Gemma set for Mexico showdown


DELAMERE Forest’s Gemma Clews with join forces with Curtis Cup players Meghan MacLaren and Alice Hewson and the Amateur Champion Scott Gregory in England’s teams for next month’s World Amateur Team Championships in Mexico. Continue reading

NW seniors in England teams

LANCASTRIAN Ian Crowther and Cheshire’s David Nelson have been selected for the England teams for two  international championships.

The team for the European senior men’s team championship is: Crowther, Nelson, Stephen East of Yorkshire, Richard Latham of Lincolnshire, David Niven of Berkshire, Alan Mew of Hampshire. Reserve is Mark Stones of Essex.

The championship is at Diners Golf and Country Club, Slovenia, from August 30 to September 3.

The same team, with the addition of Mark Stones, will contest the Senior Men’s Home Internationals at Machynys Peninsula, Wales, on September 20-22.

The players:

Stephen East (Moortown) won the Scottish senior championship this season having previously won Spanish, English and Portuguese senior titles.  He also topped the England Golf senior order of merit in his debut year in 2014.

Richard Latham (Woodhall Spa) won the English senior championship for the second time this year and is a past winner of the Scottish title. He won the England Golf senior order of merit in 2013.

David Nelson (Northenden) was third in the English senior championship, runner-up in the Northern senior qualifying tournament and was 14th in the Senior Amateur Championship.

David Niven (Newbury & Crookham) was runner-up in the English senior championship and in the South East Group’s Alan Hobson Trophy. Last year he tied fourth in the Senior Amateur Championship and helped Berks, Bucks & Oxon (BB&O) win the Senior County Championship.

Alan Mew (Stoneham) was third in the Welsh senior championship, sixth in the Scottish, 12th in the Irish and 19th in the English. He was 16th in the Senior Amateur Championship.

Ian Crowther (Royal Lytham & St Annes) tied eighth in the Senior Amateur Championship and 11th in the Northern senior qualifying tournament

Mark Stones (Boyce Hill) has had top ten finishes in the English, Irish and Scottish senior championships and was 14th in Wales.

The England senior order of merit is used to select the teams withc the top four players qualifying automatically for the European team and the top five for the Home Internationals. Two further players are selected for each team.

It’s Kinnear at the double

ENGLAND player Paul Kinnear chalked up his second Galvin Green Northern Order of Merit win of the campaign when he compiled rounds of 74 and 67, three-under-par all told, to claim the Childwall Trophy.

The Formby man prevailed by a shot from Lancashire team-mate John Carroll, from Huyton & Prescot who moved up to third spot in the rankings.

Haydock Park’s Ian Kenwright lies second, 180 points behind Heswall’s Tom Dolan.

LEADING SCORES: 141 Paul Kinnear (Formby) 74 67; 142 John Carroll (Huyton & Prescot) 70 72; 143 Stephen Hargreaves (Leasowe) 73 70; 144 Ian Kenwright (Haydock Park) 71 73; 148 C McPhillips (Turton) 76 72, Daniel Croft (Huyton & Prescot) 73 75, David Ramsey (Mold) 73 75; 149 Ton Dolan (Heswall) 79 70, Thomas Hunter (Caldy) 76 73, Christopher Carney (Morecambe) 75 74; 151 Sean Comiskey (Gathurst) 80 71, Joe Banks (West Lancs) 78 73.

STANDINGS AFTER 23 EVENTS                                                                    PTS


Tom Dolan Heswall 780
Ian Kenwright Haydock Park 600
John Carroll Huyton & Prescot 560
Sam Prince Northenden 555
Paul Kinnear Formby 440
Paul McFerran Warrington 370
Anthony Harwood Blackburn 335
Chris Chilton High Legh Park 310
Joe Brice Manchester 300
Mark Ashworth Clitheroe 300
Tom Winn Morecambe 290
Jack Brooks Didsbury 275
Josh Morton Huddersfield 270
Mike Harrington Mottram Hall 260
Mark Duncalf Formby 260
Richie Blundell Hillside 255
Callan Barrow Royal Lytham 235
Lewis George Delamere Forest 200
Richard Shaw Enville 195
Calum Metcalfe Pleasington 190
Ben Crompton Manchester 175
Sam Turner Royal Lytham 175
Josh Garside Prestbury 170
Max Rogers Astbury 161
Timothy Ford Woolton 160
Oliver Clarke Hillside 150
Roger Smithies Manchester 150
James Newton Prestbury 150
Ben Hallam Wychwood Park 150
Henry Young Alls Notts 150
Curtis Clarkin Nelson 150
Daniel Croft Huyton & Prescot 150
Jon Beesley Mere 135
Aaron Harper Bolton Old Links 125
Stephen Hargreaves Leasowe 125
Nick Tomlinson Vicars Cross 120
Jack Shelley Formby 120
Geoff Harris Formby 115
Robert Cull Bromborough 105
Lewis Pownell Fairfield 105
Gareth Bradley Bramhall 100
James Rooney West Lancs 100
David Illingsworth Formby 100
Sham Jagoti Eaton 100
Ian Hardman Accrington 100
Steve McGlynn Preston 100
Nicholas Smits Gog Magog 100
Joshua Crumplin Macclesfield 100
Ciaran Doherty Bury 90
Mark Rabone Southport & Ainsdale 90
Tony Flanagan Clitheroe 85
Reece Cranfield Wigan 80
Sam Berry Bolton 80
Cameron Massey Wallasey 80
Paul Wilson Woolstanton 80
Rhys Nevin-Wharton Sandiway 75
Joe Armitt Prestbury 75
Matthew Kay Manchester 75
James Blyth West Lancs 75
Ben Scott Accrington 75
Henry Tomlinson Royal Lytham 75
Tom Kirton Prestbury 75
Joe Banks West Lancs 75
Tom Hunter Caldy 75
Craig Fallows Huyton & Prescot 70
James Kempster Bramall 70
Adam Cockerill Prestbury 65
Josh McMahon Wallasey 60
Jacob Oakley Styal 60
David Janson Penwortham 60
Cam Tye Eaton 60
Jeremiah Hayes Prestbury 60
Richard Fitzgerald Bromborough 60
Lewis Boyle Pleasington 55
Alex Fitzpatrick Hallamshire 50
Matt Robinson Eaton 50
John Wilding Heysham 50
Anthony Stirling Formby 50
Stephen Ling Chorley 50
C McPhillips Turton 50
Thomas Gore Formby Hall 45
James Holt Wilpshire 45
Joshua Wilkinson Grange Park 45
Gareth Hastie Bolton 40
Dominic Barnes Caldy 40
Liam Jenkinson Ashton & Lea 40
J Higgins Pike Fold 40
Nick Baglin Prestbury 40
John Blahuta Clitheroe 40
David Ramsey Mold 40
David Smethurst Formby 30
Brett Lancstreth Wilpshire 30
Will Dodds Styal 30
Ben Kay Stockport 30
Andrew Day Ferndown 30
Richard Lowery Prestbury 30
Gary Byrne Clitheroe 30
Thomas Riley Clitheroe 30
Paul Langford Wallasey 25
Mark Hyde Wigan 25
Charles Bradley Bramhall 25
David Peel Stockport 25
Greg McIlroy Southport & Ainsdale 25
Jack Nickolson Llangollen 25
Luke Ormerod Nelson 25
Josh Ashton Southport & Ainsdale 25
Matthew Bargh Heysham 25
Graeme Jackson Manchester 25
Daniel Creaney S&A 25
James Reason Brampton 25
Graeme Booth Prestatyn 25
Paul Swan Blackburn 25
Aiden Hooson Manchester 20
John Mason Leasowe 20
Alex Webb Preston 20
George Wilson Caldy 20
Jonathan Hurst Pleasington 20
Kris Sutcliffe Crompton & Royton 20
Richard Hodgkinson Lindrick 20
Harvey Talarczyh Royal Lytham 20
Michael Howard Royal Birkdale 20
Darren Coop Chesterfield 20
Mitchell Boyle Blackburn 20
Christopher Carney Morecambe 20
Ian Martinbell Bolton 15
Ryan Connolly West Lancs 15
Joe Sephton Prenton 15
Tom Rowland Helsby 15
Sean Nicholls Pleasington 15
Scott McGregor Wakefield 15
George Mitchell Astbury 15
Mark Arrowsmith Widnes 15
Aaron Williams Prestatyn 10
Tim Cooper Bolton 10
Anthony Sterling Formby 10
John Shuttleworth Penwortham 10
Richard Shak Pleasington 10
Kevin Brown Bromborough 10
Andrew Fitzpatrick Keighley 10
Peter Handcock Harleyford 10



Eales in seventh heaven after winning Scottish Senior Open

LANCASHIRE’S  Paul Eales claimed his first victory in 22 years as he secured a maiden European Senior Tour title at the Prostate Cancer UK Scottish Senior Open. The Southport-based professional trailed the overnight leader, former European Tour Number One Ronan Rafferty, by seven shots, starting the day on seven under par. Continue reading

Belt and Webb soak up that winning feeling

A WET final day failed to dampen the spirits of Alex Belt and Mathew Webb who were singing in the rain after clinching the PGA Fourball Championship at Carden Park.


CHEQUE MATES: Mathew Webb and Alex Belt. Photo: Getty Images

The duo again proved a cut above their rivals at the Cheshire resort with an eight under par 64 giving them a four stroke victory and a cheque for £5,500 in the SkyCaddie and BMW supported final.

It was a second national PGA title for Bedlingtonshire Golf Club-based Webb who two weeks ago lifted the PGA Assistants’ Championship.

The pair’s friendship dates back to playing in Spain and also travelling on the PGA EuroPro Tour circuit and Belt paid a generous tribute after his partner’s efforts in the tricky conditions.

“Mathew was the star of the show today, without a doubt. I was just there as a bit of support and to tend a few flags,” said Belt from Snainton Golf Centre.

“It was one of the best performances I’ve ever seen him play, especially with the weather as well. It wasn’t very pleasant, the rain didn’t lessen and there was no point putting the brolly up after five holes because you were already as wet as you were going to get.”

While the champions began the final day with a three stroke advantage they were kept on their toes by the Scottish pairing of James McGhee (Whitehill House) and Mark Hillson (Kilconquhar Castle) who made a scorching start with five birdies in six holes and reached the turn in six under.

However it was just one better than the leaders who hit the acceleration pedal again with a Webb eagle on the 574-yard par five 13th and birdie on 14 which effectively sealed victory.

“We had a shaky hole on 11 but we managed to get a par out of it and then I eagled 13 and that was kind of pressure off and then birdied the next and it was almost we had so much of a lead that we didn’t need to make any more birdies so we stopped making them,” said Webb.

“It’s a special feeling to win another national title and great to share it with Alex this time so it’s been a good couple of weeks.”

McGhee and Hillson couldn’t sustain their early charge playing the back nine in just one under but their 65 was enough to secure the £3,700 cheque for second prize.

One stroke adrift was Beeston Field’s Lee Clarke, who put up a stout defence of his title with Channels Golf Club’s Jason Levermore – the pair carded a 66 to end 23 under for the 54-hole tournament.


Pyman and Whiteley on song at Carden Park

Whiteley & Pyman

ON SONG: Oliver Whiteley and  Iain Pyman  (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

TOUR veteran Iain Pyman has a bagful of golfing memories and chalked up another with Oliver Whiteley as they dovetailed to near perfection to fire an opening round 62 in the PGA Fourball Championship at Carden Park.

The duo’s ten under par total in the SkyCaddie and BMW supported 54-hole tournament matched that of Mathew Webb and Alex Belt who had posted the clubhouse target with a rousing display of their own.

Pyman (Waterfront Golf Ltd) and Whiteley (Bramall Park), who tied third last year, set out with the intention of having fun at the Cheshire resort and the latter enjoyed a hot streak with the putter which yielded him six birdies and an eagle.

Another highlight was a 270-yard approach to set up an eagle on 13 and when his accuracy deserted him, Whiteley was on hand to plug the gaps.

“We gelled really well,” said Pyman. “There were a couple of bad tee shots I hit where I was completely out of the hole and Oli steps in with par and birdies and I holed quite a lot of putts. I enjoyed it and had fun.”

Whiteley admitted a lower key approach had benefited the pair.

“When you’re used to playing a lot, you always want to win and put expectation on yourself and I said to Iain let’s just try and enjoy it. The expectation level has to go down for us to enjoy it a bit and we dovetailed well.”

Pyman is now getting his teeth into a coaching career but it was wisdom teeth trouble that was the source of one happy memory when he played alongside Arnold Palmer in the 1994 Masters, courtesy of winning the British Amateur Championship.

“I was having a terrible time with my wisdom teeth when I was there,” recalled Pyman.

“We were walking down 17, and I just wanted to get in off the course, and I’d clipped Eisenhower’s Tree.

“I thought to myself in all the years I’ve watched this, no-one has clipped that tree.

“Arnie comes up to me, puts his arm around me and said ‘back in the 1960s I hit this tree’ and I thought ‘that’s okay’, it’s not just me then’. But then he said ‘and I went on to win’ and I’m thinking ‘I’m going to shoot 80! But he was a really nice guy and those are memories you cherish for ever.”

Hoping to clip Pyman’s wings in this event are joint leaders Webb (Bedlingtonshire) and Alex Belt (Snainton Golf Centre). Webb is still on a high after winning the PGA Assistants’ Championship at Little Aston two weeks ago.

“I’m still over the moon with that, just to have gone out and shot good scores – you think ‘I can do it’ so I’ve just got to keep doing it,” said Webb.

Meanwhile Belt thinks their relaxed attitude helps bring out the best in their golf.

“It’s a solid partnership, if he messes up I feel quite content I’m not bothered about letting him down because we don’t have that mind-set which can hamper a few if you’re not careful in this format particularly,” said Belt.

Two strokes back, is the pairing of Mark Hillson (Kilconquhar Castle) and James McGhee (Whitehill House) who share third with Daniel Wilkes (Garforth) and Paul O’Donnell (Cookridge Hall).

McGhee notched up a career first – three eagles in a round including two on par fours.

“I don’t know what the difference is with other events, we’re trying to figure out the fact that I’ve never made two eagles in a round, never mind three,” he said.


Olympics draw golf’s biggest TV audience in history

WELL done Justin Rose, Olympic Champion for the next four years (at least), and Henrik Stenson, and Matt Kuchar, and others too numerous to mention, for providing an exciting finish that was watched by golf’s biggest-ever TV audience.

Viewers who, for the most part, have absolutely no idea about Open Champions or Masters Champions but who absolutely understand the significance of an Olympic gold medal.

The implications of golf having an audience which has been estimated at 3.6 billion are hard to grasp. It is much easier to understand when considered in smaller segments.

We are told, for example, that in the USA, where the last 90 minutes of the event were broadcast by both NBC and The Golf Channel, an average of 8.8 million watched over that period, almost as many as watched The Masters earlier this year – amazing considering all the other Olympic sports that they might have been watching at the same time and that some of America’s top players were not even on show.

In Sweden the audience averaged over 555,000, rising to 1.5 million for the final holes with fellow countryman Henrik Stenson very much in the running for the gold medal.

When Stenson and Phil Mickleson played their magnificent head-to-head ‘match’ for this year’s Open Championship at Royal Troon, the average TV audience in Sweden was apparently just 65,000.


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