Amateur international Toby Tree - one of the most talented young golfers in England - has recorded his first victory of the season in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Golf at Goodwood’s latest recruit to their growing stable of promising players carded a final round of 68 in the second International Golf Tournament Series event at Ruimsig Golf Club. Tree fired six birdies in his final round to win by two shots from Northern Ireland’s John McClean to add to his growing tally of South African titles.
Tree, who has been a regular visitor to South Africa for the past four years, makes the annual trip to compete in several leading events on the amateur circuit including the prestigious Sanlam SA Amateur Championship coming up soon.
The Chichester-based golfer will be hoping to emulate golfing legend Bobby Locke, who frequently visited Goodwood throughout his illustrious career and won 38 times in South Africa, including this week’s South African Amateur Championship.
Tree said: “It is great to get off to a flying start so early in the season. My game is in good shape and I have really enjoyed having Goodwood as a base to train at so close to home.”
The IGT Challenge Pro Tour was created in 2008 to help aspiring golfers fine-tune their skills in a competitive tournament environment and in essence provide a breeding ground for future champions. Today the tour has more than 60 events per year and more than 800 players have competed on the tour.
When Cowdray Park travelled to Guildford to face the home side in the latest Surrey and West Sussex Winter League match, it was a clash between second and third in the table.
Both sides were trying to make ground on the leaders Hankley Common, who have only one match remaining.
Despite the recent extreme weather, the course at Guildford was in good condition, being based high above the city on a chalk base.
The results reflected the proximity of the two teams to each other in the table, all games going to the 18th hole, and the overall result being 2-2, which probably suited Cowdray Park the better.
Results: (Cowdray Park names first): Terry Jasper & Harvey Terry lost to Jim Butcher & Tony Norrington 1 dn; Jan de Vries & Graham Thompson beat Alan Register & Kevin Mander 2up; David Tilley & Rob Doney lost to Barry Smart & Alan Cadge 2&1; Brian Carpenter & Mike Hughes beat David Snelgrove & David Pardoe 2up.
Cowdray’s Winter League title aspirations have received a setback with the results of the past two weeks.
First, table-toppers Hankley Common completed their season with a stunning 4-0 win at third-placed Guildford, giving them a final total of 29 points. Then Cowdray entertained Hindhead knowing what it would take to make inroads into Hankley’s lead, but they were beaten 3-1 by a very strong and determined visiting side.
Having lost the first two matches, the hosts recovered to win the third courtesy of Derek Smith and John Newman, who were also the only winners away at Hindhead.
This set up the final match for Cowdray to force a draw overall, but Dave Hirons and Roger Poat met a pair of in-form players, who completed the first 11 holes in par (three nett birdies) to establish a strong lead.
The Cowdray pair put up a good fight to reduce this lead but were narrowly beaten on the 17th to complete a 3-1 team win for Hindhead, who had also won away at Hankley Common.
Cowdray now require 9.5 points from their final three games to overtake the leaders and retain the title.
Results: David Balfour & Mike Hughes lost to Stuart King & Bryn Dakin; Phil Cummins & Pat Harrison lost to Sydney Thornton & Richard Carn; Derek Smith & John Newman beat Malcolm Carter & Adrian Thomas; Dave Hiron & Roger Poat lost to Colin Monkhouse & Alan Sumner.
Cowdray Park seniors’ captain Brian Brockhurst has arranged a Captain’s Charity Day on Thursday, March 27 to raise funds for his nominated good cause Prostate Cancer UK.
The format is Stableford singles with a shotgun start, prizes for first six positions, three nearest-the-pin prizes and a raffle. He is already receiving excellent support from the seniors, with the entry sheet virtually full. All that is needed now is for good weather.
Cowdray Park seniors were forced to abandon February’s Stableford following rain through the night and the morning, leading to the course flooding in places.
A few diehards gave it a go, donning their waterproofs and raising their umbrellas for limited protection. Last year’s captain Allen Sibley was a little unfortunate with the abandonment as he had completed seven holes with an excellent score of 16 points, including a two on the third.
But when Bill Hummerston and Roy Penrose had hit their third shots to the second green and went up to putt out, only to find that the area around the hole was completely flooded and it was impossible to complete the hole, the decision was taken to call it a day and retire to the warm surroundings of the clubhouse.
It is to be hoped the bad weather has peaked and the next few weeks’ competitions can take place, starting with the Texas scramble and the final and deciding round of the Captain’s Prize.
Cowdray ladies played a Stableford.
Results: Div 1 - 1 Jill Parry 39pts; 2 Mandy Lucking 37; 3 Lil Cummins 35; Div 2 - 1 Sue Morris 38; 2 Sally Williams 34; 3 Marnie Evans 33. Div 3: 1 Jenny Nichols 33; 2 Judith Brownlee 31; 3 Chris Sommerville 23.
Selsey ladies’ weekly roll-up competitions started in November and were played on Mondays and some Fridays right up until the new year. Unfortunately only a few have been played since then.
The club have enjoyed a few social events including a Christmas lunch organised by Barbara Winter and Pat Growns.
A few coffee mornings were held when the weather was too wet and windy and the annual bring-and-buy coffee morning organised by Eddie Williamson in aid of the Chestnut Tree children’s hospice took place earlier this month.
There was a quiz on the rules of golf which proved a good exercise and led to much discussion. A total of £100 was raised for the hospice.
March will see the start of this season’s competitions. All the usual cups and trophies will be played for again and also many nine-hole,14-hole and 18-hole Stableford and medal competitions.
The ladies are looking forward to their invitation day, when each member invites a member of another club to play and have lunch. This will be held on July 4. A number of mixed competitions have been arranged within the club as well as friendly fixtures with other ladies’ clubs in the area.
Various social events will also take place throughout the season for all members of Selsey Golf Club.
If there are any ladies interested in going along to meet members and to find out more about the club, they should contact Beverley Guest on 01243 605503.