Burghley Park’s representatives in next year’s national Daily Mail Foursomes knockout competition were identified at the club’s qualifying events at the weekend.
The chance to go forward and represent the club in this prestigious competition always attracts good fields, and this year was no exception despite the vicious winds which tested all the competitors.
In the mens’ event 35 pairs turned out, and at the end of the day Russell Compton and Stephen Crowson, receiving 15 shots, emerged victorious with 38 points and can look forward to some exciting challenges in 2018.
They started slowly, dropping three shots to par on the first two holes, before settling into a good rhythm which saw them drop only one more shot on the rest of the front nine.
Things continued to go well for a couple more holes before the wind started to get to them, with shots being dropped on 12, 13 and 14.
Six more went in the last four holes, but they kept fighting to the end and finished just a single point ahead of their challengers to secure their place in next year’s knockout.
Chasing hard all the way were Graham Camp and Steve Hopkins, receiving 16 shots, who played pretty much to net par and came home in second spot with a solid 37 points.
Charlie Barwis and Jorge Tinoco, getting only eight shots, had a mightily impressive front nine, with two birdies and four pars, to reach the turn in only one over gross par, but they couldn’t quite keep up the momentum and ended up in third place with 36 points.
In the Ladies’ event, Nicky Plumtree and Jane Saggers proved best able to master the strong winds, streaking away from the chasing pack to finish six points clear of their nearest challengers with an impressive 37 points.
A birdie on the eighth balanced out a double bogey on two, and the pair reached halfway two under net par with 20 points.
They couldn’t quite match this on the inward half, dropping shots on 14, 15 and 16, but still finished below net par to go forward to the national event next year.
Gill Bedford and Lynda Lancaster, receiving 21 shots, played steadily to reach the turn on 17 points.
Despite doubles on one and two, but blobs on 15 and 18 ended their hopes of challenging the winners and they finished with 31 points in second place.
Margaret Middleton and Mollie Plowright took third spot with 26 points.
Burghley’s C Team ended their long season on Saturday with their end of season celebration event which determined the identity of their player of the year.
C Team captain Robb Tapp, in his first year in the job, has attracted a slew of new players into the squad, and set up an innovative scoring system to capture performance throughout the season.
Forty-nine players have turned out for the squad during the season, which saw Burghley finish with a record of nine wins, nine losses and two draws.
Unbeaten all season at home, the side’s away record wasn’t as good, losing nine times and winning only twice, giving the squad an improvement target for next year.
Unsurprisingly, captain Tapp played in 17 of the 20 matches during the season, with Dan Elliott appearing 13 times, and Mike Beaumont and Alan Cole 12 times.
All players who had represented the club in six or more matches during the season were eligible for the player of the season award, with the top 10 carrying forward extra points into the season’s finale.
At the start of the day, Shean Smith led the way, just ahead of Rob King and Thomas Wright, and as the game went on it was clear that he wasn’t going to be overtaken, finishing clear to claim the Player of the Year award.
The day’s winner was Stewart Ward with 36 points, ahead of Cathal McHugh and Scott Downie on 33, with Thomas Wright and Dan Elliott winning nearest the pin prizes.
At the dinner afterwards, captain Tapp was pleased to pass a cheque for £150 to club captain Bill O’Driscoll for this year’s Captains Charities, collected via a series of imaginative fines levied by Tapp on non-conforming players throughout the season.
Wednesday’s Midweek Stableford at Burghley Park was won by Tony Rogers (17) with 36 points, edging out on-form Shean Smith (14) on countback, with Doug Hunter third on 35.