Game and Shearer prove too good

Sidmouth Golf Club’s President, Alec Salway managed to find the long-lost combination to unlock his wallet temporarily and splashed out on some splendid prizes for his competition last Saturday, writes John Rockey.

This competition was an unusual Stableford pairs format off full handicap, with one score to count on the first nine, but both scores counting on the back nine, which required both players to be in each hole to get a good score.

Needless to say, this produced some real hard luck stories when one half of the partnership had played a hole well, but had not been backed-up by the other half. One such case being a very confused Bob Webber, who, when playing the 10th hole (ie the first hole when both scores counted), picked up his ball after his partner had holed for a par forgetting that his score had to count as well!

Whilst not figuring in the prizes, former club captain John Carroll almost got a special award for his consistency in finding the bunker adjacent to the 18th green with his tee shot off the first. But as the competition was off back tees, he just came up short this time and thus scuppered his chances of picking up an award.

The popular winners of the President’s Prize, which was an engraved crystal decanter for each player, were John Game and Jim Shearer who had a magnificent 25 points on the better ball front nine and an equally impressive 39 points when both scores counted.

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Their total of 64 points proved far too good for the rest of the field. Needless to say, the ever-present pair in the winners’ enclosure in team competitions, namely Kevin Legg and Roy Turner could not be kept out of their usual place and secured second prize with 61 points to bring their tally to two firsts and two seconds in the last four competitions. Obviously the handicap committee is still on its long summer break!

Third, on a countback, were Ron and Peter Vanstone with 60 points who just edged out the strong partnership of Jonathan Lee and Paddy Tallon who had the same score to be in fourth place. Fifth placed, on 59 points, were Neil Bunting and Alan Spurway who just beat sixth placed Andrew Dean and John Nicholle on a countback.

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The various other prizes and best front and back nines as well as nearest the sixth and 12th pins, were generally shared by the main prize winners, the only exception was Will Hastie, who won the nearest to the sixth pin prize.

In the Allstate Monday Stableford competition Nathan Brace produced another magnificent round of golf to score a gross 64 (two under par) for 43 points to take the prize by three shots, writes John Rockey.

His round was given a major boost at the second hole when he got an eagle two and his steady play thereafter was only slightly marred by a bogey at the last.

His five handicap would appear to be going down to four in the very near future. There was a mass scramble for second place where five players all came in with 40 points. Winning second on a countback was Devon County Captain Neil Holland, who shot a fabulous round of 62 (four under par) which included an eagle and six birdies. Third was Mal Jones, who reduced his handicap to 12 , just edging out Peter Emery, fourth, and Peter Northcott, fifth, in the final furlong by a nose. Also on 40 points was Brian LeMasurier who took the seniors’ prize.

?On the birdie count Neil Holland added another nine to his total, but could well find it difficult to find a playing partner next week having made a error on playing partner Mark Thomas’s card resulting in Mark’s disqualification. Rumour has it that Mark still had to pay Neil the side bet they always have. There was also another unusual event when Luke Sheppard got a pair of twos to end his birdie drought.

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