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The Golfer of the Year is...........

The summer season came to a fitting end with a month of high tension golf. There was still much to play for with all the Major titles still undecided. Everyone still had a chance but some would have to play better than ever and hope that others faltered over the closing weeks. After a long hot summer it was up to the leaders to hold their nerve and the chasers to give everything they could to catch them. The course always offers a stern test of golfing skill and just as it had been all summer looked wonderful. Members and visitors alike were full of praise for the work of the green staff who had played their part in making all the summer competitions such a pleasure.

The four best scores from the six Monthly Medals go towards deciding the Club and Handicap Champions each year. These are two of the biggest honours to be won and the competition is always fierce. September began well for Dino Grazioli who returned a seasons best 68 in the Monthly Medal to win easily. Gerry Smith took second but the title of Club Champion 2018 went to Karl Brown who did just enough to pip Peter Phillips. There was some consolation however for Peter whose nett score was good enough to move ahead of Karl in the Handicap Championship table and so both players left satisfied with a good days work.

Graham Jackson edged up close to the summit of the merit table with victory over Alan Smith in the Midweek Medal. Both players had enjoyed good if not spectacular seasons and would just fall short in their quest for major honours this season. In the September Midweek Stableford Michael Saterlay returned a fine score of 35 points in tough windy conditions that proved to be one point too many for John Hawkins who finished in second. The season long Stableford Cup came to an end in dramatic style with Peter Phillips adding yet more silverware to his name with victory on the day and overall. Even more pleasing for Peter was that he squeezed past his old adversary Karl Brown who just failed to produce the round he needed on the day.

The month and the season came to an end with the Cyril Pooley Memorial Trophy. Played over two weekends this 36 hole event would give players their final chance at improving their positions in the final Order of Merit and Eclectic Standings. On the morning of the first round the competitors were greeted by a stiff cold easterly breeze that was certain to make scoring tough. It would take a wise head to cope with the conditions and so it proved as Malcolm Rosborough defied all expectations, even his own, to top the leaderboard by one over Bob Rawlinson. Scoring had actually been better than expected, maybe an indication of how much was still at stake, with five other players within three points of the lead. The following weekend was calmer but a frost made controlling the ball difficult around the green. Malcolm didn’t get off to the best of starts and struggled to recover eventually finishing tied third. Last year’s winner Gerry Smith was making a valiant attempt to keep his title but in the end he’d have to settle for a commendable third place tie with Rosborough just behind Graham Jackson who won the second round on count back but fell just short of the winning total. That honour went to Bob Rawlinson who last month won his first major Club honour in the Masters. His final total was two points better than the rest and he was duly crowned the Cyril Pooley Memorial Champion for 2018.

All the summer competitions ended on October 1st. There were still two important events to finalise. The New Summer Order of Merit title and Summer Eclectic Trophy. The Summer Eclectic is a popular competition and highly sort after honour. For much of the summer we saw the lead regularly change hands as players improved their hole scores bit by bit. The eventual winner vaulted to the top in dramatic fashion after holing out for a gross two on the first hole, an unprecedented feat. It was the shot that proved to provide a welcomed cushion against the chasing pack, but without the subsequent excellent golf to back it up victory wouldn’t have been possible. So congratulations to Keith Squirrell for claiming the coveted crown of Eclectic Champion to go with his Charity Day success. Gerry Smith took the runners-up spot after finishing tied with Alan Smith and Karl Brown who finished in third and fourth respectively.

It was no surprise to anyone that the winner of the Order of Merit was Peter Phillips who amassed 164 points. He has been pushed all the way by Karl Brown (146 points) who has enjoyed a memorable year after claiming the Match Play and Club Championship this season. However Peter has played consistently well and never been far from the top of the leaderboard of every competition. How fitting it is that he should claim the Club’s first Order of Merit title and the honour of being the “Golfer of the Year 2018!

Now our attention turns to the winter fixtures and the hope that the weather is kind. Remember that the Foursomes Premier League has begun, so arrange your matches and enjoy some winter golf. This year’s Prize Presentation will be held at the Club on October 20th after the Captain v Vice-Captain Team Match Play Rosborough Cup. Enter now on the main notice board. We look forward to seeing you all there, especially the competition winners.

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