Harris and Janet Duff, who carded a stunning 48 points on the front nine but, unsurprisingly perhaps, weren’t able to maintain such momentum on the return half, and found that their 89 points wasn’t quite good enough.

Just a point behind in third place on 88 were Lynn Collen, Sue Adlam and Bev Harpham.

After the completion of round three of Burghley Park’s Winter League, played over seven rounds of league competition to determine the eight teams who progress to the knockout stages, it’s clear that things are as competitive as ever.

Only five of the 32 teams still have a 100 per cent record, and at this stage even the backmarkers still have an outside chance of getting through.

In Division A, Mark Johnson and Carl Taylor maintained their perfect start to the campaign and lie top with nine points, but were pushed hard all the way by Tom Hagues and Daniel Dunthorne before securing a narrow one up win on the 18th.

Hagues and Dunthorne, who were previously unbeaten, remain in second place on holes won, but are now joined on six points by Tom Dunn and Tom Hutton and Doug Hunter and Brian Barnes.

Dunn and Hutton churned out a 2&1 win over Peter Barnes and David Gibson, while Hunter and Barber went down to Alan Cole and Chris Townsend, also by 2&1.

In the other game, John and Jordan Mayman beat John Coulter and Jim McEwan 5&4.

Two teams have broken away at the top of Division B, with Neil Harden and Mark Norman, and David Jackson and Javan Argent both having 100 per cent records with nine points; their nearest challengers are now five points back.

Harden and Norman had a titanic struggle against Adrian Boyden and Shean Smith, hanging on to their narrow lead down the last to win 1 up, while Jackson and Argent were also taken to the wire by Bill O’Driscoll and Terry Austin, also emerging as 1 up winners.

Boyden and Smith stay third on four points, with O’Driscoll and Austin back in fourth on three points, along with Garry Harrison and Dave Marsden, and Stuart Pringle and Andrew Vaughan.

Pringle and Vaughan edged out Ray Rose and Derek Reid-Hughes 2&1, while Harrison and Marsden had a bye this week.

League C is the tightest league of them all with just three points separating all the pairs.

Sharing the lead on six points are Dave Tilley and Graham Bedford, and Paul Wilkinson and Bob Emmins, with Wilkinson and Emmins missing the chance to open up a lead at the top as they were overcome by the ever-competitive Richard Gilbert and Richard Cook 3&1.

Tilley and Bedford made no such mistake, overwhelming Scott Downie and Charlie Gardiner 6&5.

Gilbert and Cook sit third on holes won, along with Kev Lawrence and Ian Jacobs (who had a bye), Martin Ash and Stuart Blesset (3&2 winners over Stephen Moody and Dunmore Hind), Downie and Gardiner and Moody and Hind.

Richard Allen and Paul Ramm kept up their 100 per cent record in League D and lead by three points as a result.

But they were pushed hard by a determined effort from Daniel Elliott and Matthew Pettit, before pulling away to win 3&1.

Three teams have six points, led by reigning champions Steve Hopkins and Graham Camp, who defeated Phil Hunt and Keith Duff 4&3, pulling ahead on the back nine after being held to all square for the first 10 holes.

Hugh Riddlesdell and Chris Quinn missed their chance to go joint top, losing two down to Robb Tapp and Mike Powell and lie just ahead of Elliott and Pettit on holes won. Stewart Ward and Jon Tyrell shared a half with Sam Parker and Ben Taylor.