Frosty start at Sidmouth
For most sane people a cold and frosty Sunday morning is an opportunity to snuggle under the duvet for as long as possible before getting out of bed late for a slow start to the day, writes John Rockey.
However, for 30 odd golfers at Sidmouth Golf Club, the cool and crisp weather offered them the chance to dress up in numerous layers of clothing and turn up looking like arctic explorers on the exposed first tee for a 7.30am start.
Conditions underfoot were tricky due to the overnight frost and the early starters had to cope with some unkind bounces and shiver their way around the first few holes on the course.
In spite of 18 temporary greens, scores in the individual Stableford competition were extremely high, with Lee Wenham, playing off 14 handicap, amassing an incredible 48 points to take first place. Lee, who has recently moved to sunny Sidmouth from ‘Up North’ (actually North Devon), must have felt quite at home in the icy weather and came in with a score of 12 under his handicap, no less.
With such a score, Lee must have put his name high up on the list of those members who the new handicap reduction committee will be actively looking at.
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Also grabbing the attention of the handicap reduction committee was regular winter winner Carl Sheehan who came in second with another good performance.
Carl, playing off a generous 21 handicap, must have thought that his 45 points would have been good enough to take first place, as it would have been in most competitions.
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However, his second place kept up his challenge for the Winter League title.
In third place, with another very good score, was Alan Spurway with 43 points, but his good effort of seven under par was not enough to edge out the top two although he consolidated his fourth place in the overall standings for the Winter League.
With double points being awarded for an individual winter competition, Carl’s second place vaulted him to the top of the Winter League standings with 48 points.
He now looks favourite for the title as second- placed Moray Boscence finished just outside the top 10 this week and failed to add to his 37 points whereas Jonathan Lee’s absence kept him in third place with 35 points.
The rest of the pack trails a long way behind these three but, with six more rounds of competitions to go, there’s still a chance that the top three can be caught.