Harrison’s happy at Cowdray - but watch out for The Stig!

Mika La Foret - or is it The Stig? - at his Littlehampton GC drive-in
Mika La Foret - or is it The Stig? - at his Littlehampton GC drive-in
  • Win after win for seniors’ ace
  • Bognor get better of neighbours
  • Hole in one hero crowned at Avisford

Phil Harrison has dominated the start of the Cowdray Park seniors’ season with twin after win – and he stormed back into the winner’s circle when he won the Heard Tankard with a superb score of 65.

The feature of his round came when he scored par on every hole on the back nine, quite an achievement, which has led to a handicap reduction.

Harrison was given a scare late in the day by Phil Pett, who also recorded a 65, but the verdict went to Harrison on countback.

John Doran came in with 67, while the ever-improving Jim Booth and veteran Pat Bonner matched Marjoram’s score of 68.

Another veteran, 80-year-old Ray Dowse, showed the youngsters he is still a force to be reckoned with, returning an excellent score of 71, featuring a stunning scoring burst around the turn before fading slightly towards the end. He was one of only two players to record a two, the other being seniors’ captain Sam Howes, so they each scooped the pool in their respective divisions.

A raffle raised £139 for Dreams Come True.

Leading scores: 65 (cb) Phil Harrison, Phil Pett; 67 John Doran; 68ocb Ken Marjoram, Jim Booth, Pat Bonner; 69ocb Alan Godfree, David Heard, Rodney Fisher; 70ocb Ian Goodall, Sam Howes, Ian Heustice, Ian Ward, David Manning, Mel Milburn.

The final of Cowdray Park Seniors’ Barham Salver foursomes competition proved to be a ding-dong battle between Harrison and Ken Marjoram and John Sanderson and Mick Folkes.

Neither pair was able to establish a good lead and the match went to the first extra hole before Harrison and Marjoram came out on top. This is the fifth title Harrison has won since the start of the year.

Cowdray Park seniors entertained the Bramley Old Boys in the first of two home matches on consecutive days.

The match was very closely contested, as they usually are between these two sides, with the home side coming out on top by 4½-3½.

Stand-in skipper Ian Heustice partnered Mike Holden to a 2&1 victory against obdurate opponents, with Holden playing greatly above his handicap.

Eric Bounton and Ian Goodall were never able to take charge of their match but earned a half. Clive Brine and John Fife kept the momentum going with a 3&2 win, followed by seniors’ vice-captain Derek Smith and debutant Mark Kelly, who overcame tough opponents to win one up before the visitors reduced the deficit.

Victory for Cowdray was clinched by Colin West and Howard Morley, who won 3&2 to give the hosts an unassailable lead, which was fortunate as the visitors won the two matches which teed off at the 17th.

Results (Cowdray Park names first): Ian Heustice & Mike Holden beat Terry Newman & Peter Thorpe 2&1; Eric Bounton & Ian Goodall halved with John Page & Peter Secrett; Clive Brine & John Fife beat Barry Elliott & Dave Morley 3&2; Derek Smith & Mark Kelly beat Paul Tanner & Mike Whittaker 1up; Chris Hoare & George Crouch lost to John Flynn & John Medhurst 3&1; Colin West & Howard Morley beat Peter Greenberg & Frank Mangan 3&2; Dave Fowler & Mick Folkes lost to Peter Morgan & Tony Lake 2&1; Terry Adsett & Bill Brownlee lost to Tim Parker & Mike Sheridan 6&5.

Lena Cullen has won the Cowdray ladies’ Half Century Vase for the second year running with an amazing score of nett 68 – having scored 69 in 2014. Marnie Evans was runner-up with 72.

Mandy Lucking was the sole competitor in the Younger Stableford competition, so therefore won.

BOGNOR

In the second of the captain’s team events, 24 Bognor members made the short trip along the coast to Littlehampton. A fine performance saw Bognor run out 9-6 winners, though the real winner was the day itself, as old acquaintances were renewed and many stories re-told.

Bognor had a tricky away draw at Cottesmore in the Sussex County Birchwood Trophy. Bognor’s team, boasting several new players, gave the hosts a great run for their money. The score was 2-2 after four matches, but the last match decider slipped away, Bognor going down 3-2. The plate competition beckons.

Several members of the captain’s team made the trip to Worthing. The hosts’ hospitality didn’t extend beyond the opening match, which was comfortably won by captain Simon Watts and vice-captain Steve Reddick.

Home advantage proved too much for the Bognor boys and some pretty heavy defeats were inflicted for a final result of 7-1.

A total of 38 players took part in the seniors’ midweek Stableford and despite foul weather, 33 finished the course. The winner with an excellent 38 points was Roger Selway; second with 35 was Rob Yound and third with 34 was Andy Isitt.

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Twenty-four Bognor seniors thoroughly enjoyed their annual pilgrimage to Meon Valley for two games and an overnight stay.

The event was managed by Cliff Wills, with this year’s theme The Ryder Cup – meaning 12 players representing each side. As with the real Cup last year, ‘Europe’ handsomely defeated ‘the USA’.

Winner of the singles competition with a combined score of 69 points was Rob Walker. He was presented with the trophy by Cliff Willis. The next get-together in September will be at Lingfield.

On a sunny but cold day, 60 Bognor ladies took part in a fun Stableford in teams of three. Two scores were to count and were multiplied together.

Results: 1 Sue Redmond, Wendy Johnson and Sally Cameron 98pts; 2 Sue Monger, Kay Walker and Eileen Morris 90; 3 Nicola Holton, Lyn Harbutt and Wendy Pettie 85; 4 Gill Twyford, Chris Puddicombe and Gill Harries 79.

AVISFORD PARK

At the Avisford seniors’ annual meeting, Nick Birch was elected as the new chairman and Dave McConnell became seniors’ captain for the coming year. He had a great start when his team won a hard-fought match with Rookwood 4-2. A week later they were again triumphant with a 3½-2½ win at Foxbridge.

The highlight of the section’s early part of the season came as regular member Colin Coe managed a hole-in-one on the 13th at Avisford. Modestly he said: “I didn’t think it was a good shot.... but it just went into the hole!”

LITTLEHAMPTON

More than 200 members and guests lined the clubhouse balcony and stairs to welcome new Littlehampton Golf Club captain Mike La Foret to his drive-in.

Dressed as The Stig, La Foret arrived down the first fairway in a red Ferrari 355. Once he had found his driver (that’s of the club variety, not a chaffeur), he hit a series of exploding golf balls until it was time to drive the drive-in ball. After a couple of practice swings, he struck it well over 200 yards down the fairway.

For La Foret, a member at Littlehampton for more than 40 years, this is the start of a big year of golf, including a full programme of competitions and many club matches, home and away. He will also be involved with many social events.

Winners of the Littlehampton Golf Club Junior Invitaion were ten-year-old Joe Sykes and his father Chris.

They won with a score of 43 points, on countback from 14-year-old George Hines and his grandfather Micheal Monger.