Castletown Golf Links
Two hundred players took part in the US Masters Texas Scramble at Castletown Golf Club on Saturday. All 50 teams had high hopes of being on the Steam Packet at the end of September to represent the island in the national final being held at Deer Park GC in Livingston, Scotland. The ultimate prize being an all expenses trip to Augusta to see the Masters.
The winning team, from Rowany GC, were led by island squad player Mark Sutton, Rushen United footballers Dan Hattersley and Aaron Hawley and their former team-mate Josh Kelly. They proved to have the prefect blend for a Texas Scramble. 13 birdies and 5 pars led to an incredible gross 59 which reduced to 56.1 after application of ten percent of their handicaps.
Not that their round was free of drama. Only their last ball found the fairway on the Road Hole and unlikely putts plopped in from all angles. Former pro football Hattersley likened taking his required final tee shot to taking a penalty. His ‘whiffed’ 4-iron left them 230 yards from salvation on the 18th but anchor-man Sutton sealed their success with the only approach shot to reach the green.
In second spot on 57.3 Matt Ascroft, Richard Connolly, Guy Murray and John Newson nabbed ten birdies and were within two shots of winning. Newson nearly aced the 8th to win the nearest-the-pin prize. Murray made a birdie on the 13th leaving Connolly and Ascroft to sweat over mandatory tee shots. Connolly’s effort was converted for a par on the 16th as was Ascroft’s on the 18th.
Half a point back on 57.8 Johan Bondegreen, David Carrion, Ashley Chase and Dylan Coady combined to collect third prize. They cashed-in on Coady’s colossal tee shots with two eagles and a birdie on the par fives. Five other birdies were bagged but their card was blighted by a bogey on the Road Hole.
Just missing out on podium places were Jason Cubbon, Andi Howland, Chris Howland, and Simon Reynolds on 58.2 and two other teams carding 58.3. David Campbell, Andrew Davies, Anthony O’Mahony and Alex Townell taking fifth place on countback ahead of Neil Cartwright, Richard Creamore, John Ledwidge and Alan Rowe. Rory Neale will be enjoying a snifter or two having won a bottle of scotch for his longest drive on the 11th.
England’s ‘Fairway Kings’ won the Nations Cup at Castletown on Friday 24 July. With a combined 4BBB score of 87 (44 +43) Matt & Alison Beech and Angus & Anita Alexander just held off the Wales team represented by the pairs prize winners Jane Holt and her son Adam together with David Hudson and Alex Holt. Kitty Cassidy won the longest drive prize with PJ Vermeulen and Orry Creane taking the NTP prizes.
On the same day players from five clubs met at Ramsey GC. Ten 4BBB games took place with the winning team being decided on the cumulative better ball scores of each club. Castletown pipped Mount Murray by one point with Peel, Ramsey and Port St Mary hoping to improve their standing at Castletown on Tuesday 25 August. Mike Kelly from Peel GC had proposed the format which may well feature for future interclub matches.
Saturday is Yorkshire Day and proud Yorkshireman Graham Harris hopes we will help him celebrate this special day which he has aptly chosen as Captain’s Day.
Finally, we wish good luck to all the remaining competitors in the Grant Thornton Island Championships especially club members Heather Skinner, Cath Cassidy, Gaynor Lees, Loni Evans, Shirley Price and defending champion Lynda Simpson as well as Jon Corke, Andrew Challenor, PJ Vermeulen and Gez Bradley.