Yasmin’s new handicap fails to halt charge for Order of Merit honours
In the Ladies Order of Merit the spring-like weather encouraged the ladies onto the Valley course and as the day went on scoring improved.
Young Yasmin Bass yet again had a good round to top the leaderboard with 35.
Yasmin started the winter with an agreed handicap of 45 (as she had not been playing long enough to get an official handicap) but has been playing so well that she has now submitted her cards and is officially on 37. Even playing off this new handicap Yasmin still scored well enough to win comfortably.
Sophie Beardsall (who is her nearest competitor on the overall OoM table) came in joint second along with Margaret Littlemore (both on 31 points and the having the same countback).
Pat Jamieson was fourth with 30 points to beat Pat Jones on back nine countback into fifth place. There are two more rounds to play and Yasmin is standing firmly on top with Sophie chasing behind.
The Gents Winter Order of Merit is turning into one of the closest competitions for many years and round eight got underway with 52 competitors starting out on on a cold and wintry morning.
The mid-morning sunshine certainly made for good golf although the early starters had to contend with solid and frosty conditions early on.
Scores were much lower on average but Daniel Kettle won with an excellent 42 points followed by John Peyser on 39 with Gary Evans taking third spot on countback with 37.
With only two rounds to go there are only seven points separating the first three and 12 points the first five places.
Leading with 137 points is Chris Howe (the man with two holes-in-one in this competition). Second on 135 points is Paul Thwaites and third on 130 is Craig Allan. In fourth and fifth spot John Peyser and Dave Copley are hard on the heels of the top three.
In the Ladies Midweek stableford the top two positions had to be separated by countback and on this occasion Liz Haughton just beat Pat Dawson with both players totalling 33 points.
Liz (four) surprisingly failed to score on the second but made up for this with a birdie on the short par sixth.
On her way home a further birdie on the 17th meant that she was able to push Pat into second place.
In her round Pat (31) was delighted with her play (particularly with a par on the 12th) but she ran into trouble on the 17th where she failed to score and it was that hole which proved to be difference between her and Liz in the final reckoning.
Third spot went to Kay Ropson (seven) on 31 who struggled a bit on the front eight holes but had a stunning back 10 which she played in only three over gross.
The seniors section have had two outings, the first of which was a Texas scramble on the Valley course.
Although the conditions seemed favourable there were only three sub-par scores (before handicap adjustments were taken into account).
The best round was registered by Bernie Bell, Eddy Montgomery and Terry Jones (who was ill but none-the-less struggled round). Their gross score of 67 was sufficient to take top spot with a nett score of 62.3.
In second spot, a gross score of 68 from David Nicol, John Morfee and Peter Wood was adjusted to 63.6 after handicap while David Aldred, Mike Hoye and Mike Maffei had 65.0 (69 gross).
In the Winter League the various play-off places are almost all decided with only one week to go.
In League One, Eddy Montgomery and Terry Jones, along with Mike Maffei and Greg Harker, are through to the next round.
Ken Porter and Charles Guttridge, together with Phil Harris and Paul Thurman, are both in uncatchable positions in League Two.
The unbeaten pairing of Neil Bradbury and Neil Southwell are through in League Three with Peter Wood and Peter Palmer.
There is a battle royale in League Four between three teams who are separated by only one point.
Peter Giblett and Colin Avery seem to have an advantage at the top as they have the best ‘goal difference’ but a win by Rob Gray and Bob Scrafton could lift them from third to second place, thus displacing Steve Taylor and Terry Padmore who can only watch from the sidelines next week as they have a bye.