Castletown Golf Links
HODGKINSON WINS THE GWYNN WILLIAMS CUP
Tom Harris and Tom Gandy both made it through the first stage of qualifying for the 2018 UK based EuroPro Tour last week. Harris was the third placed amateur and tied 19th on +4 after 36 holes at Formby Hall GC. Rowany based Gandy, who has already turned pro, finished tied fifth on +1 at Caversham Heath picking up £83.33 in prize money.
They both proceed to play two rounds at Frilford Heath in Oxfordshire later this week. The top 80 finishers out of the 240 contenders then play a final round on the Blue course at Frilford to determine their playing rights on the tour. We wish both guys ‘Good Luck!’
The qualifying season commenced at Castletown on Saturday with 75 players participating in the Glynn Williams sponsored Stableford. The attrition rate from those originally booked to play was over 25 percent, no doubt due in part to the blustery bitter wind and it being a white tees only competition which didn’t suit some of the seniors.
Such qualms did not affect our former treasurer Ian Hodgkinson (18) who was one of only four players to meet or beat their handicap. His winning 39 points was both back nine biased and heavily influenced by wind direction. Hodgkinson hit a real purple patch from the 13th to the 15th where he sunk a bountiful birdie 2 for four points and followed it up with two nett birdies. Facing the full force of the wind it was a case of hit and hope on the last three holes but three 5’s for five points saw Hodgkinson home safely.
In second spot with 37 points No.19’s Will Halsall, now off (13), found his extra shots came in handy as two of his super six nett birdies were served up on the higher stroke holes. Halsall suffered a slippery seven for his only nil pointer on the 9th but then birdied the 13th for a share of the two’s pot.
Pete Thomas (10) opened with a birdie and played a perfectly balanced round for 36 points and third place. Each half consisting of a birdie, three pars, four bogeys and a double bogey. An impressively strong finish for seven points over the last three holes helped enormously for countback purposes.
Andrew Gerrard’s (8) opening birdie propelled him to 20 points with a tremendous two over par front nine. Unfortunately, misfortune struck our club championship sponsor on the 12th and that restricted Gerrard to a further 16 points and fourth place.
The final prize purloiner was Keith Bernard (20) who headed a group of five players all shooting 33 points. Bernard’s inbound 19 points was one ahead of David Allan (11), two better than Jeff Magee (18), four more than Michael Charmer (1) and six up on Gerry Ganly (17) who shot a stellar front nine. Apparently, four out of five of the prize winners have all had recent lessons with our pro, Charlie Simpson, but I’m reliably informed that he is not seeking a cut from their winnings!
On Easter Sunday there was a runaway winner in the mixed Stableford as Alison Beech (42) amassed 45 points off 16 scoring holes thanks in part to firing five nett eagles and five nett birdies. Our new president, Peter Robertson (13) played extremely steadily and was just eight over par on 17 scoring holes for 38 points and second place. Pipped at the post but finishing third on countback our outgoing lady captain Jax Fisher (30) had a real game of two halves; out with an impressive 23 points and back with a disappointing 15.
With the lighter evenings the usually popular ‘Midweeker’ has converted back from 12 to 18 holes but entry numbers (15) were disappointing last Wednesday (28/3). Our comp: sec: Andi Howland would appreciate feedback as to whether players prefer the shorter format. Simon Murray (35pts), Andy Saunders (34pts) and Les Gale (31pts) shared the spoils as, disappointingly, the ladies declined to take part.
This coming Wednesday (4/4) our new captain Mike Horsthuis is sponsoring a ‘Flower Power’ 9 holes open Stableford. The competition entry fee of £4 includes a £2 donation to his chosen charity and you get the chance to win a bottle of wine if you can better his nearest-the-pin shot. The Captain’s Drive-In then takes place at lunchtime on Saturday and there could be a scrum for the few remaining places for the twin shotgun start Stableford with the Winter prize presentation wedged between them.