The Final of the gents pairs knockout (Challenge Plate) took place on Saturday 7th October conditions not as ideal as previous weeks singles final with heavy showers regularly disrupting play.
This Years Finalists were, Adam Griffiths 15 Hcp and Dave Peters 13 Hcp against Andy Sayers 8 Hcp and Mal Aird 11 Hcp, a second final in two weeks for Andy having lost in last weeks Challenge Cup against Jamie Hodgkinson.
Helsby was to witness another final of excellent golf with nothing between the two pairs. An opening first hole halved in par was followed by the first of two holes won by Adam and Dave with chip in birdies on the second it was Adam to take his team one up but the redoubtable Andy got it back to all square with a five foot putt birdie on the third. The next two holes were halved with pars before the second chip in, this time by Dave for a birdie two to put his team one up. The next three holes were halved so we went to the back nine with Adam and Dave one up. As often is the case Helsbys own Amen Corner proved crucial in this match and with a major turnaround a par, birdie, par run moved Andy and Mally from one down to two up a decisive move which proved match winning as all the following holes were halved with a close out on the 17th giving Andy Sayers and Mal Aird a two and one victory.
Commiserations to Adam and Dave and congratulations to Andy and Mal winners of Challenge Plate 2017.
Thanks to Brian Stott for referring the final and also to Mike Burton who did an excellent job in the previous weeks Challenge Cup final.
This years finalists were, Jamie Hodgkinson off 2Hcp and Andy Sayers off 8 Hcp both arriving in good form Andy also a finalist in the Challenge Plate Pairs Knockout with Mal Aird.
From the first hole we were to witness one of the best finals played in this prestigious competition at Helsby although the way Jamie started with a par, birdie, birdie blitz to give him a three up lead it did not seem likely. Caddie for the day Mal Vipor Aird informed that Andy always took three holes to get it together and did he just proceeding to birdie the fourth and fifth to get back to one down. The first halved hole followed at the sixth before Jamie hit the birdie trail again with a four at the par five seventh, the eighth and ninth were halved with pars leaving Jamie two up after nine holes. The back nine started again with a masterful pitch from 90 yds to three feet by Jamie to produce yet another birdie to put him three up. At four under gross we were seeing a masterclass but an out of character three putt cost him the eleventh were Andy had a brilliant up and down holing yet another clutch putt from fifteen feet. Normal service resumed at the twelfth with a straight forward birdie for Jamie another masterful pitch to five feet and back to three up. Yet another brilliant fight back from Andy with a nett eagle and birdie at thirteen and fourteen got it back to one down. Fifteen was halved in pars and on the sixteenth we saw one of the best mid irons you could imagine from Jamie leaving almost a tap in putt for a birdie three, nailing it from one sixty yards. At two up to Jamie the seventeenth was crucial with Andy having a shot and hitting a majestic rescue from two hundred yards which in the air looked perfect, unfortunately the shot with adrenaline adding extra yards hit the down-slope of bank to right of green and carried into rough at the back of the green. Andy could only manage to nudge ball forward a few feet followed by a pitch to ten feet a missed putt meant Jamie closed the match with a bogey five to win two and one. A quick check walking down the seventeenth showed fourteen birdies had been achieved by both players. A quite magnificent achievement and a match neither deserved to lose but congratulations to Jamie Hodgkinson our Challenge Cup Matchplay Champion for 2017.
Another Captains Weekend completed with tales to tell and the many utterances among others of, if only.
A mix of weather gave us wet and drizzly mornings clearing to sunny afternoons the downside of the brighter afternoons was the wind/ breeze arrived. Added to a still fiery course, super fast greens and sadistic pin placings it was a true challenge and reflected in the CSS being 72 on both days.
Captain Neil and his trusty group of Past Captains assisting as starters on the first day, saw all competitors off the first tee on Saturday, all hoping this was to be their year.
He was in attendance along with his good lady Ann to greet and commiserate with nibbles and drinks, to all competitors passing the Halfway House on second round Sunday. This on top of hosting the Captains Dinner on Saturday night and concluding with the prize presentation on Sunday night deserves an endurance prize.
Now the results,
First John Cheesbrough playing off 11 Hcp with a nett 138.
Second Simon Begley, last years winner, beaten on second round card playoff, playing off 14 Hcp also with a nett 138.
Third Tim Carter playing off 17 Hcp with a nett 140.
First Jamie Hodgkinson 72 and 73 giving a two round gross 145
Second Simon Pay 74 and 72 giving a two round gross 146
Third Steve Roberts 78 and 72 giving a two round gross 150.
Paul Clarke with 83 less 15 nett 68.
Steve Roberts with 72 less 4 nett 68.
Bob Ewing playing off 19 Hcp with a nett 144.
An additional mention must be for Nine handicapper Jim Jones who had a hole in one on Sunday at the par three eleventh.
Full Results for the Weekend Here
Another day another stableford, this time around the prize was the Ward Trophy. Although happily out shined in recent years by his sons Howard Pay enjoyed the day and the format, despite a double triple run at 16 & 17, he posted a strong early 39 points. Defending champion Jeff Hughes couldn’t replicate last Years form but finished a respectable 32nd on the day.
The day was owned by Jaime Hodgkinson though. Despite a topsy turvey scoring Year Hodgkinson still nose how to get the job done. Faldo esc in scoring Hodgkinson recorded two birdies at 2 and 7 to turn in a conking 2 under gross. Hodgkinson had got his nose in front early making his remarkable back nine par at every hole seem like a walk in the park. Hodgkinson signed for a best of the day 41 points, a .5 handicap reduction and the Ward Trophy.
Full results Here
What a difference a week makes, after the baking of presidents day the jubilee felt some what autumnal with bounce. Great conditions for scoring and a Stableford format geared to go get it golf.
A dull morning was enlightened thanks to a 39 point return from Jim Jones and a remarkable 38 points for Sean Hogerty. The 10 handicapper teeing off on 5 with just 3 points before a four birdie run from 6 saw him turn in 19 and return in 19. The morning appears to have offered a tough challenge with the top of the leader board dominated by afternoon starters, and a wonder round. The ever elegant Denver Brazier lapped up the conditions. An early birdie at 2 before a drop at 3 seemed a usual steady start for Brazier before birdies at both the par fives 4th & 7th set a new tone for scoring at Helsby. Brazier went another 2 under with birds at 12 & 13 before entering unchartered territory at 15, now 5 under the card. No signs of nerves showed as a solid par at 16 followed before an understandable block off the 17th tee presented Brazier with a challenge from the shrubs. What followed was a strong bogey in the circumstances and a chance to shoot 66 with par at the last. Few have been in this position but non have achieved it, until today with Brazier taping in for an unbelievable 66 gross, 44 point return and the Jubilee Trophy presented by Norman Littler.
Full results Here
A sunny day after last weeks washout gave competitors a welcome happy lift as the Summer season progresses. The fine weather attracted the parasol brigade and the increase in random conversation to fill the time created by the slow pace of play. The course played longer than conditions suggested but receptive greens increased the likelihood that scores were out there.
The morning half of the draw enjoyed a slightly cooler round which Ralph Ramsey clearly enjoyed posting a 65 nett despite a treble at 9. Ramsey had regrouped to shoot two over gross on the back and set the score for the day. Sam Long, making his welcome return, threatened Ramsey’s lead after a blistering 68 gross, 65 nett with 3 front nine birdies cancelling out 3 bogeys before a fine 2 under gross back nine which got him to 2nd on cpo. Past Captain Steve Cunniffe will be ruing his bogey bogey finish 67 nett which saw him take 3rd spot. So the mark was set early and hunted down in the afternoon by an on fire Peter Duffy. Having turned in one over gross and negotiating the corner in level par Duffy secummed with three doubles to post a just outside 68. Tommy Briscoe was also building a solid attack with his own one over gross front nine, although doubles at 14 and 15 saw his challenge end eventually signing for a 68 and a new handicap of 10.
Ramsey’s mark would stay the test of time and his name is now engraved forever on Helsbys winner boards.
Full Results can be viewed Here
After the first couple of rounds of the knockouts now it is starting to heat up and take place!
Please click the links below to view the updated gents KO sheets:
GENTS CHALLENGE PLATE (PAIRS)
GENTS CHALLENGE CUP (SINGLES)
The deadline for Round 3 in both competitions is Monday 3rd July.