Junior talent shows future of Bognor golf is in good hands

Bognor juniors line up for their 2014 prizegiving
Bognor juniors line up for their 2014 prizegiving

Bognor Golf Club’s juniors had a great 2014, with extra members recruited over the year. Compared to many other clubs, the section is in a very strong position.

There were great efforts from a number of juniors with fantastic individual achievements at local and county level and three juniors likely to feature heavily in county events this year, keeping Bognor’s name at the forefront in junior county golf.

Katie Field won three of the junior sponsored events this year and her handicap came down from 25 to 12 in ten months resulting in her winning the county girls’ most improved junior award.

At 12 years old, she is now the youngest member of the girls’ elite squad by two years.

Jake Stoneham enjoyed an impressive year, winning the Bognor junior open and the Sussex under-13s’ scratch championship. He now plays a key role in the Sussex under-14 squad and is looking forward to the 2015 season.

Bognor’s 2015 junior captain, James Woosley, was voted player of the year by the section, having won the order of merit by one of the largest margins on record.

With Bognor club professional Matthew Kirby helping the juniors develop, the club are optimistic the section will continue to produce top-quality juniors for many years to come. They have some younger players starting to demonstrate exceptional skills.

Junior organiser Ian Stoneham will be working with Kirby and club captain Simon Watts over the next few months targeting local schools to show youngsters what a fantastic sport this can be and the benefits it can bring.

The junior section are fortunate to have club members who continue to support them, often sponsoring events. Without this support, they would struggle like some other clubs.

If any club member would like to sponsor an event or help out during the year, Ian Stoneham would love to hear from them.

All junior trophy winners and runners-up were presented with their trophies at the awards night by 2014 club Ccaptain Ron Stevens with help from 2014 ladies’ vice-captain Lyne Watson.

The Kiwi Trophy was won by Mark and George Bingham, runners-up were Dave and Sam Grover. The junior four-ball was claimed by Jake Stoneham and James Woosley ahead of Marcus Embleton and Sam Grover.

Winner of the VRV Trophy was Scott Bingham, runner-up was Marcus Embleton. In the order of merit, James Woosley was first, Jake Stoneham second, George Bingham third. Most improved golfer was Sam Grover, player of the year James Woosley.

COWDRAY PARK

A severe overnight storm blew itself out sooner than predicted, allowing Cowdray Park seniors to compete in round one of the Captain’s Prize. The course was naturally very wet, with three temporary greens introduced, while buggies were excluded on safety grounds.

The Captain’s Prize is played over four rounds under Stableford format, with each pair’s scores aggregated on the day. Each individual carries their own scores forward, with the overall winner being the player with the best three scores from the four rounds.

Organiser Dave Hirons made last-minute adjustments to the pairings, which had included players needing buggies, in order to give everyone a fair chance of success on the day as a pair.

Conditions took their toll on the scoring, with only one player beating par.

The emphatic winner, with 39 points, was Allen Sibley, continuing his consistent form of the past few months. Four shots behind came David Tilley, John Kitchener, Graham Thompson and John Doran.

Three players shared the pot for twos – new senior Rod Brown, Terry Jasper and Clive Brine, while Paul Chater actually registered two twos but did not enter.

Results: Best pairs: 1 Allen Sibley/Clive Brine 71; 2 Graham Thompson/Cliff Davis 67; 3 Barry Overington/David Tilley 65. Leading individual scores: 39 Allen Sibley; 35 (on countback) David Tilley, John Kitchener, Graham Thompson, John Doran; 34 (cb) Ian Heustice, Peter Hardcastle, Phil Harrison, Terry Jasper; 33 (cb) Wally Mitchell, John Newman, Frank Cheevers.

Cowdray ladies played a best-nine-hole competition on a sunny day with some heavy cold showers

Results: 1 Gaynor Dudman 22pts; 2 Judy Stillwell 21; 3 Tessa Stockwell 20; 4 Ann Tyrrell 20; 5 Merna Heustice 20.