Worlebury juniors start with a league victory

Worlebury Golf Club.

Worlebury Golf Club. - Credit: Archant

Worlebury Golf Club juniors started the new league season with a league victory

Worlebury Golf Club juniors have had a hectic start to the golfing season.

It did not start so well as they took on the Avalon Royals, in a pre-season friendly, with a team weakened through injury and illness. They bounced back the following day, when it mattered most, winning their opening league fixture.

Against the Royals, they had to call on one of their organisors, Andy Nicholls, ex-junior Jack Butterfield and a Royals’ player Jack Allen, to plug the gaps.

The makeshift team provided the Royals with a good workout, before going down 3.5 to 1.5. The Royals led by John Melwani and James Marshall, a former junior captain, were pleased with their team’s performance and are confident they can build on last season’s success.

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The Somerset Junior League is trying a new format this season. It is being run as a series of Stableford events hosted by each club. Teams of five players compete individually with points awarded, depending on position, with 25 points awarded for first place down to one for last.

Worlebury are in a league with Burnham & Berrow, Enmore Park, Taunton and Pickeridge and Mendip Spring.

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The first event, hosted by Burnham & Berrow, worked well, particularly from Worlebury’s perspective, as the team came first with a combined score of 84 points.

Alex Kew amassed an excellent 42 Stableford points to top score on the day and was well supported by Alex Chandler with 36.

Mikey Nicholls, Charlie Camper and captain Ryan Thrupp, also put in good performances to give the team a great start in the league. Burnham & Berrow came a close second with 78 and Mendip Spring, third, on 67.

Burnham & Berrow was also the venue for the ladies’ team in the Centenary Plate. Worlebury were represented by Claire Bayliss and Angie Bagley, who were playing the course for the first time. They fought well and enjoyed the experience, but eventually went down 3&2 to a strong pairing from Wheathill.

The ladies held their annual captain vs vice-captain match, which was well supported, and saw captain Michelle James, lead her team to victory and retain the prestigious trophy.

The Stragglers started their season off with the traditional curtain raiser against the Avalon A, who already had two games under their belt.

Despite their rustiness, the Stragglers played well before going under by 3.5 to 1.5. Stragglers captain Martin Morgan, in his post match speech, praised his team for their fine effort and wished Avalon A, under the captaincy of Graham Hewlett, well in their forthcoming league campaign.

The seniors’ social matches, under the captaincy of Ron Stevens, got underway with fixtures at home against Shirehampton and away to Long Ashton. Comfortable wins of 6-2 were recorded by the two home teams.

The captain took the opportunity of blooding new seniors Steve Rowlands, Patrick Balchin and Roger Leaver, who all acquitted themselves well. Clive Rides played in the two matches, winning on both occasions.

A field of 140 turned out for the monthly Sstableford and Lombard Pro-Am qualifier at Weston.

With a chance to play in the regional final at Burnham, it was won by immediate past captain Scott McKechnie, who will accompany Mike LaBand.

The course was presented in outstanding condition for so early in the season. Division 1 winner was Dave Richardson with 39 points, followed by Joe Nearly with 38, winning on the back nine from Jack Radcliffe, with Colin Singleton fourth with 37.

Division 2 winner was Chris Disney on 42, while Scott McKechnie scored 40. Andrew Disney was third with 38, beating Con Mulchahy on countback.

Notable events of the Stableford was Adam Sloan scoring 38 points, which reduced his handicap to scratch. Ashley Collis made a two on the par four 10th hole and Andrew Disney opened his round with a two on the first.

It was no April Fool when Tony Barry had a hole-in-one at the 16th, using a four wood on April 1.

An early shotgun start bowmaker was the format for the new captain’s drive-in. Eighty competitors took to the fairways having cheered on the new team of club captain Anthony McEvoy, ladies’ captain Reine O’Reilly, seniors’ captain Dave Snowdon and junior captain Tommy Holyday.

A competition to guess the combined yardage of the four drives of 748 yards was won by vice-captain Glenn Taylor.

Mixed team winners were club president Gary Homer and his wife Wendy, with Sue and Dave Garrett with a total of 122 points. The overall event was won by Ian Clark, Mark Allen, Sam Clark and Zac Ward with an amazing 133.

Runners up with 128 were the all ladies team of Tessa Williams, Sue Andow, Di Walker and Julie Ward, all former captains. Notable point in the day was another hole-in-one at the club from new member Zac Ward on the 199-yard 11th hole.

The ladies B team have had a fantastic start to the season, winning the first two opening matches. The first was against Saltford winning 12-2 and the second at home, beating Tracy Park 9-5.

There was no stopping Graham Foy at Brean as he won both weekend competitions and qualified to represent the club alongside professional Andrew March in the national pro-am regional final later this year.

He matched his 42 points of the previous day, despite his handicap reduction, and won by three points this time around to move forward to the next stage of the national event.

Unfortunately for Adam Cox, the runners-up spot was also the position he filled for the second day running as he again trailed home Foy. He carded a tidy 39 points as he continues his impressive form and beat the third-placed Phil Hodgson by another three-point margin.

Foy also enjoyed the sunshine of Saturday as he topped the Super Series Stableford leaderboard. The Scotsman’s 42-point effort gave him a two-stroke cushion over Cox. Cox was the filling in a Scottish sandwich as Stewart Garrett was third with 39.

The men’s team led by captain-elect Dave Porter retained the Bone of Contention in their annual match against the ladies. It was played in a Stableford format with the average score of each side’s seven players being found to determine the result.

The men averaged 30 points, while the ladies suffered an off day, only managing 24 to see the trophy remain in the men’s possession for another year.

Kevin Dodd continued his run of good form to win Division 2 of the Saturday Stableford at Burnham & Berrow Golf Club last weekend.

He shot the best score of 40 points, three ahead of Jon Adams (37) in second place and five ahead of Trefor Griffiths in third.

Once again scores had to made on the front nine, with players struggling into the wind on the back nine. Nick Fuller fared better than most to win Division 1 with one of the steadiest rounds of the day, scoring 39 points with just two bogeys on his card coming at the 13th and 14th holes, after getting to the turn in one under after a birdie at the eighth. This also gave Nick a three-shot margin over Gareth Rees in second place with 36.

The Channel Stableford saw a good turnout and was won by up-and-coming junior Harriet Lockley with 42 points. Harriet, who has recently gained a place in the Welsh Under-14 girls’ squad, reduced her handicap down to 10 with the score.

Steve Truscott came in second with 39 points, but only after a countback over another junior girl Leah Bowden, who also scored 39.

Jon Marshfield and Bob Smith combined to win The Fiddlers Ashes with 38 points in the Stableford better-ball format, one ahead of Pat Rodgers and ladies’ captain Sue Wall.

Results – Stableford – Division 1: N Fuller 39 pts; G Rees 36; A Fisher 35; M Dunton 35; A Turrell 35. Division 2: K Dodd 40; J Adams 37; T Griffiths 35; S Taylor 35; A Holley 34.

Channel Stableford; H Lockley 42 pts; S Truscott 39; L Bowden 39; S Jones 38; B Whitcombe 37.

Fiddlers Ashes: J Marshfield and B Smith 38 pts; P Rodgers and S Wall 37; A Beaumont and S Mercer 35.

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