First of the Streatham Trophy series

The Streatham Trophy is a pairs Stableford competition played at Sidmouth Golf Club over four rounds throughout the winter months with the best two scores being taken forward to a final which will be played next Spring, writes John Rockey.

The playing format is a Greensomes competition whereby pairs choose the best tee shot on each hole and play alternate shots until the ball is holed out. Obviously, this difficult format is a minefield for some players and requires both members of each pair to be on top form, otherwise the good play of one of the pair can be easily offset by any loose shots by his partner. Ideally, one has to choose a partner who is either very relaxed and can take setbacks in his stride, or else someone who plays the game so well that a few hacks by his partner doesn’t make much difference. For most, either choice of partner is not that easy to find

Under cloudy skies, with a brisk cool wind which helped dry the course from the recent rain, scores were not as good as many expected which ensured that many of the partnerships were still in contention, although it was not apparent to them at the time. Coming in at the top of the table was the partnership of the ever-reliable John Game and mighty Mick Munro with 40 points who just beat off the challenge of Bob Welsman and Mick Baden with 39 points.

Game and Munro could well have played off their present handicaps for the last time as rumours fly around the club that the Handicap Reduction Committee has at long last returned from its neverending summer break and this pair are in their sights for some serious attention. In third place was the experienced partnership of a relaxed Neil Faulkner and the always on-form Trevor Kerridge with 38 points which was a disappointing score following their two birdie start on the first two holes and good scoring on the first eight holes.

?In the Winter Fourball, held last Sunday, Veterans’ Cup winner Hugh Dorliac teamed up with Chris Roberts to come in with a good score of 42 points, thanks to an incredible back nine of 25 points.

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Whilst Club Champion, Jonathan Lee, managed to pick himself a competitive partner in Moray Boscence, to also come in with 42 points, they couldn’t match the winners’ back nine and had to settle for second place on a countback.

In third place, on 41 points, were the partnership of Club Vice-Captain Paul Hitchcock and Club Treasurer John Barnard, who just beat off the next three pairs by a point in a very close finish.

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