Towndrow targets Lancs county title

ONE of the strongest fields in Lancashire County Championship history will battle for glory at Lancaster Golf Club next week (June 2-4).

The starting line-up has been extended from 120 to 135 due to the high level of interest and the quality of the players with no fewer than 63 with handicaps of scratch or better. They include last year’s champion, Mark Ashworth (pictured)from Clitheroe GC, and the line-up also includes Sean Towndrow, from Southport and Ainsdale GC, who prevailed in 2010 at Hesketh.

The England international spent time in South Africa during the winter as part of his international programme and won the Formby Hare on Sunday after finishing fourth in the S&A Bowl the previous day, in the World Amateur Golf Ranking Galvin Green Northern Order of Merit events.

His overall performance over four rounds also earned him the Lancashire Links Trophy.

Among the representatives from the home club Mark Ashworth.jpgwill be Jack Clarkson, who has just returned from a successful season in college golf in America.

The first major silverware of the county season – the Boys’ Championship – was won by Greg Holmes, of Royal Birkdale, and he will be teeing up at Lancaster in pursuit of a title double.

Former champions include Matthew Baldwin (Royal Birkdale), who is now the European Challenge Tour and won his second title at Lancaster in 2007 when Tommy Fleetwood, a two-time winner on the European Tour, was runner-up. Twelve months later the Formby Hall player, winner of this year’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, finished top of the pile at Formby.

FIXTURES –May 30: Seniors v Staffordshire Seniors v Lancs Seniors (The Chase); June 7 Bell Trophy (Rochdale); June 11: Lancs v Cumbria (Ashton in Makerfield); June 12-13: Lanc Seniors’ Championship (Lytham Green Drive); June 21: Bell Trophy (Lytham Green Drive).

 

 

 

It’s Towndrow at the double

ENGLAND international Sean Towndrow (pictured) enjoyed a double celebration when he won the Formby Hare in the Galvin Green Northern Order of Merit and the Lancashire Links Trophy, a 72-hole competition combined with his home club Southport & Ainsdale and spread over the weekend.

He finished fourth on the first day but stepped up a gear on the next with roSean-Towndrow.jpgunds of 72 and 70, two-under-par all told, to deny West Lancs player James Rooney on countback.

His performance hoisted him to the top of the aggregate scoring in the World Amateur Golf Ranking event in which Towndrow’s clubmates James Holland, who won the S&A Trophy, and Daniel Creaney claiming second and third spots.

Meanwhile, there’s a four-way at the top of the Order of Merit featuring Towndrow, Holland, Northenden’s Cameron Massie and Nelson’s Curtis Clarkin.

LEADING SCORES: 142 Sean Towndrow (Southport & Ainsdale) 72 70, James Rooney (West Lancs) 71 71; 148 Alex McAuley (Mount Murray) 74 74; 149 George Holland (Southport & Ainsdale) 78 71; 150 Callum Blackhorn (Leigh) 73 77; 151 Paul Lowey (Rowany) 75 76; 152 Harvey Talarczyk (Royal Lytham) 78 74, Phil Sargent (Haydock Park) 76 76, Calum Hey (Shipley) 75 77, Anthony Stirling (Formby) 75 77, Ian Kenwright (Haydock Park) 74 78, Daniel Creaney (Southport & Ainsdale) 73 79.

RANKING POINTS AFTER 5 EVENTS

Cameron Massey Northenden 210
Curtis Clarkin Nelson 210
James Holland Southport & Ainsdale 210
Sean Towndrow Southport & Ainsdale 210
John Carroll Huyton & Prescot 200
Steven Capper Caldy 170
Ciaran Doherty Bury 150
Callum Blinkhorn S&A 145
Ian Kenwright Haydock Park 115
James Rooney West Lancs 100
Daniel Creaney Southport & Ainsdale 85
Christopher Chilton High Legh Park 75
Jack Brooks Didsbury 75
Jamie Kinsley-Wilson St Annes Old Links 75
Alex McAuley Mount Murray 75
Aiden Hoosen Manchester 60
Calum Hey Shipley 55
Aidan O’Hagen Old Course 50
Gary Melling Crompton & Royton 50
George Holland Southport & Ainsdale 50
George Bloor Cavendish 45
Jack Nicholson Vale of Llangollen 45
Robert Noon Mount Murray 45
Paul Lawey Rowany 45
Tom Ryder St Annes Old Links 40
Chris Harrison Sandiway 40
Simon Older Fleetwood 40
Ben Bernamont The Warwickshire 40
Harvey Talarczyl Royal Lytham 40
Joe Brice Manchester 30
Mark Duncalf Formby 30
Andrew Walsh Pleasington 30
Phil Sargent Haydock Park 30
Remy Miller Prestbury 25
Bryan Hughes Hesketh 25
Calum Metcalfe Pleasington 20
Steven McGlynn Preston 20
Reece Cranfield Wigan 20
Anthony Stirling Formby 20
Lewis Pownell Fairfield 15
Jon Beesley Mere 15
Anthony Lester Mossock Hall 15
Greg McIlroy Southport & Ainsdale 15
Jonathan Little Heswall 10
Thomas Kerr Shrewsbury 10
Allen Bowerbank Ellesmere 10
Nicholas Peoples Royal Lytham 10

 

 

 

Holland bowls them over

JAMES Holland homed in on his maiden Galvin Green Northern Order of Merit title when he won the Southport & Ainsdale Bowl thanks to a brace of 71s.

The two handicapper accumulated seven birdies all told to return a two-under total and was the only player to beat par on a testing day.

Former winner John Carroll, from Huyton on Prescot, was runner-up two shots back as five host club players featured in the top 12.

LEADING SCORES: 142 James Holland (S&A) 71 71; 144 John Carroll (Huyton & Prescot) 70 74; 146 Daniel Creaney (S&A) 75 71; 148 Sean Towndrow (S&A) 79 69, George Holland (S&A) 77 81, Robert Noon (Mount Murray) 72 76; 149 Ben Bernamont (The Warwickshire) 75 74, Calum Hey (Shipley) 74 75, Curtis Clarkin (Nelson) 72 77; 150 Reece Cranfield (Wigan) 78 72, Greg McIlroy (S&A) 76 74; 151 Nicholas Peoples (Royal Lytham & St Annes) 76 75.

AFTER 4 EVENTS

Cameron Massey Northenden 210
Curtis Clarkin Nelson 210
John Carroll Huyton & Prescot 200
Steven Capper Caldy 170
Ciaran Doherty Bury 150
James Holland Southport & Ainsdale 150
Ian Kenwright Haydock Park 100
Callum Blinkhorn S&A 95
Christopher Chilton High Legh Park 75
Jack Brooks Didsbury 75
Jamie Kinsley-Wilson St Annes Old Links 75
Daniel Creaney Southport & Ainsdale 75
Aiden Hoosen Manchester 60
Sean Towndrow Southport & Ainsdale 60
Aidan O’Hagen Old Course 50
Gary Melling Crompton & Royton 50
George Holland Southport & Ainsdale 50
George Bloor Cavendish 45
Jack Nicholson Vale of Llangollen 45
Robert Noon Mount Murray 45
Tom Ryder St Annes Old Links 40
Chris Harrison Sandiway 40
Simon Older Fleetwood 40
Ben Bernamont The Warwickshire 40
Joe Brice Manchester 30
Mark Duncalf Formby 30
Andrew Walsh Pleasington 30
Calum Hey Shipley 30
Remy Miller Prestbury 25
Bryan Hughes Hesketh 25
Calum Metcalfe Pleasington 20
Steven McGlynn Preston 20
Reece Cranfield Wigan 20
Lewis Pownell Fairfield 15
Jon Beesley Mere 15
Anthony Lester Mossock Hall 15
Greg McIlroy Southport & Ainsdale 15
Jonathan Little Heswall 10
Thomas Kerr Shrewsbury 10
Allen Bowerbank Ellesmere 10
Nicholas Peoples Royal Lytham 10

 

 

North West duo in Vagliano Trophy showdown

THE Great Britain and Ireland team to face the Continent of Europe in the Vagliano Trophy match at Golf Club Bogogno in Italy on June 30 – July 1 announced by the R&A today includes Clitheroe’s Sophie Lamb and Delamere Forest’s Gemma Clews.

Elaine Farquharson-Black, who led GB&I to a memorable 11½-8½ win over the USA in the Curtis Cup at Dun Laoghaire last year, will captain the team and the Aberdeen-based lawyer will be looking to reverse a run of five consecutive wins by the Continent of Europe.

Claire Coughlan-Ryan continues in her role as captain of the Under-16 team to play in the Junior Vagliano Trophy match which runs parallel to the women’s competition.

Farquharson-Black said: “We have an excellent team, with a blend of youth and experience.”

Junior Vagliano Trophy captain Coughlan-Ryan added: “I look forward to working with a talented group of young golfers and trying to win the Junior Vagliano Trophy for the first time against the Continent of Europe.”

West Lancs player Hollie Muse is a second reserve.

How golf is helping to rebuild lives

CSI #1.jpg

 The Preston CSI group are enjoying a relaxed approach to their golf sessions! Organisers Phil Wright (left) and Gwen Hughes (right) join in the fun.

A PROJECT aimed at helping people to rebuild their lives in Lancashire is using golf as one of its driving forces. The Challenge Through Sport Initiative is designed to support those on the road to recovery after alcohol or drugs issues by encouraging them to adopt a more active and healthy lifestyle.

The scheme’s five steps to well-being develop confidence and self-esteem and are also designed to help people with mental health issues.

Organisers have teamed up with Preston Golf Club Driving Range and academy to provide friendly, relaxed weekly golf sessions led by the club’s head PGA professional Andrew Greenbank.

With support from the Lancashire Golf Development Group, development officer Adam McAlister has been working alongside Lancashire Sport Partnership’s Jane Moodie (Project Lead), and Phil Wright and Gwen Hughes (Support Workers for Preston) to support the CSI programme.

McAlister said: “The health benefits of golf are well documented – not just in the physical gains to be enjoyed but also in mental well-being, as well as making new friends and enjoying a new challenge.

“CSI is a fantastic project aimed at helping people in recovery and those with mental health issues. The work of Andrew and his team at Preston in providing these fun sessions could see some of those taking part go on to enjoy more formal golf coaching and, possibly, a lifetime interest in a sport that will provide them with an active lifestyle and great social life, too.”

Preston support worker Wright said: “In recovery myself, the project and its activities have played an important part in my overall mental wellbeing.

“It is great to see people engaging in the project and reaping the benefits such as building confidence, having a structured week, mixing with like-minded people and building friendships.

“Participants are given the opportunity to try new activities and develop lifelong interests, as well as being given various opportunities to volunteer with Lancashire Sport.”

CSI has been developed by Lancashire Sports Partnership and supported by Sport England with an award of £500,000 from the National Lottery as part of their Get Healthy, Get Active funding.

Partnership working has been key to its success with the Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire, Public Health Lancashire and Cumbria and Lancashire Community Rehabilitation Company providing additional funding.

The project throughout its development has had tremendous support from Recovery Agencies in both Lancashire and GMW. CSI aims to set up a successful programme for those in recovery, which could be replicated across the country.

Alongside the golf project, CSI runs regular weekly activities including climbing, swimming, badminton and boxing, all of which are completely free.

Further details of the CSI programme can be obtained from Phil Wright (07733 163150) or Gwen Hughes (07733 163149).

Get into golf opportunities include FREE taster sessions and low-cost beginner courses with PGA professionals. They are a fun and sociable way to start golf – and a great way to make new friends.

To find your nearest centre visit getintogolf.org and look at the activity map or call 0800 118 2766

Weather beaters boost cancer charity

Leyland RGAC 2017 001 - Copy (1).JPGHoward Bennett (PGA Master coach and Patron Rosemere Golfers Against Cancer) receives branded RCF golf towels from Ian Crowther (Inn at Whitewell) with Amy Hilton (Rosemere Cancer Foundation) looking on

PERSISTENT rain failed to dampen spirits and enthusiasm as Rosemere Golfers Against Cancer successfully staged their 15th annual fundraising Celebrity–Am golf day and dinner at Leyland Golf Club.

More than 20 teams contested the event and once again former footballers were to the fore including Alex Stepney, Mickey Thomas, Arthur Albiston, Duncan McKenzie, Peter Nicholson and Peter Sayer. They were joined by local entertainers including comedian Venn Tracey and Tony Robinson (Tabu Duo).

RGAC patron Howard Bennett, a Master PGA professional and former coach of Padraig Harrington, Darren Clarke and many more, was guest of honour at the evening presentation dinner. Fellow Rosemere Golfers’ patron, comedian Norman Prince, back from a recent quadruple heart by-pass, hosted the occasion where hundreds of pounds were raised through a charity auction and raffle. Oldham stand-up Venn Tracey provided the after dinner entertainment.

Once again, the group paid tribute to the main sponsors, John and Barbara Kelso, both keen Leyland golfers and supporters of the Rosemere charity, who have supported this annual event since its inception. Ian Crowther, from the Inn at Whitewell, was also commended for his support and donation of branded Rosemere golf towels’ to each participant – much needed in the pouring rain.

Amy Hilton, area fundraising co-ordinator for the Rosemere Cancer Foundation, added: “We were delighted to see such a great turnout on the day in support of Rosemere. We are in the middle of our 20th anniversary appeal and this event raised a wonderful amount, and we are hugely thankful to everyone involved in making the event the success that it was.”

Keith McIntosh, founder of Rosemere Golfers Against Cancer, said: “Next month, we move on to Morecambe Golf Club and later this year we have a showpiece event at Lytham Green Drive Golf Club. we want to get all our local golf clubs involved in the cause!”

The Rosemere Cancer Foundation is based in the Radiotherapy Department at the Royal Preston Hospital. RGAC is the official golf fundraising group, funding cancer care throughout Lancashire and Cumbria. In the last two years they have raised more than £25,000.

For further information on Rosemere Golfers Against Cancer, contact Keith McIntosh on 01772 462685.

Houston has lift off for third Leeds Cup

GARRY Houston is on course to win the Leeds Cup for the third time in five years after taking a two stroke lead with a four-under-par 65 in the first of two rounds at Cobble Hall where professional golf’s oldest trophy was first played for in 1902.Garry HoustonGettyImages-545176254.jpg

The Carden Park attached Welshman, who prevailed in 2012 and 2015, defied the testing conditions of wind and rain to rack up five birdies, erring only once with a bogey at the 10th.

“I’d not seen the course until the pro-am and I did not play particularly great early on but I stayed patient and made a few decent up and downs on some tricky greens,” he said. “It’s not a massively long course but it was imperative to hit the ball in the right places.”

Houston (picture courtesy Getty Images), who turned 46 last week and who won the World Pro-Am in February, has a posse of Yorkshiremen hot on his heels led by Renishaw Park’s Michael Ramsden and John Wells, from Snainton Golf Centre in the 36-hole tournament run in association with Ramsdens Currency.

Phil Archer, the former European Tour winner from Cheshire club Birchwood who is defending the title he won last year and also prevailed in 2000, has a lot of ground to make up after his 71 left him in a 15-way tie for 20th place.

LEADING SCORES: 65 Garry Houston (Carden Park); 67 Michael Ramsden (Renishaw Park), John Wells (Snainton Golf Centre), Jamie Howarth (Davenport), Ryan O’Neill (Penwortham), Martin Hamer (Davyhulme Park); 68 Robert Booth (Crosland Heath), James French (Owston Hall); 69 Darren Crowle (Crook), Daniel Bradbury (Bolton Old Links), David Smith (Swinton Park), Graham Neville (GN Golf), Simon Westney (unatt), Steve Parry (NWGA Hart Common).