Three-way photo finish in Griffiths Trophy

PUBLISHED: 14:48 30 March 2012

John Griffiths Trophy

John Griffiths Trophy

Copyright 2009

The competition for the John Griffiths Trophy is played to commemorate the late John Griffiths, who was both a past captain and past chairman of Sidmouth Golf Club and takes the form of a three ball medal team event, writes John Rockey.

John, who sadly passed away in 2008, had a wicked sense of humour and would have been chuckling away to himself eagerly anticipating the possible foul-ups when the event was programmed for early last Sunday morning, the first day of British Summer Time.

As it turned out, the failure of some of the players last year to complete the simple task of putting their clocks forward one hour the night before did not happen this time around, probably much to John’s disappointment. Possibly the reason for this was that the members had got wiser over the past year, but the probable reason was that those who turned up an hour late or more last year, decided that the task of getting to the first tee on time was too difficult for them and so they didn’t enter the competition.

Those who had entered, dutifully arrived on time and saw the early mist burn off to produce a gorgeous, sunny morning which provided the chance for some good golf resulting in a photo finish with three teams coming in with 11 under par scores of 55.

Losing out on a double countback to come in third was the team of Paddy Tallon, Steve Channing and Simon Ruffle, just ahead of the second-placed Jonathan Lee, ‘Basher’ Baldwin and Alan Spurway. Which meant that the superior play over the last few holes by Vernon Ruffle, Bob Skelly and Neil Faulkner was just enough for them to take the magnificent trophy presented to them by John Griffiths’ son, Anthony.

●As this was the last competition to qualify for the Winter League title, the non-appearance in the winners’ circle of Moray Boscence meant that Carl Sheehan was the winner even though he had not played in the last four competitions.

His 50 points garnered by the middle of February were enough to just pip Moray on 46 points with Jonathan Lee third on 42 points.

The first Monday Stableford of the new season drew a large entry of 90 players eager to get their handicaps cut in the first qualifying competition of the year, writes John Rockey.

However, with glorious weather overhead, only three players beat par, which perhaps reflected the more difficult conditions when tees had been moved back to lengthen the course, and the ability to place and clean balls throughout the course had been stopped.

The three players beating par all scored 37 points and, on countback, Andrew Thomson got the first prize and with it a reduction in his handicap to 9.

Just missing out on top spot was second- placed Brian Cole also getting a reduced handicap to 18 whilst Craig Melluish came third and will now play off his new handicap of 26.

In the seniors’ section Brian Cole, with his 37 points, won with Mike Anderson second on 36 points and Ray Gunston third with 34 points.

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