Taylor retains Sidmouth golf title

Duncan Taylor retained his Club Championship with a magnificent total of 133, just one over par.

Duncan Taylor retained his Club Championship with a magnificent total of 133, just one over par.

Prior to the day the smart money was on James Pickard and he looked ever more likely to win when he took the lunchtime lead with an even par 66 to lead Taylor by 2.

The pace slowed early in the afternoon and Pickard's 35 to the turn took him four shots clear but Taylor stormed home in 28, highlighted by an eagle to finish, and took the title. Former Champion and steady man Martyn White collected third place money with 140.

Iron Man Club Champion Duncan Taylor followed up his win over 36 holes on Sunday by defeating county vice-captain Neil Holland in the Hall Trophy semi-final in the evening and returned on Monday to collect 44 points and win the Stableford.

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He was probably a little stiff on the first tee, who wouldn't have been, and he recorded an opening bogey but it proved to be his only mistake. Three birdies followed immediately and more at the ninth, 13th and 17th, making a gross round of 61 and a four point win.

Nervous course record holder Nigel Winchester responded to the threat to his 1974 card with 40 points himself, to pip Rob Winter for second place

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Duncan's six birdies moved him just one nearer to James Pickard but gave him a nice cushion of eight over Marc Shoobridge as the top nine positions remain unchanged.

There's little life left in the Eclectic now but the Duncan Taylor success story rolls on as he improved twice (at the third and ninth) and moves in to a tie for second on 49, three behind Pickard. You need to look well down the field for the next movement as Terry Jones improved to 56 with a two at the 6th.

l Immediate past captain Neil Faulkner of The Upper Crust Bakery reinstated this event after a gap during his year of captaincy.

The format was a variation on the usual better-ball whereby each player must appear on the card nine times, with the decision taken on the completion of each hole.

Confusion reigned and bar and house manager Phil Beer will subscribe to a series of lessons on card marking as failure to count to nine resulted in another disqualification!

No such problems for John Jones, recently returned from Australia, and the sponsor's close friend David Pepperell, who collected 45 points for a clear win. Possibly concerned about a dropped point on the final hole they didn't have long to wait as they were last group in.

Jack Hodge and David Bater followed with 43 with Jack required to play the majority of the last few holes. Brian Rostron and Pat McCormack recovered from a slow start and took third, on countback from Nick Gingell, warming up for cricket, and Nick Baker.

Interestingly, Gingell declined to record a two at the 14th as this would have left his partner to play the last four holes alone!

Peter Spooner and Trevor Kerridge stormed through the back nine and would have taken third but for a rare slip from Trevor at the last.

Regular winners Margot Beauchamp and Maureen Howard took the ladies' prize on countback from Sue Pyne and Gill Paddon.

Club captain Paddy Tallon gave thanks to the sponsor for his most generous support.

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