Andy clinches Mail victory for Weston

Weston Golf Club defeated Isle of Wedmore 3-2 in the first round of the Mail on Sunday matchplay event.

WESTON Golf Club hosted Isle of Wedmore Golf Club in round one of the Mail on Sunday matchplay event.

Temporary greens, a rare phenomenon at Weston, did not detract from the spirit of the match, which proved to be a close fought battle.

Carl Hall and Mark Short were both defeated 3&2 by their Wedmore adversaries, Nick Parker and Rich Vowles. John Whittaker, a debutante for Weston played well to beat Paul Plume 4&2 to give Weston a fighting chance.

Nigel Brown, playing in the last match, had a handsome early victory over Tim Harris 6&5 making it 2-2 and leaving the pressure on match four.

Andy Balcombe played a superb approach into 17 to secure his birdie and then hit a three wood into the temporary green at 17a, which proved enough to secure a 2&1 win over James Vowles and bring the match home 3-2 in favour of the hosts.

Weston seniors’ held the last of this year’s Alan Holt qualifying competitions. Robin Webb came in with an exceptional score to win by four strokes from Jim Brown. Both qualified for the knockout stages of the competition, the draw for which was made the day after: Trevor Knott v Jim Brown; Roy Hodgin v Robin Webb; Peter Berry v John Williams; Ray Chambers v Dave Snowdon. These are to be played by May 28.

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Results: Robin Webb 73 (11) 62 (Q); Jim Brown 82 (16) 66 (Q); Dave Rowland 72 (5) 67; Colin Dummett 80 (12) 68; David Andow 79 (11) 68; Steve Bennett 91 (22) 69; Peter Sedley-Jones 86 (16) 70; Brian Whiddett 87 (16) 71.

? IN the February Stableford competition held at Burnham and Berrow Golf Club, there were some great scores all round.

The early starters had to contend with frozen conditions, but as the day wore on the greens began to thaw out and allowed more normal conditions to prevail.

In Division 1, Neil Darby continued his recent good form and accumulated 39 points, winning the division by four points from Sean Arble and Matthew Houghton.

Ian Moreton won Division 2 with an excellent 40 points, but it was a close run thing for second and third between Paul Vaughan-France and Charlie Huggins. Both had 39 points, but Paul won on countback.

Due to the conditions, the competition was non-qualifying.

? WITH the continuing sub-zero temperatures being endured, golfers at Brean are still thriving on the luxury of the oversize holes afforded by the temporary greens. Saturday’s Winter League Stableford event saw another glut of low scoring with Vince Ford leading the way on 47 points. His impressive effort left him one point clear of Barry Tucker, who in turn edged out club chairman Graham Exton by a single point.

The following day Tucker was again to assume the ‘bridesmaid’ role in the annual meeting Shotgun Foursomes event. He and his partner Ian Adams handed in a useful looking 46 points.

A storming round by Steve Payne and John Brewer saw the rack up the points at a fair rate of knots and could even afford to not score on one hole as they totalled an excellent 47 points to take victory.

Third place went to Chris Fairchild and Steve Peates on 45 points with two other pairings handing in 44 points.

The club annual meeting took place following the foursomes event and Dave Bradley handed over the club captaincy to Stewart Garrett for the next 12 months. Gail Mason succeeds Jenny Vaughan as ladies’ captain, while Tony Roper takes over the seniors’ reins from Jim Longford.

All three incoming captain’s have a tough task to follow after the success enjoyed by the club in 2011, but are sure to be up for the challenge.

? THE coldest spell of the winter so far saw play at Wedmore switch to the winter greens.

The ladies cut their competition to nine holes for a four-ball betterball competition. This was enough though to see some clear differentiation in the scores. Third place went to Judy Cutter and Sue Hughes with 20 points.

This was one point behind Janis Lawrence and Ruth Pearson who took second place with 21. In a steady progression, clear winners on 22 points were vice-captain Deidre Wheadon and partner Joan Peck.

The monthly club Stableford was played under clear blue skies, but on icy greens which proved difficult to read.

Best of the day was Mike Garbutt who won Division 2 with 44 points, a clear six points ahead of Rob Davis who took second place from Ian Bunn on countback, both scoring 38 points.

Division 1 went to Peter Rowntree whose 42 points put him two ahead of Martin Stephens with James Vowles a further two shots back in third.

There was a close finish in Division 3 with both Stephen Young and Mark Sweeting scoring 43 points, Young prevailing by virtue of a better back nine. Tony Phelps took third spot on 41 points.

In the ladies, Saybria Sims was best in silver division with 37 points, ahead of Claire Biggs. There was a tie in bronze division with Ann Adams just beating Vera Ireland on countback.

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