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.
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.
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.
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
|Ian Kenwright||Haydock Park||600|
|John Carroll||Huyton & Prescot||560|
|Chris Chilton||High Legh Park||310|
|Mike Harrington||Mottram Hall||260|
|Callan Barrow||Royal Lytham||235|
|Lewis George||Delamere Forest||200|
|Sam Turner||Royal Lytham||175|
|Ben Hallam||Wychwood Park||150|
|Henry Young Alls||Notts||150|
|Daniel Croft||Huyton & Prescot||150|
|Aaron Harper||Bolton Old Links||125|
|Nick Tomlinson||Vicars Cross||120|
|James Rooney||West Lancs||100|
|Nicholas Smits||Gog Magog||100|
|Mark Rabone||Southport & Ainsdale||90|
|James Blyth||West Lancs||75|
|Henry Tomlinson||Royal Lytham||75|
|Joe Banks||West Lancs||75|
|Craig Fallows||Huyton & Prescot||70|
|Thomas Gore||Formby Hall||45|
|Joshua Wilkinson||Grange Park||45|
|Liam Jenkinson||Ashton & Lea||40|
|J Higgins||Pike Fold||40|
|Greg McIlroy||Southport & Ainsdale||25|
|Josh Ashton||Southport & Ainsdale||25|
|Kris Sutcliffe||Crompton & Royton||20|
|Harvey Talarczyh||Royal Lytham||20|
|Michael Howard||Royal Birkdale||20|
|Ryan Connolly||West Lancs||15|
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.
A WET final day failed to dampen the spirits of Alex Belt and Mathew Webb who were singing in the rain after clinching the Golfbreaks.com PGA Fourball Championship at Carden Park.
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.
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 Golfbreaks.com 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.
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.