East Devon scratch competition success for greenkeeper Paul Newcombe

PUBLISHED: 08:24 16 June 2018

East Devon golf club. Ref exsp 25 17TI 5401. Picture: Terry Ife

East Devon golf club. Ref exsp 25 17TI 5401. Picture: Terry Ife


Two, well actually, three (or possibly four!) competitions were played at East Devon last week, writes Paul Willoughby.

On Saturday, there was the monthly medal (every shot counts, bushes and bunkers alike) and within that was played the Rolle Cup.

That itself was divided into two – scratch, where there’s no handicap advantage, and the handicap element itself. The Rolle Cup is awarded for the best handicap score. Wow, that takes some sorting out but that makes three so far. On Monday, 84 seniors took part in round four of the Seniors Centenary Salver. Got it? With all those scores to recount there may not be much space for me do my usual verbal faffing about! However, a note for your diaries; The 147th Open will take place at Carnoustie between July 19 and 22, and the total purse is nearly £8million – dream on.

Tom Watson, that very likeable American and five times Champion Golfer of the Year has been appointed the first-ever Global Ambassador for the Open and his task will be to promote golf generally and The Open in particular.

That’s a job I’d like once I’ve given up hope of being an engine driver! For those of you who don’t know him, this is what the Chief Executive of the R&A, Martin Slumbers, said: “Tom Watson is one of the finest golfers ever to have graced the sport and has enjoyed an extraordinary career in The Open over many years.

“He has a special place in the hearts of generations of golf fans who have followed him and will always be remembered for the great joy he has given us with his incredible golf, warm personality and exemplary conduct.”

What praise and rightly earned. Now to the results. The winner of the Scratch competition was our head greenkeeper, Paul Newcombe, with 72 strokes from a handicap of one. Very impressive.

Second by a whisker with 73 strokes was Joe Sharp from a handicap of four and third by a further gnat’s whisker, and only on countback was David Blick, also 73 from a handicap of minus (or is it plus?) three. I know I’m mentioning handicaps when this was a scratch competition, but it’s complicated – don’t ask! The winner of the Rolle Cup was Thomas Peters, aged 15, from Division Two with a net 66 from a handicap of 10, now 9. Tom, playing off his first official CONGU handicap of 28 in August 2017 was five under in the junior open and since then has recorded 19 qualifying rounds with 10 being under par and his handicap tumbling down along the way to its current level of 8.9.

We shall be seeing a lot more of him in the golfing headlines – well done, Tom.

The leading scores in the monthly medal were as follows:

Division 1: 1, Joe Sharp, net 69 from a handicap of 4. That’s class play, Joe; 2, Bob Martin, 70 (4 now 3); 3, Andy Pelosi, 71 (6)); 4, Paul Newcombe, also 71 (1)

Division 2: 1, Tom Peters, 66 (10 now 9); 2, Robert Barnes, 69 (10 now 9); 3, Chris Taunton, 70 (10); 4, Steve Robinson, 71 (12)

Division 3: 1, Nicholas Sear, 72 (20); 2, Colin Thomas, 72 (14); 3, Ben Platt, 72 (20) ; 4, Oliver Wiltshire, 73 (17).

Seven players had twos, but sadly one golfer who scored two of them didn’t enter the twos sweep! The remainder shared a pot of £182.

Now for the seniors on Monday – yellow tees, Stableford, excellent conditions and views from the course to equal any in the world.

The winner of the competition was recently retired editor of the Journal, Phil Griffin with an excellent 40 points from a handicap of 21 now 20. Second by the usual whisker was Howard Clark with 39 points (14) and third, and only on countback was Graeme Bowden also with 39 (13). Nigel Goode and Peter de la Mare had 38 points. Nigel’s handicap drops from 10 to 9 and Peter’s drops from 16 to 15. Well done, all. There were seven twos sharing a pot of £80.

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