Wednesday, July 2, 2014
The first round of the Scratch and Handicap Challenge took place at East Devon on Saturday, writes Paul Willoughby.
The weather forecasters were right – slow moving heavy showers and waterproofs were needed. Even with waterproofs it wasn’t a lot of fun – rain down the back of the neck, glasses constantly needing to be wiped with an ever wetter handkerchief. Grips becoming slippery. Oh what a tale of woe! I could go on but I think I’ve whinged enough.
The Course Standard Scratch (CSS) was increased to 73 which gives an indication of the difficult conditions. Golfers will know what that means but for the Non Golfers, the CSS is normally 70 but it can go up or down depending on how well the majority of competitors play. If most scores are high because the conditions are bad (Saturday) then the CSS goes up but if most scores are low then the CSS is reduced. OK so far? What you had for breakfast or whether you have a hangover from the previous night’s party has no effect on the CSS, though both can adversely affect your score!
Out of a total field of 85 players there were 25 No Returns or Disqualifications – an attrition rate of over 20 per cent. That gives you an idea of the state of the weather. The wimps of the year (and I can say that as I was one of them) came from Division Three where there were 10 No Returns out of a field of 19!
The competition is played over two days and the second round will take place on July 5. The leading scores from last Saturday are as follows: Division One: 1, Andy Pelosi, net 69 (5); 2, Brian Sansom, net 70 (8); 3, Bob Horton, net 70 (9 now 8); 4, Mark Heywood, net 72 (6).
Division Two: 1, Kevin Jennings, net 69 (11 now 10); 2, John Thatcher, net 72 (13); 3, Michael O’Reilly, net 75 (13); 4, Kim Johnson, net 75 (12).
Division Three: 1, Mark Anderson, net 71 (15 now 14); 2, Sam Corney, net 73, (22); 3, Simon Husband, net 76 (15).
There was a twos pot of £168 to be shared between six players; Robert Dance had one on the par four, 11th hole. Good second shot, Robert.