Brilliant sunshine greeted the 87 entrants in the Cowdray Park seniors’ open, but the predicted heavy, squally showers soon arrived, accompanied by strong winds. It was sunshine, showers and winds for the rest of the day.
The conditions had an impact on the scoring, which was lower than in previous years.
The players represented more than 30 clubs from across the south enjoyed the picturesque views from the course, which was presented in superb condition by head greenkeeper Jonathan Smith and his staff.
Seniors’ captain Peter Burton paid tribute to open organiser Pat Harrison for his hard work over the past three years of his tenure, starters Ralph Fanshawe and Brian Brockhurst, scorecard organiser Terry Moran scorecards and Pat’s wife Sheila, who is ball sweep.
Six prizes were allocated to visitors: Barrie Jones (winner), Alan Cooper, Alan Marsh, Eric Christie, Steve Tellyn and Ken Jackson. Prizes for home players went to elder statesman George Crouch (first place for the Harvey Terry Trophy), Sussex seniors’ winner Dave Hirons and Barry Overington, fresh from a superb score the previous day in the roll-up.
The overall prize was won by Gerald Brunton-Smith (Bramley) with 38 points on countback.
The subsidiary prizes were all claimed by Cowdray Park players: over-70s winner Keith Chapman and nearest the pin victors Terry Jasper and John Smith.
Many players promised to return next year for another crack at this superb course.
Meanwhile, Cowdray Park seniors travelled to Hindhead to take on the Stags on their own Championship course, which is used for qualifying rounds of the Open Championship.
The course is testing and gruelling, with heather all over the course to provide an additional hazard, and lightning-fast greens and steep climbs to some tees with only the fittest surviving.
In his post-match speech, match manager David Laver joked that playing at altitude had not aided his side’s efforts, with the Stags coming out 5½-2½ winners.
Cowdray Park’s two victories and half were all achieved despite conceding shots to the home players.
Results (Cowdray names first): David Laver & Paul Berry lost to Duncan Parker & Les Chapman 2&1; Derek Smith & Tony Pike lost to John Vart & Hunter Devine 1 dn; Jan de Vries & Chris Hoare beat Ed Ricketts & Alan Farmer 3&2; John Stone & Richard Histed lost to Jack Buchanan & Steve Burton 3&2; Clive Brine & Peter Burton lost to John Smith & Tony Wareham 4&2; Allen Sibley & David Wickham beat Bill Butt & Mike Thorn 1 up; Robert Strick & Wally Mitchell halved with Garry Jensen & Michael Nicholls; Ralph Fanshawe & Gary Strowbridge lost to John Varden & John Davis 3&2.
There were 91 entrants for the 18-hole Crouch Cup Stableford. The winner was 19-year-old Shaun Maskell, playing off five, with an outstanding 41 points.
It was only two weeks ago Maskell won the Bert Reid competition at which time his handicap was six – it is now four.
Second in the Crouch Cup was Trevor Woodland with 40 points and third Adrian Smith on 38, both from division three. Fourth was Oliver Longlands and John Cable was fifth. Both are from division one and scored 38.
Thirty pairs, with a combined maximum handicap limit of 40, took part in the annual Gilligan Mixed Open 36-hole Stableford. The competition, sponsored by Arthur Gilligan, former Test cricketer and one-time long serving president of the club, has been played since 1929.
The three winning partnerships were all Bognor members. Overall winners were Gordon Catt and Suzanne Taylor with 70 points.
Second, on 69, were Mick Martin and Sue Crossen. Third were mother and son Craig and Wendy Johnson on 64. Ian and Wendy Pettie were fourth on 63.
There were 12 pairs from other clubs and Andrew and Christine Jesty from Seaford GC won the visitors’ prize.
Georgina McCormack, Bognor’s ladies’ captain, held her charity day which had a seaside theme. Centre stage was an 11ft lighthouse made by Ian and Frances Paine complete with rocks, flashing lights and seagulls.
The event was well-supported and £1,757.97 was raised for Georgina’s chosen charity, Chestnut Tree House, a hospice for children with life-limiting illnesses.
There was also a Stableford team competition.
Results: 1 June Salt, Doris Thomas, Gill Harries and Janet Carter 108pts; 2 Janice Eder, Lin Harbutt, Jan Ostrom and Liz Quinton 107 ocb, 3 Eileen Morris, Sue Redmond, Kay Walker and Sue Doughty 107.
Avisford Park’s annual seniors’ President’s Putter competition was won by Roger White with a Stableford score of 42 points.
The contest was close with the runner-up Bill Lock on 41 points and Colin Payne and Bob Boulter third and fourth with 40 and 39 respectively. Some 40 seniors took part on a day which started wet but improved.
Boulter, Peter Collins, Malcolm Spiers and Wally Lock picked up prizes for nearest the pin and Colin Butler did so for the longest drive on the fifth. Stan Burfield returned the best score of the over-75s.
Avisford seniors kept their home unbeaten run intact when they beat Waterhall GC 3½-2½.
Seniors’ captain Brian Coughlan said it was a close match which could have gone either way.
Results (Avisford names first): Brian Coughlan & George Shields lost by 1 hole to Bill Heasman & Alan Mellows; Chris Machin & Ernie Rivett beat Sid Callow & Bud Evans 6&5; Roger White & Peter Collins halved with Norman Edbury & Dave Broadhurst; Nick Birch & Mick Joyce lost to Dave Bransby & Dave Stevens 2&1; Norman Turner & David Feist beat Bob Jefford & Georges Praud 5&4; Bob Boulter & Graham Williams beat Dave Faller & Ian Hannah 4&3.
The midweek medal competition was won by Bob West with a nett 66.
The club Stableford was won in division one by Mark Stafford with 41 points and in division two by Michael Dunn with 46.
Avisford Park’s open day was well attended.
The competition was a two-ball better-ball with the winning team being C Norton & C Goddard with 42 points. In second place with 41 were N Finneran & N Green.
The nearest the pins were won by Dave Rudman on the 13th, Paul Napier-Raikes on the 15th and Nick Finneran on the 18th.
The prize for the straightest drive on the fifth was won by Colin Butler.