Top Euro junior golfers flock to Goodwood
Goodwood hosted a round of the European junior tour golf, with more than 40 junior players competing across two days of action.
Forming part of the ‘Race to Spain’ qualifiers, which gives young players the chance to compete in the Costa del Sol later in the year, juniors travelled to Goodwood from as far afield as Switzerland and Thailand.
Nine-year-old Shreyas Sanmathy was the overall winner of the Race to Spain, shooting a fantastic five under par across the two days. His score was helped by a remarkable hole-in-one on the eighth hole.
Golf At Goodwood junior member Harry Callow, 11, played two great rounds to finish second overall in his age category.
He said: “It was fun out there playing against people my age, because I usually play in the adult competitions. It was good to compete against similar talents and the course played very well out there.
“The weather wasn’t too bad at first, but then the rain came and it became bogey golf. I was happy to finish third on the first day and second overall, so I think that’s half decent.”
European Junior Golf Tour started in 1999 when director Roger Shutt felt compelled to create a series in Europe because of a lack of opportunities for competitive young players in the UK. The tour now hosts more than 30 events each year across Britain from February to December.
Shutt’s aim is to give young players a real tour experience, with competitions on parkland, links, heathland, short courses, long courses and downland courses.
Nine age groups are catered for, starting at under six and going up to players aged 17. There is an annual order of merit, with each age group receiving scholarship programmes and coaching as prizes.
Shutt said: “We first came to Goodwood three years ago and have done three February events and some summer competitions.
“It has been very successful and very popular here, because it’s a great winter venue with great facilities and is very junior friendly, which is important to us. The kids just love playing on the two championship courses at Goodwood.”
* Marco Penge leads a team of five players who will represent Goodwood at the prestigious Sunningdale Foursomes this month.
Penge will once again play alongside England Golf’s Sophie Lamb, with whom he won the tournament last year.
Two other Goodwood ambassadors, Toby Tree and Holly Aitchison, will also line up for the club. General manager Stuart Gillett and Academy Manager Chris McDonnell complete the quintet.
The tournament, which takes place at Sunningdale Golf Club in Berkshire, is in its 83rd year and attracts top professionals such as Sam Torrance, Paul Lawrie and Tommy Fleetwood.
Amateurs Penge and Lamb claimed victory in 2016, with Penge overcoming a bout of food poisoning to take the trophy at his third attempt, having reached the semi-finals on the two previous occasions.
Penge and Lamb will be looking to repeat last year’s success, but among those standing in their way will be Stuart Gillett and Ladies’ European Tour player Aitchison, who join forces for the first time.
McDonnell teams up with fellow PGA pro Philip Waugh (Brampton) for his title challenge, while experienced European Tour player Tree will play alongside Nathan Longley (Worthing).
Gillett is hopeful one of the Goodwood players can come out on top, but is pleased the club has so many representatives.
He said: “It’s great to have so many entries in this year’s Sunningdale Foursomes. We were delighted that Marco and Sophie won last year and it seems to have inspired the rest of us to challenge them.
“Hopefully Golf At Goodwood can have some players in the latter stages again this year as it really is a first class event. I know a number of our members and juniors are intending to come and watch, so let’s hope we can provide some good golf to inspire them as well.”
McDonnell, who will be playing a number of PGA South Region competitions in 2017, added: “I’m really looking forward to playing in the Sunningdale Foursomes this year, both the Old and New courses are challenging and it’s a pleasure to play in such a prestigious event.
“It’s fantastic for the club that Golf At Goodwood will have such a presence and from my perspective it will be good preparation for my game for the 2017 PGA season.”
You can follow the progress of the players at the Sunningdale Foursomes and the rest of the season by searching for the hashtag #TeamGoodwood.
February has proved kind to the ladies at Bognor Golf Club.
The course is in excellent condition for this early in the year. All greens have been open for the two non-qualifying competitions played in February so far.
Hats off to the greens staff for their sterling work and Mother Nature for the great weather.
One competition was a three-team waltz. This is one score to count on the first, two scores on the second and three scores on the third – then repeat.
Winners were Linda Martin, Chris Puddicombe & Sue Meloy. Second was Louise Colvin, Sara Stoneham and Debbie Fenton. Third were Caroline Pilbeam, Sian Southerton and Jacqui Humphreys.
Another event was the Team Alliance. In this competition for four people, the first six holes had two scores to count, the middle six had three to count and the final six one to count.
The winners were Sophie James, Nicola Holton, Sara Stoneham and Debbie Fenton. Second were Sue Doughty, Pat Fitzgerald, Jenny Phillmore and Wendy Johnson; third Val Robertson, Beryl Payne, Elaine Conisbee and Kim Mercer.
* Bognor held their annual Valentine’s golf and dinner competition and more than 30 couples took part in golf followed by a carvery dinner.
It was an excellent event organised by lady Ccaptain Wendy Johnson and her social committee.
After the dinner the members were treated to a game of Mr & Mrs, which was hilarious and won by Roy and Heather Tidy. Golf competition winners were Phil and Elaine Conisbee with an excellent 54 points. Second were Ian and Sara Stoneham with 47 points; third were Vic and Nicki Vincent with 46 points on countback from Kevin and Nicola Holton.
Cowdray ladies played a triple six competition at Cowdray. This is a pairs competition playing six holes foursomes, six greensomes and six four-ball better-ball.
Results: 1 Wendy Street and Fiona Sapsworth 35pts; 2 Marnie Evans and Janet Poat 34; 3 Judy Stillwell and Joyce Fanshawe 32.
* Tempestuous conditions were the order of the day when Cowdray Park seniors held their Texas Scramble, which did turn into a real scramble with trolleys being blown over and players chasing their hats down the fairway.
Prior to tee-off there was a sudden downpour, while gale-force winds prevailed all day long. Sudden severe gusts occurred throughout the day.
Two groups finished with exactly the same score, 67.5, but the group of Mike Nobes, Graham Thompson, Alan Bradley and Robin Phillips took the honours on countback ahead of Bill Hummerston, Terry Adsett and Dave Gaff.
Lowest score of the day, 65.2, was recorded by David Heard, John Lee, Brian Carpenter and Bernie May, but their score was invalidated as they forgot to sign their scorecard.
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