Worlebury juniors reach the final of the Somerset Junior League

PUBLISHED: 15:23 01 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:23 01 August 2018

Lyn Bird ladies' champion at Brean.

Lyn Bird ladies' champion at Brean.


Worlebury Golf Club’s junior team, led by captain Michael Nicholls, have reached the final of the Somerset Junior League.

In a week of highlights at Worlebury, pride of place goes to the junior team, led by captain Michael Nicholls who, bolstered by Lauren Hanson and Olly Tripp, edged out a fighting Taunton and Pickeridge team to reach the Somerset Junior League final. They will play Mendip Spring in September.

On one of the hottest days of the year, lady captain Lorna Macivor presided over a highly successful mixed away day at Yeovil.

Played in a fourball bowmaker format, with the top two to count, the winners with 88 points were the team of Carole and Gerry Miles and Tricia and Clive Smith. Barry and Cheryl Saunders, Marnie Sweet and Mike Knight, with 85 points came second.

Sam and Graham Hewlett, Lynne Johnson and Keith Wharton were third with 84.

The longest drive prize for the ladies was won by Jill Phillips, with Merv Kinch picking up the men’s prize. Nearest the pin prizes were won by Lynn Pope and Martin Philp.

Lorna thanked Barry and Cheryl Saunders for organising the day superbly well.

To cap a good week for the ladies’ section, on the same day the Alliance team, under Claire Bayliss’s captaincy, continued their domination of Division 4 when they won 9-5 away to Orchardleigh.

It was a big week for 14-year-old Lauren Hanson, who followed up her fine performance in the semi-final of the junior league the day before to make her debut for the Alliance team.

Claire and Lauren were ably supported by Emma Bourton, Helen Clarke, Janet Fear, Sue Sokol and Susan Tarry.

It was a close finish for the ladies in the Prunier Cup, with Helen Clarke getting the verdict, beating Patricia Sharp and Janet Fear on countback, each player scoring a nett 71.

An alternate medal was held simultaneously which saw Sandra Barford win with the best score of the day, a nett 69. Carol Cockerham was runner-up with 72 and Jane Wakerley third with 74.

A field of 120 players turned out for the men’s Battle of Britain Cup. It was a happy return to the club for Ian Tunold, who won the competition after an absence of a number of years.

It required a photo finish, however, with countback required to finalise the placings, four players scoring a nett 65. Ian pipped Tim Barden, Kevin Marshall, and Danny O’Connor with Mike Amesbury’s 66 edging out Chris Blackman on countback to take fifth prize.

Adrian Heeney won the men’s midweek Stableford with 41 points. Craig Young came second on countback, with Ricky Bennett just missing out, both players notching 40 points.

Club chairman Phil Stone took a four-man team to participate in the Somerset Golf Union’s Wyvern Trophy. Playing with Phil were Steve Taylor, Graham Hewlett and Dougie Woods. The team finished just outside the prizes.

The seniors had two away fixtures to Isle of Wedmore and Shirehampton. Both were highly enjoyable, but resulted in 5-2 defeats.

The winner of Weston Captain’s Day event did well to achieve 46 points with testing high winds and showers throughout the day.

Ian Goldsworthy and Paul Turner took the top prize, but the next three places were dominated by the ladies. Sue Andow and Julie Ward were the runners-up scoring 44 points with Ruth Forte and Claire Redwood third on countback.

Vicki Brewin and Bobby Ferrari were fourth with a score of 43 points. Following the presentation, members and guests worked off their excellent meal dancing to live band Undercover.

The ladies’ Stableford and bogey competition was played in much better conditions with Sue Stilwell in first place. Anne Blannin and Julia Wood were second and third, reducing their handicaps by one shot. Ladies’ captain Zena Balcombe was fourth and Claire Redwood fifth, also taking a handicap cut.

Weston seniors competed for the Eric Benn Trophy which is a greensomes Stableford where the field is split into a group of low handicap players and a group of high handicaps and then a random draw made with each team comprising one player from each group.

It turned out to be a highly competitive competition with some remarkably high scores returned. In first place were Nick Bohin and Terry Marnock with 46 points featuring three birdies.

A couple of points behind them came runners up Nigel Jillings and Dennis Longden and another two points further back were Mike Dyer and David Hughes in third.

The next three places were decided on countback as all three teams scored 41 points. With the better back nine and claiming fourth place were Ray Harris and Dave Reynolds, with Alan Harris and Christopher Kelley and Tony Barry and John Blackett in fifth and sixth respectively.

The Alan Holt matchplay knockout came to its conclusion recently as the final was contested by five-handicapper Steve Thomas and previous club captain John Whitewood off 14 with nine shots being conceded by the former.

Using this to his advantage, it was Whitewood who started strongly and managed to get three up. However, Thomas hit back with a run of nine straight pars and as the two competitors reached the 18th tee, the match was finely balanced at all square. Unfortunately for Thomas his approach shot to the final green just drifted out of bounds which gave the upper hand to Whitewood, who managed to see out the hole and the match one up.

It was a quieter week at Wedmore following the excitement of open week, but there was still plenty of golf being played.

The ladies held a fourball betterball pairs competition and there was an outstanding round from Cathy Olive and Alison Dodkin, who amassed 46 points to win by four clear shots.

Behind them there was a group of three pairs all battling for second place. In the end they all finished on 42 points so countback over the back nine was required to sort out the places.

Runners-up were Shirley Gooding and Dawn Chadwick with Annya Patten and Ashley Ribi third and Joan Peck and Sue Edwards taking fourth place.

There were two outstanding rounds in the club monthly medal at the weekend. The first of these came from Stuart Bishop who won Division 1 with a score of nett 66. This equates to a gross round of 71 just one over par and included two double bogeys as well as a bogey at the final hole along with six birdies.

Graham Sugg was six shots back in second with Alan Richardson third on 74. The second exceptional round came from the evergreen Robin Knight who had the best nett round of the day, 65, to win Division 3 by four shots from Nigel Young with Paul Stevenson third on 70.

Division 2 was much tighter with Steve Smith and Malcolm Tanner both finishing on 69 with Smith taking first place on countback, with Tanner reflecting ruefully on a quintuple bogey nine on the 10th hole. Danny Guyatt was a shot back in third.

Ron Edmondson was crowned the men’s club champion at Brean for the first time.

He joined Lyn Bird in the winner’s enclosure as she retained the title she won 12 months earlier in the ladies’ event.

Edmondson slowly reeled in long-time leader and defending champion Matt Shaw over the closing nine holes of the second round to win by three strokes.

Bird had a more comfortable journey to success though as she led from the front all weekend and ended well ahead of her nearest challenger, Ron’s wife Linda, thus preventing a family double. Mrs Edmondson did get the prize for the ladies’ best nett over the two rounds though.

With the weather deciding to take a turn for the worst as the championship weekend dawned, players had to hastily find their discarded waterproofs and umbrellas and heavy showers and a stiff breeze dominated day one.

Defending champion Shaw set of in good form and after a round of 74 he held a two-stroke lead over Edmondson at the end of day one, with Adam Cox and Dan Broom another stroke further back on 77.

Jordan Chapple, Pete Barton, Leighton Jenkins and Barry Fellows also dipped under the 80 mark to be in contention.

The weather forecast for day two looked grim, but the heaviest of the rain avoided the North Somerset coast and played was completed without any delay.

Shaw looked in complete control as he reached the turn and held a comfortable advantage, but his golf ball seemed to develop an attraction to water on the back nine and his chances sunk in the numerous water hazards strewn across the back nine at Brean.

Edmondson was at the same time producing a steady homeward run and once he took the lead after the 15th, he was never to be headed again as he collected his maiden championship at Brean and with it striking a notable blow for the senior section of the club.

Steve Bateman was unable to add title number eight to his collection of Brean championships, but his stunning 73 on day two was the low round of the event and propelled him past Shaw on countback into the runners-up position.

Dan Williams was round in 74 on Sunday to secure himself another high finish in the event as he was fourth on 156.

Graham Foy was the dominant force in the nett competition as he won the cup for a second time after his success back in 2011.

He produced a best of the day nett 66 on day one and then backed it up with another sub par effort on Sunday to enjoy a five-stroke winning margin ahead of Steve Jones who had rounds of 70 and 69. Another Steve was placed third as Steve Mason held off Alec Bateman on a countback.

There was a close finish to the seniors’ Texas scramble with a fraction over a shot separating the leading three teams.

The top trio were Mike Drayton, John Hale and Pete Douglas who scored a superb 54.7 to hold a 0.3 of a stroke margin of victory in the final standings.

Taking second spot on 55.0 was Neil Barker, Ken Ponter and 2017 captain Ray Byatt, while George Thomas, Roger Phillips and Bill Marlow were third on 55.8.

Two days later the scoring in the seniors’ Stableford was as hot as the weather with no less than six players scoring 42 points or better on the day.

Five of those scores came in Division 2 and a countback was required to decide the winner. Both John Hale and Mike Drayton continued their great form handing in 45 point hauls.

Hale enjoyed the better homeward run and was declared the winner ahead of Drayton. Allen Fellingham won another countback for third with 42 points ahead of Bob Hurrell and Vince Ford.

Any of that trio would have been challenging for honours in Division 1 as captain Chris Stephens won with a 42-point total. Two steady halves of 21 points saw him head home Barrie Tucker and Geoff Hill by a single point.

Tucker was awarded second on countback after a storming back nine of 25 points to relegate Hill to third, despite enjoying his best score since joining the club earlier in the year.

Brean ladies entertained local rivals Burnham and Berrow in the latest friendly. The Wright weather and course conditions helped give the home team a well deserved 3-1 victory.

Bob Smith was the victor of the midweek Stableford for the second week running. He returned an early benchmark of 44 points which was never bettered. Kevin White was second on 39 ahead of Dan West in third with 38.

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