Lancashire seniors set sights on double

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BIG SHOTS: Lancashire senior players celebrate another victory

LANCASHIRE’S senior golfers have one title in the bag – and their sights on a second. They powered through their Northern Counties League campaign with an unbeaten run of five wins from five starts.

Mike Gray’s side had seen off Cheshire, Yorkshire, Durham and Northumberland as they chased their first championship crown since 2016 and the fifth time in all since 2011.

And they made no mistake in dismissing their opponents in the final match, Cumbria, by a comprehensive 12-6 margin to complete a spectacular clean sweep.

Hard on their heels of the championship success came another impressive show as Lancashire won the Northern qualifier at Delamere Forest to reach the English finals at Stanton on the Wolds on October 9-11.

The winning team was Tony Holt, Neil Self, Karl Bowker, Tony Flanagan, Ian Crowther and Bryan Hughes. They will be joined by Trevor Foster and Rob Godley in the eight-man team for the national finals.

Gray, who is stepping down after 10 years at the helm, said: “The team have played superbly all season – they are a talented group of players and their pride, passion and attitude in playing for Lancashire and wanting to do well has been first class.

“Their ability to produce the goods when their backs are against the wall is fantastic and I would like to put on record my appreciation for all the players who have represented the county during my time as captain. I don’t think any Yorkshireman could be prouder of a group of Lancastrians!”

The squad includes newly-crowned British Amateur senior champion Accrington’s Foster and the man who succeeded him as Lancashire senior champion, Tony Flanagan (Clitheroe), as well as stalwarts such as former county captain Billy Bromilow (Chorley) and Tony Holt (Clitheroe). Other regulars include Neil Self (Stand), Steve Lord (Rochdale), Steve Matthews (Blackburn) and Gary Byrne (Clitheroe).

Newcomers to the county set-up this season included Bryan Hughes (Hesketh), the 2017 British Seniors’ Champion, Karl Bowker (Bolton Old Links), Martyn Brooks (Pleasington), Dave Hannis (Blackpool North Shore) and Rob Godley (Hillside).

The team has certainly had to battle hard for success through the season, with a narrow 9.5-8.5 win over Northumberland maintaining their unbeaten run. The pairings of Flanagan/David Hannis (Blackpool North Shore); Bromilow/Andy Riley (Burnley); and Rob Parry (Royal Birkdale)/Peter Darlington (Southport & Ainsdale)) producing a vital haul of five points in the final three matches.

Previously, Lancashire secured a 10-8 win over a determined Durham side, who pushed them hard throughout, and a dramatic 10-8 victory over Roses rivals Yorkshire.

A match of nip and tuck seemed destined for a draw until Lancashire’s final pairing of Andy Riley and Ian Owens (Burnley) fought back from two down with three to play to gain the all important half on the 18th.

“The Yorkshire match was a titanic struggle between the two teams I believe are the strongest in seniors’ golf in England, with the match featuring a dozen players off scratch or better,” added Gray.

Lancashire opened the season with a 14.5 to 3.5 romp against Cheshire.

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Doherty clinches third merit title

CIARAN Doherty chalked up his third Galvin Green Northern Order of Merit crown in five years when he won the Trafalgar Trophy at Nelson.

His season’s haul of 965 points, with one event remaining, elevated the Bury man into an unassailable position thanks to rounds of 72 and 66.

Formby Hall’s Graeme Booth held on to second place 205 points adrift of Doherty.

LEADING SCORES: 138 Ciaran Doherty (Bury) 72 66; 140 Graeme Booth (Formby Hall) 71 69, Jack Brooks (Mere) 68 72; 141 Matthew Halstead (Nelson) 71 70; 143 Harry Lord (Rossendale) 74 69, Curtis Clarkin (Nelson) 73 70, Owen Leigh (Pleasington) 72 71; 146 John Blahuta (Clitheroe) 76 70; 147 Joshua Dye (Delamere Forest) 72 75; 148 Ian Kenwright (Haydock Park) 73 75; 152 Andrew Walsh (Ashton & Lea) 77 75; 157 Anthony Harwood (Blackburn)

 ORDER OF MERIT: 965 Ciaran Doherty (Bury); 760 Graeme Booth (Formby Hall); 630 Calum Metcalfe (Pleasington); 625 Jack Brooks (Mere); 510 Anthony Harwood (Blackburn); 500 Ian Kenwright (Haydock Park); 480 Curtis Clarkin (Nelson); 395 Matt Collinge (Greenmount); 280 Aiden Hoosen (Manchester); 270 Jack Hibbert (Delamere Forest); 250 Thomas Kirton (Prestbury); 230 Oliver Ravenscroft (Hillside).

POINTS AFTER 27 EVENTS

Ciaran Doherty Bury 965
Graeme Booth Formby Hall 760
Calum Metcalfe Pleasington 630
Jack Brooks Mere 625
Anthony Harwood Blackburn 510
Ian Kenwright Haydock Park 500
Curtis Clarkin Nelson 480
Matt Collinge Greenmount 395
Aiden Hoosen Manchester 280
Jake Hibbert Delamere Forest 270
Thomas Kirton Prestbury 250
Oliver Ravenscroft Hillside 230
Steven Capper Royal Liverpool 215
Callum Blinkhorn Leigh 210
William Dodds Styal 210
Jake Benson Beeston Fields 210
Richie Blundell Hillside 205
Joseph Williamson Heswall 190
Jacob Oakley Styal 185
Jack Suttie Denton 180
Chris Nuttall Accrington 175
Benjamin Hallam Wychwood Park 170
Harry Lord Rossendale 170
Michael Bennett Bury 165
Tom Ryder St Annes Old Links 155
John Carroll Huyton & Prescot 150
Martin Thomas Royal Liverpool 150
Luke Kelly Ashton-under-Lyne 150
Jonathan Hurst Pleasington 150
Samuel Turner Royal Lytham 150
Luke Burrows Cosby 150
James Horton Childwall 150
Elliott Wakefield Leasowe 150
Sean Comiskey Hesketh 150
Jack Suttie Denton 150
Matthew Nuttall Royal Birkdale 145
Greg Holmes Royal Birkdale 145
Richard Wheatley Bradford 145
Mark Hyde Southport & Ainsdale 135
Mark Duncalf Southport & Ainsdale 135
Lewis George Delamere Forest 135
Tom Winn Morecambe 125
Matthew Kay Manchester 125
Thomas Heaton Australian GC 120
Ryan Nevins Styal 120
Roger Smithies Manchester 115
Chris Chilton Stockport 115
Owen Leigh Pleasington 115
Ben Ewen Wilpshire 110
Gregory Osborne Delamere Forest 105
Jonathan Little Heswall 100
Bryan Hughes Hesketh 100
Greg McIlroy Southport & Ainsdale 100
Liam Jenkinson Ashton & Lea 100
Ben Chamberlain Padeswood & Buckley 100
Lewis Pownell Fairfield 100
Neil Williams Leyland 100
Scott McCrindle Prenton 100
Chris Nicholls Rossendale 100
Lewis Boyle Pleasington 85
Callum Scott Nairn 80
Max Baxendale Swinton Park 80
Stephen Hargreaves Leasowe 75
Joseph Bannan Manchester 75
Graham Strachan Bury 75
Robert Cull Bromborough 75
Sam Burton Prestbury 75
Anthony Stirling Formby 65
Jack McPhail Huyton & Prescot 65
Andrew Walsh Ashton & Lea 65
Oliver Claireaux Portal 60
Rhys Nevin-Wharton Sandiway 60
Joe Whittaker Deane 60
Jordan Kellett unatt 60
James Bishop Little Aston 60
Mark Whittaker Rossendale 60
Jamie Van Wyk Royal Lytham 60
Thomas Rigby Dean Wood 55
David Peel Stockport 55
Dave Morris Tenby 50
Daniel Creaney Southport & Ainsdale 50
Reece Cranfield Wigan 50
Simon Pay Helsby 50
Chris Lowe Hindley Hall 50
Jack Nicholson Vicars Cross 50
Ollie Tovee Macclesfield 50
Dominic O’Brien Warrington 50
Coby Cartwright Cosby 50
Stephen Liddle Houghwood 50
Lewis Johansen Caldy 45
Callum Swift Kings Hill 45
Robert Noon Douglas 45
Mark Jones Clitheroe 45
Mark Kimpton Vicars Cross 45
Richard Fitzgerald Bromborough 45
George Howard Gog Magog 45
Shaun Field Clitheroe 45
Harry Doyle Romiley 45
Jamie Chadwick Stamford 45
Joshua Dye Delamere Forest 45
Jack Cornes Lymm 40
Simon Williams Chester 40
Greg Whitby Chester 40
James Eastham Pleasington 40
Cameron Massie Northenden 40
James Holland Southport & Ainsdale 40
Tom Hogan Childwall 40
Paul Swan Blackburn 40
Daniel Lloyd Wrexham 40
Mathew Delaney Prestbury 40
John Shuttleworth Penwortham 30
Greg Smith Caldy 30
Simon Jones Padeswood & Buckley 30
Thomas Hollingworth Macclesfield 30
Gareth Clark Manchester 30
Phil Sargent Haydock Park 30
George Muscroft Otley 30
James Low Woolton 30
Liam Turner Darwen 30
George Mitchell Congleton 30
Ryan Grimshaw Heysham 30
Gareth Hastie Royal Lytham 30
Kevin Moore Douglas 25
Daryl Callister Mount Murray 25
Dominic Barnes Caldy 25
Jack Shelley Formby 25
Harry Beavan Crewe 25
Marvin Clarke Kirkby Valley 25
Sham Jagota Eaton 25
James Kempster Bramhall 25
Zachary Hargreaves Accrington 25
Andrew Allen Manchester 25
Andreas Klais Shipley 25
Matthew Payne Bramhall 25
Joe Banks West Lancs 25
Henry Young-Alls Notts 25
Sean Maloret Park 25
Ian Kenwright Haydock Park 25
Alex Weare Mere 25
James Cassell Rossendale 25
Leigh Clayton Fleetwood 20
Tom Harris Castletown 20
Jason Thomas Ashton & Lea 20
Peter Glover Douglas 20
John Balhuta Clitheroe 20
Joseph Murray Huyton & Prescot 20
Fergus Robinson Northants 20
Oliver Duck Southport & Ainsdale 20
Joshua Ashton Southport & Ainsdale 20
Dale Woods Houghwood 20
Nick Patterson Mere 20
Ashley Siddle Rossendale 20
George Young Clitheroe 15
Grady Rogerson Royal Lytham 15
Thomas Riley Clitheroe 15
Liam Kindon Delamere Forest 15
Joe Raeside Mount Murray 15
Jay Walkden Baxenden 15
Paul Galt Prenton 15
Roy Anderton Chorley 15
Declan Buksh Marsden Park 15
Gary Hindle Warrington 15
John Spencer Rossendale 15
Craig Lewis Wallasey 15
Gary Blades Burnley 10
Alex Webb Preston 10
John Reed Preston 10
Michael Sumner Formby 10
David Higginbotham Southport & Ainsdale 10
Greg Peel Wilpshire 10
James Ashfield Eaton 10
Max Rogers Astbury 10
Charles Taylor Accrington 10
Aaron Williams Prestatyn 10
Craig Fallows Huyton & Prescot 10
Luke Ormerod Nelson 10
Dave Morgan Wilmslow 10
Matthew Halstead Nelson 60
John Blahuta Clitheroe 30

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Haigh Hall duo top of the shots

HAIGH Hall professional Alan Crompton and clubmate John Egan racked up 44 points to win the Manchester Alliance pro-am at Crompton & Royton.

It earned them the Bert Thompson Trophy on a card play-off from Poulton Park’s Phil Archer and Leigh’s Martin Pasquill.

Archer was leading pro with 38 points in the individual section, four ahead of the field.

Ashton-on-Mersey’s Peter Hamlett and Steve McDermott scored 41 to clinch the am-am on countback from Malkin Bank’s duo Ian Farthing and Steve King.

Parry applies the finishing touch!

David Hannis & Steve Parry.jpegSTEVE Parry staged a grandstand finish to win the James Brearley Lancashire Open for the second time in three years at blustery Blackpool North Shore.

The Hart Common professional, who  trailed a shot behind overnight leader Davenport’s Scott Howarth who had posted a five-under-par 66, looked to be slipping back into the pack after a double bogey at the ninth.

But Parry (pictured right with David Hannis, CEO of James Brearley) immediately retrieved the situation with an eagle at the next hole which proved just the incentive he needed.

“That lifted me to minus four but I didn’t have a clue about what was going on elsewhere on the course,” he admitted.

“I then birdied the 10th and dropped a stroke at the next but picked up shots on three of the next four holes, despite the strong wind, then parred the last two to finish six-under-par.”

Parry, who turned 40 last week, also picked up three Order of Merit awards in as many years.

But he revealed: “I have not had great season on the EuroPro Tour but I’ll keep trying. A lot of good players are my age and over and there’s no way I’m going to slow down.”

Liverpool Driving Range professional Tim Ford repeated his opening round of 69 to finish in a share of second place with Swinton Park’s David Smith.

FINAL ROUND: 136 Steve Parry (Hart Common) 67 69; 138 Tim Ford (Liverpool Driving Range) 69 69, David Smith (Swinton Park) 68 70; 139 Timothy Dykes (Penrith) 73 66, David Shacklady (Mossock Hall) 70 69; 140 Robert Booth (Outlane) 70 70; 141 Daniel Croft (Allerton Manor) 72 69, Phil Kelly (PK Golf) 71 70, Ryan O’Neill (Penwortham) 71 70, Craig Corrigan (Chilli Dip) 70 71, Jamie Howarth (Davenport) 69 72.

Luke tees up dream date in Faldo final

ONE of Lancashire’s up and coming young golfers has landed  a dream date with a legend of the sport.Luke Bartram (pictured) has won through to the final of the Faldo Series – which means a place in the Grand Final in Abu Dhabi and a meeting with Sir Nick Faldo, winner of six Major titles in a glittering career.

The Rossendale GC golfer emerged triumphant in the U18 Faldo Series Northern Championship at Moortown Golf Club, which hosted the first Ryder Cup match held on British soil in 1929, to secure his final spot.

After a slow start to the three-day competition, an eagle on the first hole in

Luke-Faldo.jpg the final round set up Luke’s winning score. His opening 75 was followed by a pair of 71s to earn a place in the final for the first time, at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club (AESGC).

“I am really looking forward to meeting Sir Nick and excited to see where my golf can take me,” said the 18-year-old who plays off scratch.

Luke has represented Lancashire at all levels after being invited along to the Lancashire Golf Union winter training at the age of 13, helping the Red Rose boys team to twice win the Four Counties trophy while on an individual level, he was runner-up in the county championship at both U14 and U18.

“I was fortunate to benefit from some top-quality coaching, both individually and within a group, and was selected for the Lancashire teams at all age groups, something I’m really proud of,” added Luke, who started playing as an 11-years-old after being taken to a Tri Golf session at Rossendale.

“From the first session I was hooked and I spent all the summer holidays practising and playing in junior competitions,” recalls Luke. “Rossendale GC has a very supportive and proactive junior golf committee; it was a great place to start.”

Luke cut his competitive teeth on the ELGA (East Lancashire Golf Association) Junior Golf Tour, winning both the nett and later the gross competitions.

“It was here that I developed a love for competition golf and seeing my name move up the leaderboard,” said the Myerscough College student, who has just completed an extended BTec Diploma in Golf Studies.

“Over the last seven years I’ve been lucky to have played some fantastic golf courses, had some amazing golf experiences and to have been a part of the England U16 North West Regional Training Squad.”

Highlights include being invited along to the Ian Poulter Junior Invitational after winning the Kenilworth Junior Masters, qualifying for and playing in The European Junior Open in Spain, scoring five under in the Lancashire Men’s Amateur at Lancaster GC and earlier this season scoring six under St Andrews GC on The Torrance Course, five under at Fleetwood GC and helping Myerscough College to become National AoC Champions.

Luke added: “I would like to thank everyone within the Lancashire County set up who has coached, encouraged and supported me. I hope my progress and successes over the last few years are a testimony to the many hours that have been invested in me.

“Derek Cropper, the Rossendale junior team manager, has also supported and encouraged me on my journey through unior golf; my coach Craig Lea at Myerscough College continues to guide and support me even after I have graduated from college. And, of course, a huge ‘Thank You’ to Team Mum and Dad, Mike and Jayne Bartram.”

The Faldo Series features 40 tournaments in 30-plus countries worldwide, reaching thousands of golfers each year. Past winners include Major Champions Tseng Ya-ni and Rory McIlroy.

Great Scott! Howarth passes the test

SCOTT Howarth defied testing conditions in the first round of the James Brearley Lancashire Open at wind-swept Blackpool North Shore to take the overnight lead by a shot.

The 38-year-old from Davenport-attached professional birdied the 10th, his first hole, and never looked back.

“I was three-under-par after four which was a great start. I reached the turn without dropping a shot but I knew the back nine would be tougher because of the weather,” he said as he posted a five-under-par 66.

“I made sure I didn’t short-side myself and I was aware there were a lot of tough pins to negotiate so I played to the middle of the green. I rolled in a good birdie at the 14th and did not make any mistakes on the way in,” added Howarth whose brother Jamie was two-under and still in the reckoning.

Hart Common professional Steve Parry put one hand on the trophy he won two years ago when he reeled off six birdies, offset by a pair of bogeys, to trail by a stroke going into tomorrow’s second and final day.

“Considering the weather I was happy with my score,” he said. “I rolled the ball on the greens pretty well. They and the rest of the course were superb and I fancy my chances tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, Chorley’s Andrew Palmer maintained his winning form as he shared third spot with Swinton Park’s David Smith.

FIRST ROUND LEADERS: 66 Scott Howarth (Davenport); 67 Steve Parry; 68 Andrew Palmer (Chorley), David Smith (Swinton Park); 69 Tim Ford (Liverpool DR), Alex Evans, Graham Cox (Lymm); Jamie Howarth .

 

Bernard Gallacher to become PGA captain

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Bernard Gallacher OBE (right) receiving The PGA Recognition Award from the then PGA captain Nicky Lumb free to use courtesy of Tom Dulat, Getty Images

FORMER Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher has said he is “honoured and humbled” to have been invited to become captain of The Professional Golfers’ Association.

The 69-year-old, who played in eight Ryder Cup matches, captained the European team in 1991, 93 and 95, and won 22 professional tournaments, will succeed Peter Hanna as PGA captain in April 2021.

He was also the head PGA Professional at Wentworth for a quarter of a century and membership of the Association has been a constant and important thread throughout his career.

“Despite my success in tournaments and involvement with the Ryder Cup as a player and captain, first and foremost I have always regarded myself as a club pro,” said Gallagher who turned professional in 1967.

“I am a proud PGA Member and I am honoured and humbled to have been asked to captain the Association.”

In doing so Gallacher will join the select band comprising JH Taylor, Ted Ray, George Duncan, Henry Cotton, Bernard Hunt, Dai Rees, and Eric Brown, who have captained both The PGA and a Great Britain and Ireland or European Ryder Cup team.

The roster of PGA captains also includes Fred Daly and Max Faulkner, Open Championship winners in 1947 and 1951 respectively, the ‘Voice of Golf’, Peter Alliss, and Tommy Horton, a close friend of Gallacher.

All, like Gallacher, were PGA Professionals of a bygone age who combined their roles as traditional club pros with competing at an elite level.

In Gallacher’s case he found time during his tenure as head PGA pro at Wentworth to win 10 European Tour events, 11 other professional tournaments, and a solitary success on the European Senior Tour.

He also played in eight Ryder Cup matches and represented his native Scotland in the World Cup on five occasions.

Gallacher took over the reins at Wentworth from Tom Halliburton, his mentor, in 1972 and, reflecting on his dual role as club pro and tournament player, he said: “There’s no chance that could happen now.

“The demands on Tour players make that an impossibility. Similarly the role of Ryder Cup captain is a full time one – that wasn’t the case in my day.

“I was still head pro at Wentworth when I captained the team and some of the members came out to Kiawah Island in 1991 to support us.”

Gallacher was awarded the OBE in 1996 and was so highly thought of at Wentworth that, following his retirement a year later, a statue of him was erected at the club.

Since then he has worked in the media and been in-demand as an after-dinner and motivational speaker. It was during one speaking engagement in Aberdeen that he suffered a cardiac arrest and was revived by a defibrillator kept in the building.

This inspired his wife, Lesley, with his support, to launch a successful campaign that encouraged golf clubs to raise funds to have at least one defibrillator on site.

Commenting on Gallacher’s nomination as PGA captain, the Association’s chief executive Robert Maxfield said: “Just as Bernard is honoured to become captain, so are we that he will take on the role.

“Although he has been one of the most high-profile and respected figures in golf for almost 50 years and still is, he has never forgotten his roots and calling as a PGA Professional.

“As a result he has been a loyal and superb ambassador for the Association and we look forward to him continuing to do so as its captain.”