THE rewards for winning the Stonyhurst Masters competition match the higher profile Augusta Masters in all respects but one.
The players get to play on an immaculately prepared course with slick greens and lush fairways, the winner is awarded a green jacket, invited to attend the annual Masters dinner (at the Hurst Green Bayley Arms) and the prestige amongst his fellow competitors is immense.
Money is not everything to the amateur golfer, however, and the desire to win led to excellent scores this year. A card playoff saw Brian Lamb (76-11-65) beat Terry Mason (82-17-65) into second place with competitions secretary Jim Walker in third place with 84-18-66.
In the previous week’s Les Hoole memorial trophy, new member Alan Rushton won once again on a card playoff with 87-21-66. In second place was Jason Exell who has spent the last three years in the wilderness trying to forget the instructions from a local professional. His (86-20-66) was a magnificent effort and testament to his dogged determination to once again hit the ball off a tee peg. In the first knock-out competition to conclude at Stonyhurst Park, Jim and Jan Walker beat Malcolm and Joyce Kenyon 3 and 1.
• PETER Pedder had a mediocre start to his round in Clitheroe Golf Club Seniors Stableford but four pars to finish gave him a winning 35 points total.
This proved to be too good for Geoff Cartledge after a card play-off.
Cartledge settled for second place ahead of the rejuvenated Paul Burrows who dropped shots on the run in but hung on for third place.
Andrew Walmsley and Brian Stokes were best of the rest with 33 points and Geoff Cartledge had an added bonus with the only two of the day.
Gary Byrne was sheer class in the Midweek Medal. Out in 37 and back in 3 under for a winning nett 67. Miles Corish suffered from a mind blowing eight on the 10th but like a fine wine he steadied the nerves to finish with two birdies for a nett 69 and second prize.
Captain elect, Paul Wood came good up the finishing straight with five pars to snatch third place from Mark Jones with the same nett 72.
Jeff and Michelle Gibson teamed up with Roger Allen and Sue Neilson to win the Open Mixed Team Event on Sunday with 83 points.
Clitheroe’s formidable team of Norman and Michelle Fielding with Tracy Blanc and Tony McGibbon were just one missed putt off the pace so had to settle for the runners up spot with 82, a three-shot margin over the Seed/Carter Quartet in third.
The Fourball B.B Professionals Prize for ladies went to the inform Judith Bishop and Jan Walsh with 41 points but only after count back with rising stars Judith Woolley and Elizabeth Birtwell with the same return.
Lady captain Jill Farthing and Elizabeth Narayana won another head to head with Eileen Baron and Pam Lavery for third place with 40 points.
The only birdies recorded on the day were twos and Elaine Bennett headed the list with Susan Healey, Pat Murray, Gwen Maudsley and Judith Woolley.
Clitheroe are currently second in the Ribble Valley Seniors League behind run away leaders Pleasington and they are well ahead of Shaw Hill in third so looking for their highest finish in many years.
Jack Mercer braved the elements to win the latest Junior Stableford and Isaac Cambridge won a consolation prize for his birdie two on the 17th
• ON Thursday the ladies at Whalley Golf Club competed in a dual competition. The Veterans’ Trophy, which was played over 13 holes, was won by Margaret Breakell with 81-26-55. The EWGA Medal competition was won by Bridget Reece (94-21-73), closely followed by Karen Thompson (94-20-74) and Maggie Harvey (99-23-76).
• EDDIE Scott took Mytton Fold Golf Club’s Tuesday Trophy by a whisker when he beat Chris Quinn in a card play-off. With both players carding 30 points after just 11 holes it needed the Senior’s adjudicator Tony Wilson to decide the winner.
Third spot was taken by Micky Walsh (26 points) with John Hammond just one point behind in fourth.
The Ladies held a “Red White and Blue” charity day in aid of Lady Captain’s charity, Cancer UK. Blessed with great weather, the nine-hole fun competition was won, fittingly, by Lady Captain Patricia Leyland (20 points) followed closely by Judith Kay (19 points) and Linda Clegg (15 points).
Mytton Fold’s captain, Gordon Lucas, raised £700 for Salford Hospital’s Kidney Research Unit when he undertook an “Iron Man” like challenge.
He played three 18-hole rounds of golf at Longridge, Stonyhurst and Mytton Fold golf courses and cycled between them during the course of just one day.
His day started on a dark note when his planned 5am start time was delayed because the sun had yet to rise. Early mist also added to a challenging start as he and playing partners past captain John Berry and senior organiser Nigel Fairhurst felt their way round the unfamiliar Longridge course. With a 22 minute search for their first drives of the day, one lost ball and a gross score of 95, Longridge provided a testing start to the day.
With the first course completed by just after 9am, Gordon donned his lycra and set off for Stonyhurst Park. The speedy trip meant that he arrived before his car-equipped playing partners and a 10-minute wait delayed his second round of the day, but this was spent with the welcoming crowd of Mytton Fold members cheering him on his way.
With a second lost ball (on the 10th) and a gross score of 89, the round was completed just after 4pm, followed by a second change into the very fetching lycra cycling outfit.
The ever-growing group of supporters now waved him off on his third, and final, round of the day at his home course. Steve Korab joined the playing group for the final round which was completed just before 7-30pm with a gross score of 94.