Winter winners show fine form at Burghley Park

Paul Wilkinson, left, and John Mayman, winter league winners at Burghley Park Golf Club
Paul Wilkinson, left, and John Mayman, winter league winners at Burghley Park Golf Club
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John Mayman and Paul Wilkinson have claimed the Winter League title at Burghley Park, after a final showdown at the course at the weekend.

Throughout the series, players had endured some of the most challenging winter weather for years but the final, against Stuart Blessett and Martin Ash, took place on the warmest day of the year.

It was a hard fought match, bringing together the competition’s two most consistent pairs. And Blessett and Ash Paul Wilkinson came up against a pair at the top of their form, and who synchronised their game well.

Two long side-hill putts on the first saw the first hole halved in par, before Mayman and Wilkinson slowly turned the screw to go 3up by the turn.

Holes were exchanged early on the back nine, before Mayman and Wilkinson pulled away again to claim victory on the 14th, winning 5&4.

l As if that were not enough, junior organiser Mayman then spent the afternoon hosting a successful Junior Taster event, attended by 12 youngsters and their parents.

The club’s assistant professional Joe Lippett, supported by Hannah Vaughan and Richard Vaughan, took the visitors through a series of practice drills and hitting exercises, before taking them out for a few holes of golf.

Junior clinics will take place at 2pm every second Sunday and new players are always welcome.

Junior roll-ups will take place every Monday evening at 5.15pm from this week.

The first Juniors match of the year saw Burghley Park host Stowmarket, and run out 3½-1½ winners.

Captain Billy Earl and Sanjay Nithiyalingam won 3&2; Dean Vaughan and Lewin Auciello won 5&4, Dan Carr and Jacob Howe halved, Jordan Mayman and Jake Brown lost 2&1, and Joe Bates and James Longbone won 1up.

l Burghley’s seniors continued their good start to their season with a 5-3 win away at Luffenham Heath last Thursday, to maintain their 100percent record.

It was touch and go whether the match would take place due to a heavy snow shower just before the start, and the first few holes were especially challenging. However, the seniors are made of tough stuff and were not deterred by the temperature and biting winds.

Seniors results: Peter Hickman and Bob Collier lost 2&1; Brian Plowright and David Ford won 5&4; Dennis Wildman & David Porteous lost 2&1; Keith Duff and Chris Sheffield won 3&2; Ron Carter and David Devlin lost 2&1; Gerry Clark and Brian Tunnicliffe won 3&2; Jim Clarke and Maurice Egglestone won 5&4, and Eric McKaig and Paul Sampy won 1up.

The first Seniors club competition of the year, for the Sandy Grey-Smith Trophy, attracted 55 entries and also featured a hole-in-one by Marie Allwood on the par 3 ninth hole.

The overall title went to David Ford with a net 70, while the Men’s section saw both Bob Collier and Kelvin Tow come in with net 71s, with Collier taking top spot on countback. The Ladies prize went to Margaret Middleton with a net 76, ahead of Marie Allwood on 77.

Burghley Park’s first qualifying competition of the year eventually took place last Wednesday, in the form of the April Midweek Medal (played as a Stableford).

Fifty intrepid souls turned out in spite of the cold, and were delighted to find themselves back on main greens at last. Scoring was challenging, with no one managing to match par, meaning that CSS went up to 72.

In Division 1 Mark Saggers was head and shoulders above everyone else, coming in with 35 points ahead of Doug Hunter on 33 and Rod Wright and Chris Quinn on 32. Division 2 was also won with 35 points by Simon Howard, who was cut to 18 as a consequence. Billy Earl took second on 34, ahead of Jordan Mayman and Mike Marshall on 33.

More than 100 players turned out for the Mens Coronation Cup on Sunday, and scoring was good in tricky early season conditions. Stand-out performance of the day came from Kevin Bates in Division 2, whose net 63 secured the overall title and got him cut from 13 to 10.

The division was highly competitive, with five sub-70 net scores being recorded.

Results: (Division 1) – 1st Andrew Taylor 74-6=68, 2nd Sanjay Nithiyalingam 80-11=69, 3rd Jon Tyrrell 81-11=70; (Division 2) – 1st Kevin Bates 76-13=63, 2nd George Tee 79-13=66, 3rd Jon Brown 78-12=66; (Division 3) – 1st Lewin Auciello 83-16=67, 2nd Andrew Sherwin 93-25=68, 3rd Trevor Robson 88-18=70.

Stewart Ward and Jon Tyrrell continue to progress in the national Daily Mail Foursomes, beating a pair from Luffenham Heath last week in Round 2 by the impressive score of 5&4.

l Burghley Park are also doing well in the Mail on Sunday competition, beating North Luffenham in Round 3 on the 2nd extra hole, after the match finished 2½-2½.

The honour of winning the tie fell to James Grant, who beat his opponent on the second extra hole, after having lost to him 3&2 in the match itself. Matt Lem lost 4&2, Anton Wells won 1up, Andy Carr won 3&2, George Beadle (giving away 12 shots on handicap) secured a half, and James Grant lost 3&2.

The Ladies Golf Foundation Medal saw an impressive performance by Kay Hircock, whose net 70 saw her take the trophy by 4 shots from Mary Sharp (net 74) and Elaine Brown (net 75).