Hankley Common was our Autumn Meeting, effectively our “Club Championship” where the three trophies are awarded to the Scratch winner on the day in each division - Association, Super Seniors and Masters for the Frame, Evans and Belsham Trophies respectively as well as the usual medals and crystal.
It was a testing breeze and some intermittent showers that greeted a maximum field at the wonderful Hankley Common - home of our retiring President Billy Mitchell who was there to present the prizes. The feedback from everyone was excellent with the hospitality and welcome matching the levels of that stunning golf course.
First round leaders were tied on 1 over 72 - Mike Ready (The Melbourne) and James Weigall (Banstead Downs). Mike had sunk an eagle 2 at the par 4 3rd hole and then, in his own words, "hung on". James also made a bright start going out in 3 under par 33. But with 11 players all within 4 shots off the lead it was still all to play for going in to day 2.
The wind speed picked up for round 2 and with plenty of heather to greet the wayward shot accuracy from the tee was going to be key. The weather forecast of a strong breeze and 20% chance of a shower turned into strong winds and 100% chance of a soaking!
It was Sean Dolton (Chelmsford) who was to beat the elements and heather with a 2nd round 73 to hold off Mike Ready on countback. Sean must have feared the worst after a double bogey on the par 5 13th after going through the green to slip back after a birdie on 12. But a superb bounce back of birdies on the next 2 holes took him back to the top. Sean picks up the Gold Medal, Frame Trophy and 250 OOM points for his hard work.
Mr consistency Mike Ready (The Melbourne) picked up the Silver Medal on the same 147 total. He was disappointed with his three double bogeys in round 2 though birdies at 15 and 17 almost got him back to the top of pile.
Then we come to John Yuill. The Newmarket based man almost pulled off a clean sweep of trophies. His score of 149 – just 2 shots off the main event – was to win him the Evans Trophy for the 65+ section and the Belsham Trophy for the Masters. Not only that but he was to collect the bronze medal in the youngster’s section behind Sean and Mike. He also top scored in the main 36 net.
It was 4th place Ian Foster who collected the crystal prize there with the three above him already featuring,
With almost a clean sweep for John the crystal went to Les Bruckner (Hindhead) in the Super Seniors and Jimmy Johnston (Northumberland) in the Masters.
The 7th hole witnessed one amazing stat. A par three hole (which required the driver off the tee for some of us) was to see the Mitchelmore / Hollingdale / MacDonald group all score a birdie 2. Others were to reach that figure for the hole with their own ball!
Another interesting stat – four weeks ago the field was a full 120 with 40 on an optimistic reserve list for our most popular venue of the year. By the morning of the event ALL reserves had a spot and the field for round one was 117. Just goes to show – when there is a ballot its worth entering and waiting on the list for a spot as the likelihood is you WILL get in.
The excitement builds with the Order of Merits. In the main scratch section Gareth Bradley moved up to 6th with a strong finish at Hankley and further down James Weigall and Mark Gershinson continue to make ground with their own good results.
Les Bruckner’s runner up position in the Super Seniors scratch at Hankley moved him up to 2nd. And john Yuill’s amazing scoop keeps him in full control in the Masters section but he also now lies 6th in the Super Seniors. Check your position below – there are still plenty of events remaining to achieve your international cap. Next up Burnham & Berrow followed by Enville.
Click HERE for the full results.
Click HERE for the updates OOM rankings.
P.S. A note of thanks to all those who sponsored me for the Great North Run. We got round! And we raised over £6,600 for the Calvert Trust with around £750 coming from members of the UKSGA. This will support disabled folks with new kit to enjoy their own outdoor activities that they would otherwise be unable to do. Many thanks. Both Mo Farah and myself have now retired from competitive half marathons!