Skinner’s surge comes too late to challenge in Greetham’s Order of Merit

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The penultimate round of the Gents Winter Order of Merit on the Valley course at 
Greetham saw Bill Skinner play a fantastic round as he took advantage of the much improved weather conditions to score 42 points with a front nine score of 22.

Bill (22) has had a bit of a surge with good scores in the last two OoM outings but he has left his run too late to move high in the leaderboard of the overall competition.

Taking second place the reliable Dave Copley (8) maintained his recent form to take second spot with 39 while Darren Sargood (5) came third with 38.

With 38 players on the course and the recent snow causing the fairways to be very wet any player bettering his handicap would have been happy with their scoring.

In the overall OoM race Dave Copley now leads with 161.5 and has a 15 point lead over Tom McGrath but Paul Thwaites, who is 32 points behind, is dependant upon others to help him claw back the points difference to Dave.

In the penultimate round of the Ladies Winter Order of Merit on Sunday, Steph Craft (15) won the day’s competition with 34 points.

But, because she was not in the OoM, winners points were awarded to the next highest scorer, junior Ellie Haughton (3) who had 33 points.

In a family affair (appropriate for Mothering Sunday) Ellie just beat mum Liz Haughton (4) with 32 points while Jo Robinson (13) was beaten on countback with the same score. Gilly Grant (8) amassed 31 points to beat Kay Ropson (6) on countback.

The final round is next Sunday but, since both Yasmin Bass and Sophie Beardsall failed to achieve a top five position, there has been no major impact on the leaderboard.

However, they still remain in first and second places (178 and 146 points respectively) followed by Jackie Friend (on 84 OoM points).

The Ladies played a Waltz competition on Wednesday on the Lakes course and were delighted to enjoy some sunny weather on their way round.

There were several teams participating and the scores of the top three teams were very close with Maxine Kerr, Liz Darrell and Chris Edwards being placed third (on countback) with 72 points while Rachel Southwell, Sandy Begy and Dee Ginnity came second.

The team of Kay Ropson, Jackie Friend and Anne McCulloch crept into first position with a score of 73 points.

The quarter-finals of the Seniors Winter League were played on Monday in fairly unpleasant weather conditions which, after overnight rain, meant that some of the greens were particularly wet.

Notwithstanding this there were some very good matches being fought out. Mike Maffei and Greg Harker beat Phil Harris and Paul Thurman on the first of the extra holes as 17 handicapper Harker had an outstanding round, playing nearly six under handicap.

Greg’s partner suffered a small back pain over the first six holes and as a result it was Greg who had to carry the team over the initial stages but, at the turn, they were two down.

On the back nine it remained at this score until two wins on the long par fives brought the scores level with two holes to play and it remained that way to the end. Greg finally parred the 19th to win in sudden death.

There was a similar pattern in the game between Peter Wood with Peter Palmer against Ken Porter and Charles Guttridge where the latter pair started strongly to go three up (with Ken in particular playing the first four in one under gross), but they were pegged back to being only one up at the turn.

The two Peters bided their time until the 13th when a run of three wins on the trot saw them home by 3&2.

In the third game Eddy Montgomery and Terry Jones beat the Melton pair of Peter Giblett and Colin Avery 5 and 3.

Neil Bradbury and Neil Southwell had received a walkover due to the non-availability of their opponents.

While the Seniors quarter-finals were being played, a non-qualifying stableford competition also took place and here the deteriorating weather conditions certainly affected the overall scoring.

Third place went to John Taylor (13) with 35 points and it was a birdie on the ninth hole which provided a kick-start to his round. On the back half John had three pars but blotted his round with two double bogeys as the wet got to him.

Keith Stafford (15) came second, also with 35, and played steadily to accumulate points without making any major errors.

The overall winner was Tony Mould (8) with 36 and it was his back half which saw him home in top spot as he rattled five pars, these to go with four pars and a birdie on the front nine.