It has been a great start to the season for Bognor Golf Club’s 11-year-old Jake Stoneham.
Ten took part in the Junior Members’ Cup, a Stableford. Stoneham, who plays off 16, was the winner with 45 points. Jack Taylor was second on 39, with Max Littleboy third on 38.
Jordan Vincent was nearest the pin on the fifth, Jack Taylor on the 15th. Jake won the Lumpy Trophy, a medal competition, with nett 65. A field of 14 took part and Megan Tinson was second on 71.
Last years club champion Jordan Vincent, who plays off two, was third on 72 and was nearest the pin on the tenth.
Ryan Maskell was nearest at the fifth.
There was also a small field of eight for another Stableford event. Stoneham failed to score on the last hole, leaving him with 39 points, which resulted in a play-off against 14-year-old Max Littleboy. They both played great golf in the sudden death play off with Littleboy holing a 20ft put on the fifth extra hole.
Stoneham has had winter training with the Sussex under-14s. The season has not started for them yet but they have been concentrating on improving their fitness, working under a golf fitness specialist.
Stoneham does not turn 12 until July and is the youngest member of the county level-one squad under-14s.
Chichester Veterans enjoyed their first competition in March playing three clubs and a putter in benign conditions on dry ground.
The result was some great scoring highlighted by a hole in one on the fourth hole by Mike Beer. His final total of 40 points was only good enough to win the category four prize as the overall winner Rickie Prosser came in with a magnificent 42 points.
The inter-club competitions have also started in March but they brought a change in the weather. It was a rather wet and soggy Lindfield Park for the first fixture and captain Robert Stainsby and Mike Chapman led from the front with a fine one-up victory.
Unfortunately the only other winners were Norman Moore and Richard Parker who won 2&1 as Chichester lost 6-2.
Scores: Versus Robert Stainsby & Mike Chapman won 1 up; Campbell Goldsmid & Richard Holden lost 2&1; Eric Bourne & Roy Chandler lost 4&3; Bruce Santer & David Blythe lost 2 down; Norman Moore & Richard Parker won 2&1; Andrew Grant & Ivan Hollow lost 6&4; Peter Green & Roger Fletcher lost 3&2; Bill Martin & David Cousins lost 7&6.
Back home the following week, the snow finally cleared and the first two matches were lost against a strong team from Old Thorns.
The middle order played really well and the final pair of Campbell Goldsmid and Eric Bourne managed to halve to enable a 3½-2½ victory.
Scores: Robert Stainsby & Brendan Sharpe lost 5&4; Harry Harper & Gordon Williams lost 3&2; Dave Monkton & Ken Williams won 5&4; Norman Moore & Peter Green won 3&2; Bill Martin & David Blythe won 2 up; Eric Bourne & Campbell Goldsmid halved.
Cowdray Park seniors held their annual nine-hole Stableford for past captains and this year, it also featured current captain Allen Sibley and vice-captain Brian Brockhurst to add a touch of youth to the proceedings.
In addition to the golf there was a social meeting and meal afterwards, to which previous captains, now retired, such as Fred Barnes and Ian Hinton were invited, along with captains who had moved away, like Alan Brown.
The weather was kind and all enjoyed the reminiscing, and thanks went to Mike Pratt for organising the event again.
The golf was won by Brian Brockhurst, who tied with David Tilley.
Following the result of the Cowdray Park seniors’ March Stableford, the positions at the head of the Carter Trophy and Eclectic tables point to a domination by the younger, single-figure handicap players.
As the only player to have achieved three top-ten finishes so far, Dave Lucking is now looking to build on last year’s Eclectic win, taking over at the head of the Carter Trophy.
In the Eclectic, Paul Owen is setting a scorching pace, retaining his lead with the birdie on the eighth hole, leaving only the fourth hole which he has not yet parred or birdied after four months.
John Doran, who also birdied the eighth, swapped places with Pat Bonner and moved from fourth to second. Dave Lucking will not give up his title easily, and is just behind in third place.
Representing the older generation, Bonner is keeping tabs on the front three and, as a previous winner and now in good form, could trouble the leaders. He still has five holes which he has yet to par, with eight months to go.
Stableford winner Mike Burgess became the first player so far to record an eagle, which he did with a three on the par-five eighth. David Tilley made the biggest gain of the month, jumping from 76th to 38th.
Leading scores: 1 Paul Owen 61.5 pts, 2 John Doran 62.5, 3 Dave Lucking 63.5, 4 Pat Bonner 64.
Cowdray seniors started their long season of inter-club matches with a trip to the prestigious Hampshire course of Blackmoor to face a strong home side.
The visitors came away with a stunning win by 7½-½, a vast improvement on last year’s 4-4 draw.
In view of showery conditions buggies were excluded so Cowdray had to make two last-minute changes, bringing in Phil Harrison and Ken Newberry, who adapted themselves well against tough opponents and forced a draw, despite being three down at one stage.
Match manager John Doran and partner Ray Tucker came through a tough struggle to win two up and get the team off to a good start.
The following two matches both went to the wire with the Cowdray pairs of Derek Smith and Mike Cardiff and David Tilley and Clive Brine, winning by the minimum margin of one up. Dave Hirons and the in-form Rodney Fisher came in with the day’s biggest margin win of 5&4.
Frank Cheevers and Ian Goodall accounted for their opponents by 3&2, while the final two pairs of Dave Lucking and Roger Poat and John Newman and Barry Overington put the icing on the cake with further wins to round off an excellent day for Cowdray Park.
Results (Cowdray names first): John Doran & Ray Tucker beat Noel Tonkin & Roy Boxall 2 up; Derek Smith & Mike Cardiff beat Dave Elcome & Mike England 1 up; David Tilley & Clive Brine beat Dennis Adams & Peter Hunt 1 up; Dave Hirons & Rodney Fisher beat Ernie Roberts & Jim Hendry 5&4; Phil Harrison & Ken Newberry halved with Ross Sellers & Ray Stockinger; Frank Cheevers & Ian Goodall beat Mike Leybourne & Alan Simpson 3&2; Dave Lucking & Roger Poat beat Brian Matthews & David Fox 2&1; John Newman & Barry Overington beat Graham Herbert & Ed Jenner 4&3.
n The weather turned for the worse just on the day the top two sides were prepared to do battle for more points in the Surrey & West Sussex Winter League.
The penultimate matches involving two of the top three sides, Cowdray Park and Puttenham, were both cancelled, giving each side two points.
Going into the final day, that left Puttenham leading the table with 25½ points, Cowdray Park on 25 and Farnham on 23½ .
In the club’s St Patrick’s Day Stableford, Carl Corbin won with 41 points, with Steve Redfern second on 40 and Michael Paige third with 38.
Nearest the pins were won by Kevin Lewis on the second, Mark Heron on the 13th and Lee Rogers on the 18th.
The seniors held a greensomes competition and the winning pair were Roger Lewis and Bill Billson with a nett 49. Second were Colin Coe and Gerry Reid with 53.