Cowdray golfers give their rivals a Winter League chill

Cowdray Park's winning Winter League team
Cowdray Park's winning Winter League team
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Cowdray Park blew the battle for the Surrey & West Sussex League wide open with a stunning 4-0 home win over champions and league leaders Hankley Common, which followed a battling 2-2 draw at Hankley.

The visitors were in danger of establishing an insurmountable lead at the head of the table following three excellent home wins which produced 11.5 points, but now they have only two matches remaining, both away.

At present Hankley Common lead the table with 21.5 points from ten matches. Hindhead are second with 15.5 from eight matches, and three of their remaining fixtures are at home on their tough championship course.

Cowdray Park, by virtue of this superb win, have moved up to third with 15 points from seven matches and still have to play Hindhead at home.

Further down the table are Puttenham, who have played only six matches and have 13.5 points, and four of their remaining matches are at home on their individualistic course, where they have a fine record.

As is usual in this competition a close finish is envisaged, with the winners being difficult to select.

Results (Cowdray Park v Hankley Common, Cowdray names first): David Balfour & Harvey Terry beat David Anderson & Alasdair Cockburn 2&1; Mark Upton & Brian Carpenter beat Mike Powell & Chris Sinfield 2up; Phil Harrison & David Tilley beat Andy Sturges & Charles Evers 3&2; Derek Smith & Sam Howes beat Colin Osborne & Robin Baker 3&2.

* A Texas scramble was played by Cowdray ladies. The ladies played in teams of three with a handicap of 15 per cent of the team’s combined handicap allowance. Four of each player’s drives had to be selected during the round.

Results: 1 Jill Parry, Suzy Brockhurst, Helen Chapman; 2 Marilyn Davis, Judy Stillwell, Mary Sexton; 3 Wendy Street, Brenda Rees, Pat White.

It was a beautiful winter day, following a heavy overnight frost, when Cowdray Park seniors held the second round of their Captain’s Prize.

The sun gradually thawed some of the greens but those in the shade remained hard and frozen, meaning great care was needed with shots into the green.

First out was the consistent Phil Harrison, who returned an excellent 36 to add to his 34 of the previous week’s first round and put him in second place overall after two rounds.

His playing partner David Laver was inspired by Harrison and used his handicap to good effect to score four points on the eighth and tenth holes.

Also out early were two players making their debuts as seniors, Dave Fowler and Colin West, with both quickly making their mark.

Dave Fowler registered two twos to earn his share of the prize in division one, while Colin West scored 37 only to be denied second spot on countback.

Another player, Alan Godfree, also scored two twos to gain his share of a rollover prize pot in division two.

Another new senior this year, Rod Brown, formed a formidable partnership with Peter Hardcastle and, with each playing consistently and scoring well, they ended up with a winning score of 71. Hardcastle scored 35 to add to his 34 of the previous week to move into third place after two rounds.

Gary Strowbridge and Roger Poat’s combined score was also 71 but they lost out on a back-nine countback of 37 against Brown and Hardcastle’s 39.

One consolation for Strowbridge was that his individual score of 39 swept him into the lead on the day and match Allen Sibley’s performance of the first round.

Best combined scores: 1 Rod Brown & Peter Hardcastle 71 (on countback), 2 Gary Strowbridge & Roger Poat, 3 David Darby & John Fife 70. Leading individual scores in round two: Gary Strowbridge 39; Roy Penrose; Colin West ; Ken Marjoram; David Tilley, all on 37. Overall

A gloomy weather forecast of sleet and gale-force winds proved wide of the mark when the seniors took to the tee for round three of the Captain’s Prize.

It was a dry, bright day with only two temporary greens and the improvement in the conditions was reflected in scoring levels.

John Doran returned with an excellent 37 points, which, added to his previous scores gave him an overall total of 103 after three rounds and third place overall.

Playing in the same group was a revitalised Roy Penrose, who rolled back the years with another good score of 37 points to add to the previous week’s 37.

Second out was Phil Harrison, second after two rounds, and he staked his claim to the title with a stunning round of 43 points which projected him into the lead with an overall total of 113. He has had his handicap reduced to nine.

Making his debut in the competition, Mick Fillary returned a fine 39 points, with little luck on the greens. Playing in the same group was John Renwick, who bettered his first two rounds with a score of 38, but, as his original partner withdrew, he was paired with a ‘blind partner’, who turned out to be first-round winner Allen Sibley. He returned to form with a score of 37 points to give the pair victory on the day.

Robin West, one of the instigators of this competition, played his first round of the year and proved he still retained his ability to record an excellent score of level par for 36 points.

Leading pairs scores: 75 John Renwick (38) Allen Sibley (37); 74 Ian Goodall (39) John Kitchener (35); 71 Phil Harrison (43) John Blockey (28).

Best individual scores on the day: 43 Phil Harrison; 39 Mick Fillary (cb), Ian Goodall; 38 Dave Darby (cb), David Heard, John Renwick; 37 Roy Penrose (cb), David Laver, John Doran, Allen Sibley, Neville Gibbons.

Leaderboard after round three: 113 Phil Harrison; 105 Allen Sibley: 103 Gary Strowbridge, John Doran: 102 David Heard; 101 Rod Brown, Dave Darby; 100 David Tilley.

GOODWOOD

Golf At Goodwood’s up-and-coming young golfers were recognised for their sporting success as guests filled The Goodwood Hotel for the annual junior awards dinner.

The young athletes and their families were welcomed by two special guests as both of Golf At Goodwood’s female golf ambassadors attended the glitzy ceremony.

Holly Aitcheson, a current Ladies’ European PGA Tour player, and double Olympic gold medallist Sarah Ayton were on hand to offer their top tips and advice to the aspiring young golfers.

After lunch at the heart of the Goodwood estate, the main awards were presented by Golf At Goodwood head coach Ryan Fenwick and ambassador Aitcheson.

Ten-year-old Johno Beadles from Selsey took the top gong by winning the players’ player award. The prestigious most improved award went to 12-year-old Yasmin Hang from Tangmere, while Roco Bateman, seven, from Bognor, caught the eye of the highly-experienced coaching team as he collected the Golf At Goodwood coaches’ award.

After the presentation, Olympian Sarah Ayton led a fantastic queston-and-answer session which offered a mixture of questions from ‘How important is preparation?’ to ‘Who is the most famous person you have met?’, giving the young athletes a real insight into the world of a high-performance athlete.

Ayton, who won sailing golds at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, said: “It is always so refreshing to attend the Golf At Goodwood events – they put so much time and energy into making sure the juniors are looked after.

“The organisation and development of the Golf At Goodwood junior programme is embraced by a whole team of sporting professionals which from my own Olympic experience is key in reaching your full potential.”

Ryan Fenwick, Golf At Goodwood head coach, was proud of the juniors’ achievements and added: “All our junior golfers have come on leaps and bounds this year. They all work so hard and bring such great spirit and enthusiasm to learning and developing. As a coaching team we are committed to get our juniors to be the best people they can be.”

Golf At Goodwood offers exceptional value and opportunity for junior golfers to improve and develop their skills and love for the sport through a structured and enjoyable coaching programme devised by a team of PGA professionals.

For more information on the junior programme, visit www.goodwood.com/golf – or to book places on the up-and-coming junior golf camps, call 01243 755133 or email craig.gardner@goodwood.com