Powell’s pinpoint accuracy helps to land draw prize
A full field of 104 players from 26 clubs across the region turned out for Burghley Park’s first open event of the season, the Spring Golf Day sponsored by Sycamore BMW of Peterborough.
The event was played over 27 holes by teams of four, with a nine hole Texas Scramble in the morning and an 18 hole AM-AM after lunch.
The course was in immaculate condition as a result of the sterling efforts of course manager Paul Mills and his team and those taking part were the first to experience the newly redeveloped sixth and 15th holes.
While everyone wanted the glory of winning the AM-AM event, there was a real buzz about the nearest the pin competitions on all the par three holes, where the four winners’ names went into a draw to win the free use for a weekend of a BMW i8, the range-topping hybrid supercar.
In the end the happiest person at Burghley was Michelle Powell, currently ladies’ vice-vaptain at Burghley, who could hardly contain herself when Sycamore BMW’s David Nairne, drew her name out of the hat.
In the AM-AM event the result was clear cut.
The team of Ben Griffiths of Hainault Forest, with Tony Noakes, John Elsom and Bill Sawings from Maylands Golf Club played steadily all afternoon to romp home as winners with their 94 points.#
They were three clear of second-placers David Gregory (Greetham Valley), James Cottam, Mark Downs and Ian Jarvis of Buckingham Golf Club.
Andrew Vernon, Duncan Spalding, Chris Frake and Chris Budd (Willesley Park and Edwalton) claimed third spot on 88 with a big gap back to Peter Walters, John Colville, Chris Ward and David Porter of Lakeside Lodge on 84.
The morning Texas Scramble was played as two competitions, for those playing the front and back nines, and if you wanted to get in the prizes it was necessary to shoot a low score.
The front nine event was claimed by Stuart Connel, John Archibald, Andrew Lodges and Graham Batchford of Gainsborough and Retford Golf Clubs with a net 28.95.
The back nine prize went to Ian Townsend, Geoff Townsend, Danny Raven and Kris Owen of Melton Mowbray with 28.45.
Nearest the pin prizes in the afternoon went to Bob Bellamy (third), Anthony Barnes (ninth), Peter Cooledge (13th) and Michelle Powell (16th).
David Nairne of Sycamore BMW, giving out the prizes, was delighted with the way the day had gone, and was pleased to announce that the company was continuing to sponsor the season-long Order of Merit at Burghley, with the winners going on to the national BMW event.
The PJ Trophy at Burghley Park last Sunday was nigh-on full, with 97 men and 29 ladies turning out.
There was some good scoring, with 10 men and two ladies going under par, and a clear winner in the guise of Mark Duffen (8) who headed the field with his 41 points and came down to seven as a result.
He was rock-steady all day, reaching the turn at just one over gross for 21 points, and only dropping two more shots on the way home for another 20 points.
His performance gave him the Division One prize, ahead of Keilin Harper (8) and David Scott (3) on 39 points with Harper taking second place on countback.
Both had impressive rounds, with Scott going round in even par with a single birdie and bogey on each half, but he was pipped by Harper’s level par back nine, which saw him card 22 points to edge out Scott on countback. Both were cut a shot.
Division Two had a clear winner in Kev Lawrence (12), whose 40 points saw him cut to 11.
Paul Wallwork (12) took second on 37, beating Russell Compton (10) on countback - both were cut a shot.
Division Three went to Bob Pimlott (17), whose 37 points included blobs on the fourth and 15th holes, leaving to muse on what might have been.
Iain Robb (16) started slowly, reaching the turn with only 15 points, before bursting into life with 21 on the back nine to take second spot on 36, beating Mike Powell (18) on countback. Powell did at least have the consolation of being cut to 17.
In the ladies’ event victory went to Helen Cox (17), who followed a double bogey on the first with five pars, to reach the turn with 19 points and then added another four pars to be on track for a really impressive score.
An unfortunate blob on the par three 16th might have derailed her charge, but she stuck to her guns and reached the safety of the clubhouse with a winning score of 39 points, which saw her handicap reduced to 16.
Lynda Lancaster (22) chased hard all the way, carding 17 points on the front nine despite failing to score on the second and then added another 21 on the way home for a total of 38 points in second place and a cut to 21. Michelle Powell (17) was third with 33.
Sunday at Burghley Park saw the first event of the Men’s BMW Order of Merit Series, the Coronation Cup, which was first contested in 1937.
Victory in the first board competition of the season went to Jim Scutt (7) with a net 68.
A bogey on the first did not deter him as he settled into a par rhythm until bogeying the sixth, but a birdie on the next hole soon got him back on track, and he went through the turn just one over gross.
He had to work harder on the way home, but hung on well for his net 68 which gave him the title and a cut to six.
His score ensured he also took the Division One prize, although he was chased hard by two strong performances from A Team members Adi Ward (4) and Sanjay Nithiyilingam (3), both of whom carded net 70.
Ward was one over gross at the turn, and came back in three over, with Sanjay going one better on the front nine, which he played in level par, and also coming home three over gross.
Ward took second spot on countback, but Sanjay recorded the best gross score of the day (73) and was also cut to two.
Division Two went to Brian Eldred (12) with his impressive net 68.
Had it not been for a quadruple bogey seven on the par three 13th, he would have taken the overall win, but he had the consolation of the divisional win, as well as seeing his handicap fall to 11.
Steve Coultas (9) was second on 72, edging out Robert Fisher (10) on countback.
In Division Three, Mark Johnson (16) took the win with his net 70, Mark Musgrove (21) taking second place on 71 - both were cut a shot.
Robert Dennis (20) was third on 73, but looked on for much better, before things fell apart over the last five holes.
Burghley Park’s ladies contested the Rudkin Cup on Sunday, with 27 players taking part.
Nicky Plumtree (14) proved best on the day, with a string of pars setting her on the road to a 36 point finish which gave her the cup and a cut to 13.
Pippa LeSage (27) finished second with 35 points, having got things together on the back nine where she scored 20 points despite blobbing two holes. Jane Saggers (22) was third with 34 points.
After two rounds of the Ladies BMW Order of Merit, there’s a tie at the top between Anne Harrison-Smith and Jane Saggers, both on 22 points, with Pippa LeSage third on 17.
Burghley’s Seniors are getting in to their stride, with three matches in the past week.
George Clayton-Jones took his team to Ramsey (always a tough proposition at home), determined to avenge their big defeat last year.
The wet conditions made the course play long, to the advantage of Burghley’s big hitters, and the force was with the visitors all day.
Captain Clayton-Jones and Keith Duff had a tough match at the front, pitched against some canny players who fought their way back from a two hole deficit to take the match to the last, where a long putt saw Burghley happy to escape with a half.
After that it was one-way traffic as Burghley took the next three matches, courtesy of wins for Bill Purchas and Chris Cheeseman (3&1), Peter Symonds and Mick Marriott (3&2) and Bill Glencross and Peter Hickman (1 up), before a half for Rowland Davies and Jim Clarke ensured Burghley couldn’t be beaten.
But there was to be no let up for the home side, as Burghley also took the three last matches, with wins for Bill Sewell and Mike Wright (3&1), Bob Emmins and David Rae (3&2) and Alan Kinch and David Lennie (4&3) giving Burghley their biggest win of the season so far, with a 7-1 victory.
Burghley’s Seniors then welcomed Rutland Water Golf Club for their first competitive visit.
Burghley’s tails were up after their success at Ramsey, but the visitors made a good fight of it in the early matches.
Halfway through the fixture scores were level at 2-2, with wins for George Clayton-Jones and Maurice Egglestone (2&1) and John Mayman and Bill Sewell (3&1) balanced out by defeats for David Taylor and Mike Wright (4&3) and David Rae and Peter Hickman (3&1).
Burghley’s strong tail then kicked in, claiming all four of the remaining matches, with wins for David Lennie and Steve Cheeseman (2&1), Richard Gilbert and Bill Glencross (2&1), Charles Cade and Jim Clarke (2&1) and Terry Lill and Phil Hunt (6&5) giving Burghley a 6-2 win.
The seniors then took the long road to Woodhall Spa, on a dull day that delivered rain before the fixture was over.
The team were delighted to be playing on the Hodgkin Course, and were keen to see the new bunker works which have been recently completed, but that seemed to pretty much be the limit of their ambition on a day which saw a series of heavy losses for the visitors.
Jim Clarke and Barry Doggett were Burghley’s only winners in a very impressive 8&6 winning display, but unfortunately their team-mates couldn’t follow their lead.
Bob Collier and Phil Hunt came closest, grabbing a half, but everyone else found their opponents too strong, with losses for George Clayton-Jones and David Rae (2&1), Alan Gray and Paul Wilkinson (6&5), Maurice Egglestone and Pete Hickman (3&2), Rowland Davies and Mike Wright (5&4), Dave Devlin and Richard Gilbert (4&2) and Bill Glencross and Brian Plowright (5&4).
A 6.5-1.5 defeat leaves Burghley with everything to play for in the return match in June.
The Burghley Park Seniors Spring tournament drew 37 competitors with Isobel Reading (23) proving best on the day.
Her 37 points was a model of steadiness, with an impressive 21 points on the front nine setting her well on the way to a good score. Her handicap was cut to 22 as a result.
Barry Doggett (20) took second place on 36, with George Clayton-Jones (19) third on 33.