Smith retains Junior Champion title

JAMES SMITH retained his Junior Champion title at Royston Golf Club on Saturday.

The five-handicapper shot a gross 76 to win by four shots from Oliver Pemberton. Smith played some steady golf, but three 6s on his card looked like it was going to be a close-run thing, but birdies on his final two holes secured victory.

Junior Captain, Luke Bailey won the handicap section with a nett 71, closely followed by Robbie Ponting. Robbie Norman won the Best Cadet prize with a nett 70, while George Sanders was second. At the prizegiving, sponsored by club captain, Barry Buckerfield, Sanders was presented with the Most Improved Junior award after reducing his handicap by 16 over the last 12 months.

Pemberton went one better on Sunday winning the prestigious Viscount Hampden Bowl, a club competition with over 80 entries. He shot a remarkable nett 63, chipping in for eagle at the last, to edge out scratch team captain, Adam woods, by a single shot. Woods’ gross 69 was a model of consistency with 17 pars and a solitary birdie on the fifteenth.

However, spare a thought for Stuart Phillips, who equalled the course record with a 63, but his nett score of 65, was only good enough to take third spot.

The Men’s Saturday Medal saw a large field and Eddie Collins returned to form taking top spot on countback from Peter Gillies, with both players finishing with nett 68. Paul Matthews, James Hayden and Mike Stilges all tied for third with 69.

Countback was also required for the Men’s Thursday Medal with two players finishing on nett 65. Nineteen-handicapper, Darren Evans, played the back nine holes in just 40 shots to win from the ever-improving Clive Middlemass. Middlemass’ chance of outright victory slipped away after taking a double bogey on the 17th hole. Ian Rumbold finished third with a nett 68.

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Elsewhere, Tina Collins won the Ladies Veterans Trophy with a superb 38 points, to edge out lady captain, Karen Pearson by two points. The ladies also played a Medal on Saturday and past captain, Alice Lewis, took the spoils with a nett 73 to guarantee her place in the Medal Winners Final.