A well presented course and glorious weather was greatly appreciated by all finalists as the Club Championship and Challenge Cup were competed for.
Both semi-finals began at 8:30 with 4th place qualifier John Sharpe taking on top qualifier Tom Rowland. A very close contest took place with Sharpe taking a 4&3 victory with 16 pars and 2 birdies to claim the first final spot. 3rd placed Alan Rigby and 2nd placed Simon Pay also contested a high class game which concluded with a 2&1 victory for Rigby.
The final began at 1:30pm refereed by Ray Feldwick. Rigby took an early lead thanks to par on 1 which was erased immediately by Sharpes birdie on 2. Rigby went two up winning 4 and 5 before Sharpe hit back at 7 with birdie to reduce the deficit. A Par at 8 reestablished Rigbys 2 up lead which he maintained up to 11 where Sharpe almost holed his tee shot to bring the score back to 1 down. The were all tied after 13 thanks to a brave par on 13 by Sharpe before Rigby again opened up a 2 hole lead winning the 14th and 15th and halving with a miraculous bogey on 16. For the second time in the day Rigby took 5 at 17 to setup a final hole shootout. Both players missed right with their tee shots and both left long putts after their chip shots. Sharpe went first and held his 7 footer to leave Rigby needing his 6 footer to claim the title. A nerveless stroke followed and with the ball disappearing in to the hole Alan Rigby claimed the title of Club Champion 2016.
Both John Cheesbrough and Charlie Fletcher have been dropping their handicap preceding the final, with Cheesbrough confirmed as receiving 7 shots in the match, refereed by Mike Burton. Fletcher exploded out of the blocks to take a 3 up lead after 3, courtesy of birdies at 2 and 3 cancelling out Chessbroughs shot advantage. A poor drive from Fletcher on 5 and a duff handed Cheesbrough a way back in after pitching just short of the green in two. Never underestimate Fletcher though, his third to 5 from 160 yards finished 10 feet from the hole and the putt was rolled in to give Fletcher an unexpected half and control of the game with 3 shot holes taken care of. Fletcher would go 5 up early in the back 9 thanks to some fine play and eventually won 5&3 after claiming victory on the 15th hole.
Well done to all finalists, it is a massive achievement getting just getting there, thanks to all those that came and supported and well done Club Champion Alan Rigby and Challenge Cup winner Charlie Fletcher.
Well what a competitive and low scoring season it has been. After 15 qualifying rounds the 4 Club Championship finalists are now confirmed and will compete in two 18 hole morning semi-finals and an afternoon final. The player who finishes 1st in the table will compete against the 4th placed player in the first semi-final with the 2nd and 3rd places facing off in the second semi-final. , so who are the finalists?
4th Place– Past Club Champion Jon Sharpe has claimed the last qualification spot after a late season run that saw him finish 3 shots better than 5th placed Jaime Hodgkinson and saw defending champion Mark Poland surrender his title. Sharpe competed a 5 over par 285 total for his best 4 Gross round
3rd Place – Helsby Veteran and past Club Champion Alan Rigby qualifiers for his first Club Championship finals after a 3 year absence. His recent 3rd place in the 36 hole Ted Jarmin at West Lancs will certainly give him a boost in confidence.
2nd Place – On a Card Playoff after tying at the top due his 5th best score of 71 is Simon Pay. One of last Years semi-finalists has enjoyed an incredible season that saw him break the course record which now stands at 67.
1st Place – Tom Rowland claims top spot with -5 175 total. Defeat in Last Years final has spurred Rowland to achieve a career low handicap of 0.7 after time and again breaking par. His recent destruction of the field to claim this Years Scratch trophy by 11 shots is a standout statement for a man thirsty to lift champions trophy.
The finals are to be contested on Finals Day – Sunday 18th September – The Semi Finals will get underway at 8:30am followed by the Final at 1:30pm. This is a big championship and always well watched and supported by members, so why not come down and support the lads, everyone is very welcome.
The final standings can be viewed Here
Charlie Fletcher has again cut the lead held by Simon Pay but only by 25 points. These two are now sailing away from everyone and it is almost certainly a two horse race from here in.
Latest OOM Here
Despite not playing Phil Starkey retains top spot in the eclectic although Simon Pay has joined Jaime Hodgkinson in 2nd closing within .13 of the lead. John Cheesbroughs recent form has seen him move up 12 places to 16th just 3 off top spot, very tight.
Full eclectic Here
Simon Pay improves his lead by 1 with Charlie Fletcher now 4th one behind past champion Jaime Hodgkinson. Jon Sharpe has moved within 4 of 4th now and will still fancy his chances of making the semi finals.
Latest Club championship table Here
After a crazy low scoring gross weekend the Club Championship table has closed in further. Pay and Rowland are still out in front commanding 1st and 2nd all be it with a slightly more slender 7 point lead. Rigby has now moved into 3rd after his weekend 71 saw him overtake Fletcher who couldn’t improve upon his 291 total. A solid 69 gross from Simpson sees him shoot up the table and now sits in 7th with a 298 total and a worst score 80 to still improve. Defending champion Poland also increased his position with his weekend 71 now seeing him in 9th place with a 301 total.
Full table can be viewed here
Another month of competitions completed and more players vying for the Club Championships. The format is simple, each players 4 best gross rounds from all medal competitions count towards their combined total. The top 4 then play off in September in two semi-finals and one final.
Defending champion, Mark Poland, finds himself languishing down the order after an indifferent start to the year and less playing opportunities, his 309 total is steady but in need of big improvement if he is to defend his title. Last years runner up, Tom Rowland, is well placed in 2nd, carefully planning his competitions to fit around his busy social schedule. Rory Rowland has opened up a 6 shot gap over Charlie Fletcher in 3rd and Helsbys yesterday man Alan Rigby. Past champions Jeff Hughes and Jaime Hodgkinson lead the chasing back alongside Mark Stonely who has come into contention with his recent upturn in form. All competitors are chasing in form Simon Pay though, his two sub par rounds of 69 and 67 make him a worthy leader and the early favourite.
The full table can be viewed Here
The Club Championship is contested over the season in various competitions with the aggregate of players best 4 gross used to create the table. The top 4 players after the Shankland Trophy will then compete in two 18 hole morning semi-finals with the winners of each playing in the 18 hole afternoon final for the Club Champion crown.
Last Years beaten finalist Tom Rowlands heads the early stages of the rush to top 4 with a combined +7 287 for his best 4 rounds. Previous Years Junior Captain, Charlie Fletcher sits just behind Tom on 302 with previous Champions, Jamie Hodgkinson and Jeff Hughes occupying 3rd and 4th on 310 and 313.
We have a lot of notable absences, such as defending Champion Mark Poland, from the full list but as only 5 rounds have taken place some players have not yet registered the required 4 rounds qualifying scores.
The current table can be viewed Here