After the bright sunny weather of Saturday competitors concluded Sundays round in overcast conditions with threats of rain. That rain came in batches throughout the day, heavy at times but a refreshing break from the humid heat. Playing in the same order as Saturday proceedings got underway at 7:30am with players hoping, dreaming and chasing personal goals for their final 18 holes. The final round was played off a retuned set of tees that saw the course playing 200 Yards longer than the previous day with new angles and different choices to be made.
First to enter the arena again was Tony Archer who followed Saturdays 71 with a 69 to post the very early lead, a level par 140, a score that has won many Captains prizes previously but surely not 2016 with a beautifully presented course and light conditions. Requiring a 81 Gross to tie Archers lead after a disappointing first day, Nathan Kennedy fired out of the blocks early, the 19 handicapper made the turn having dropped just 4 shots. Perhaps a light refreshment at the halfway house or the short spell of rain knocked Kennedy off his stride as his back nine didn’t match the front although he would go on to post a well fought 69. One better than Archer after day one and determined to improve on a frustrating day Mark Poland got about his business, back to back birdies on 7 and 8 saw him turn 1 under par gross. Poland would go on to finish the weekend 2nd overall after signing for a 66 nett a 4 than better combined score of 136. The morning was turning into a scoring frenzy as par was equalled or broken time and again. Joining Poland at the top and enjoying the morning conditions was overnight joint leader Ryan Edghill. Despite playing with a serious injury caused by his good lady, which was really just a small scratch, Edghill overcame some near card wreckers. Doubles at 13, 15 and 17 looked to have thrown his chances away but a strong refocused tee shot on 18 and a 5 foot par putt saw Edghill move into 2nd overall on a CPO behind Poland eventually finishing 3rd overall.
Past Captain Brian Prince had a weekend to remember as he scooped best Vet with a healthy 138 showing for the weekend and a joint 4th overall placing. Round of the day came from another injured golfer, Neil Brow fresh from a recent little finger injury produced his best Golf of the Year to post a fine 72 – 7 – 65, parring in from the 8th following a topsy turvy opening 7 holes. Brow picked up the prize for best 2nd day alongside Junior Captain Sam Long who claimed best 1st day as well as nearest the pin on 11 with Ben Simpson receiving the prize for 18.
71 + 69 – 140 total was good enough for Helsby veteran Alan Rigby to claim the weekends best gross. Rigby got his hands on the new best gross Captains trophy which was recently found in a loft in Cornwall and returned to the club after it was last presented as the Captains prize 98 years ago.
For the second day running 18 remained birdie free, for Simon Begley par was good enough after his first day triple had cost him the overnight lead. After the Simons dominating Day One, Begley would be the only one on Sunday to break 70. Understandably a little nervous being in contention Begley shot a steady level par front, the couple of doubles he chalked up canceled out by his strong pars on 2 and 4. The short greeting from the Captain and his team in the halfway house clearly settled Begley down, putting a 3 hole run of pars together before entering Helsby’s notorious back 6. A more than respectable bogey followed on 13 before a double at 14 cut his 3 under score to 2. 15 was playing long and hard, off the stones and a back left pin all into wind made this a potential card wrecker. Begley again composed his nervous and previous hole disappointment to sink his put for 5 followed by another at 16 and stand on 17 still 2 better than par. The final battle would be fought here, sending his first tee shot out of bounds, playing three off the tee Begley found the cut grass, punched his 4th shot, chipped to 10 foot and hold a solid nervy putt to record a double that brought him back to one better than par. Unbeknown to Begley he now needed a par on 18 to claim his maiden win and a place in Helsby history. Taking his trusty 3 iron he missed the green pin high right, short sided he knocked his chip to 5 feet before again holing out excellently to finish the weekend 67 + 68 – 135 and claim the Captains Prize 2016 by 1 shot.
The Overall Captains Prize standings can be viewed Here
The 2nd round results can be viewed Here
The Scratch results can be viewed Here
Well done every competitor, all the volunteers, committees, our Professional team and Green staff and of course the Captain for putting together and delivering a special weekend for all.