Win completes an away day double for Graham

Graham Smith at Greetham Valley Golf Club
Graham Smith at Greetham Valley Golf Club
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Greetham Valley’s Graham Smith is rounding off the year in the same vein as he began it - victorious on the captain’s away day.

Smith was the winner of Jim Wheeler’s away day at Ramsey at the start of the year and he ended the second away day of the year four shots clear of the field for an unusual double.

For his second away day, Jim chose a course that was unfamiliar to most of the Greetham players - Kettering Golf Club - but one that Smith found to his liking. He said the greens were some of the best that he has played on this year.

Playing in the last group, Bill Skinner got off to a great start, winning the nearest the pin on the first hole before finishing in third on countback.

Mark Haynes, also playing in the last group, won nearest the pin on the 12th, while Fraser Denholm (off six) won the longest drive and took second place on countback.

l Cathy Steele has won the final ladies’ qualifying competition of the year, the Ladies’ October medal.

Cathy, who only began playing golf seriously this year, enjoyed a great score of 36 in tough conditions. She has dropped six shots off her handicap and ends the year with a handicap of 24.

Bryony Batch was second on countback and pushed ninehandicapper Kay Ropson into third.

l Week three of the 24-week winter order of merit saw yet another first time winner.

Mike Watkins stunned the field with a fantastic round to come home with 41 points.

Many of the players had struggled in the cold, wet and windy conditions but Mike took it all in his stride.

Second and third were decided on countback with Tony Mould and Alan Bennett both on 41 points. It all went down to the final hole which Tony won with a birdie.

Steve Anderson retains his overall lead with 60 points, just ahead of Dave Copley with 56.5. Dave was fourth for the second time in the series.

Trevor Smith, who won in week one is in third place with 51 points, one ahead of Mike Watkins in fourth. George Brand completes the top five on 47.5.

l After their titanic battle in the Ladies’ doubles when Sally Bowker and Sophie Beardsal beat Emma Tipping and Heather Morgan, Sally and Emma met up again in the final knockout competition of the year, the Ladies’ singles final.

The front nine was nip and tuck all the way until Emma, off two managed to get a hole up after the front nine.

Sally, off 13, struck back immediately, taking the 10th with a net birdie to bring the match level.

Emma then birdied the par three 14th but Sally had a net birdie to halve the hole, they also halved the par five 15th.

Emma got her nose in front again when she won the par five 16th but once again Sally hit right back by winning the 17th.

The nerves were jangling as they teed up on the 18th but with both players holding their nerve, the hole was halved.

Back on the first, as their 19th, they halved again before Emma finally won on the 20th to take the match and the title.

l The 2011 ladies captain Jackie Friend shot a fantastic front nine in the Ladies’ Former Captains’ Competition, played on the Lakes course.

Playing in non-stop rain, Jackie came in with a net 77 for victory.

Former Captain and Ladies President, Beryl Crosland, had chances on both the 17th and 18th to snatch the win but the putts lipped out on each hole and Beryl had to settle for second with 78 points.