Captain's drive-in starts in the rain at Weston
PUBLISHED: 14:15 11 April 2018 | UPDATED: 14:15 11 April 2018
The new captains at Weston started the new season with the traditional drive-in.
Twenty-four teams took to the course at Weston following the captains’ drive-in.
The weather brightened up after a rather damp start and much of day was played in dry conditions.
Although none of the captains featured in the top three, current club president Gordon Robert, his wife Beryl and teammates Jack Radcliffe and Kaylee Davey picked up third place with 87 points.
Second place was secured by Neil Urch, Rich Fisher, Dave Edwards and Matt Evans with an excellent team score of 89. However, they were pipped at the post by the winning team of Ian Chamberlain, Gary Gullick, Barbara and Robert Parker with an impressive score of 90 points.
The ladies gathered to welcome new captain Zena Balcombe before taking to the fairways to play American greensomes. Kaylee Davey and Tessa Williams came in with the best score of 37, with Sue Garrett and Wendy Thomas runners-up on countback.
Thirty-four was a popular score for the next three pairs, with Sue Andow and Sue Osman taking third place on countback.
The juniors had a busy week at Worlebury when they played the seniors in the first leg of their biannual encounter and held their Commsplus Cup.
The Commsplus Cup is a long-standing competition which is generously sponsored by club member Steve Collard, the company’s managing director.
Six handicapper Alix Kew retained the trophy, his 38 points replicating his score from last year. Junior captain Mikey Nicholls was runner-up with 36, pipping Troy Young, Callum Tucker and Ben Smart on countback.
The seniors have never won any of their matches against the juniors in living memory and it was a real feather in the current seniors’ captain Mike Strang’s cap, that he led his team to a fighting half.
Due to commitments, the juniors only had six players available and the match was reduced to three fourballs. Each team won one, lost one and the final match was halved. Honours are therefore even going in to the return match in the October half-term holiday week.
After a couple of practice rounds, the captain/pro challenge kicked off in dead earnest. The first opponents for captain Steve Taylor and pro Scott Thompson were Fred Hooper and Keiron Osmond. This was a veritable birdie fest which saw Taylor and Thompson win a high quality encounter 2&1.
The men held their March Stableford in rather damp conditions. Chris Taylor was the day’s top scorer with 42 points to comfortably win Division 3. Nick Ryan was runner-up with 38. Tom Dancey took third place beating Julian Brown and Eifion Price on countback, each player scoring 35.
Avalon Originals captain Graham Hewlett won Division 1 with a very good 39 points. Andy Taylor was runner-up, edging out Dave Hill on countback, each scoring 36.
Stan Henderson also notched an excellent 39 points and this was good enough to narrowly win Division 2. New member Glyn Ager shot 38 to come second and Steve Church was third with 37.
A week of three Stablefords kicked off at Wedmore with the seniors and a win in Division 1 for Peter Rowntree, who scored 39 points.
He was one ahead of Philip Horn, who was another shot ahead of Brian Webber who claimed third place on countback. A similar result in Division 2 saw Nick Smith claim first place on 38, just one better than Keith Thomas. Gary Cutter was another two points behind in third place.
Nigel Day was the clear winner of Division 3 on 39, but countback was required to sort out the other places with Clive Warren-Smith just beating Keith Bellingham after both scored 37.
There was nothing close about the result of the ladies’ competition as Diane Miller scored 38, six better than any other player, an eight-point winning margin in Division 1 and enough to reduce her handicap by three shots.
Ronnie Follenfant was runner-up in the division with Ange Webber taking the third spot. Division 2 went to Ann Dixon on 31, two better than Sarah Mathews with Janis Lawrence a point back in third.
A tight finish in Division 3 saw Vera Ireland winning on countback from Marion Warren-Smith after both scored 32, two better than third-placed Sue McDonald. Linda Wright won the inaugural nine-hole Stableford for higher handicappers with 16 points.
The club Stableford was successfully completed despite threats of heavy rain and was certainly successful for David Braithwaite who won Division 1 with 38 points, one better than Terry Clark who in a steady progression was one ahead of third-placed Rich Vowles.
Frank Denniston continues to prove that age is no handicap winning Division 2 on 37, one better than Jonathan Raeside with Darren Cornish third on 35. Brian Murdoch came out on top in Division 3 on 36, one better than Michael Sinclair who beat Keith Rabbitts on countback.
Ann Dixon followed up her win in the competition by also winning the ladies’ section of the club Stableford.
Both Avalon League teams at Brean opened their season with home games and both recorded wins.
Team captain Matt Shaw led the Division 3 team into battle in a local derby against Isle of Wedmore which saw them end the day as 4-1 winners.
Following that game was the Division 5 side in another local derby against Worlebury. Dave Morgan’s men won 3-2 to start their campaign with a win.
Ian Adams and Barrie Tucker ended the current Super Series with a win as they triumphed in the betterball Stableford. They carded 43 points to win by three from captain-elect Trevor Pitt and Tony Higgins, but only after they prevailed in a countback with Stewart Garrett and Tony Groves.
Dan Broom had a superb round in some testing conditions to take the April Stableford. Despite missing the worst of the morning rain, the five-handicapper still had to conquer the soft ground conditions along with the re-introduction of the white tees. He amassed 42 points to win his Division by six from club champion Matt Shaw.
Steve Hill was the top man in Division 2 with his 39 points. An impressive front nine including seven pars set him up for his one-point victory over Nigel Hodges who defeated Mats Mattsson on a countback for the runners-up prize.
Ian Rogers secured the Division 3 award with a card of 36 points, beating the 34 of Rich Lambert into second spot.
Brian Read won the April medal and with it booked his spot in the seniors’ team for the annual sports celebrity am in June. He scored a nett 67 to win Division 1 by two from Barrie Tucker and Mike Allen, with Tucker shading a countback to get the runners-up prize.
Bob Toller was the leading score in Division 2 with a nett 72 as the higher handicappers struggled a little in the soft conditions. Runner-up to Toller was Roger Phillips, but again only after a countback as John Hale also matched his score.
The leading three scores overall all get the opportunity to join seniors’ captain and represent the section in June, so it will be Tucker and Allen completing the quartet along with the winner Read.
Members secretary Linda Edmondson was the winner of the Lady Secretary Shanker for the second year running after scoring 33 points. She held a six-point winning margin in the Stableford event that only permits each player to use two clubs and their putter to navigate the course. Runner-up was ladies’ club champion Lyn Bird with Liz Blackwell taking third spot.