Archive for the ‘County Golf’ Category

Kelly gets his eye in

LUKE Kelly was top of the shots in the Galvin Green Northern Order of Merit fixture at Manchester.

But it was a close call for the Ashton-under-Lyne player who got the verdict on countback from Manchester’s Aiden Hoosen to claim the Hulbert Trophy.

Kelly opened with a three-under-par 69 and followed up with 70 which included a trio of birdies from the seventh,

Nelson’s Curtis Clarkin maintained his 55 points lead from the chasing pack.

LEADING SCORES: 139 Luke Kelly (Ashton-under-Lyne) 69 70, Aiden Hoosen (Manchester) 68 71; 141 Joseph Bannan (Manchester) 71 70, Ian Kenwright (Haydock Park) 70 71; 145 Anthony Harwood (Blackburn) 71 74, Gregory Holmes (Royal Birkdale) 70 75; 146 Graeme Booth (Formby) 74 72, Gareth Clark (Manchester) 70 76; 147 James Kempster (Bramhall) 71 76; 148 Ciaran Doherty (Bury) 76 72, Liam Kindon (Delamere Forest) 74 74; 149 Max Rogers (Astbury) 74 75.

ORDER OF MERIT:  285 Curtis Clarkin (Nelson); 230 Oliver Ravenscroft (Hillside), Ciaran Doherty (Bury); 225 Ian Kenwright (Haydock Park); 215 Steven Capper (Royal Liverpool); 230 Ciaran Doherty (Bury); 190 Calum Metcalf (Pleasington), Graham Booth (Formby Hall); 170 Jack Brooks (Mere); 160 Aiden Hoosen (Manchester); 150 John Carroll (Huyton & Prescot), Matt Collinge (Greenmount), Martin Thomas (Royal Liverpool).


Festival time as Morecambe hits the mark

Golf Mark Award Morecambe GC.jpg

AWARD PRESENTATION: From left, Stuart Buckley, general manager, Adam McAlister, England Golf’s club support officer (Lancashire), Keith Morley, captain, and Simon Fletcher, head professional

MORECAMBE Golf Club has won a national award for its efforts to grow the game and marked the achievement in typical style with a festival for local schools.

It has been presented with the GolfMark award, an official seal of approval for clubs which successfully work to develop the game by attracting new members and encouraging existing ones to play more; using practical business planning to develop the club; offering coaching and playing opportunities for all golfers; and ensuring safeguarding policies are in place

The club celebrated its centenary in 2005 and prides itself on maintaining the traditions of the sport while offering the next generation of players a warm and friendly welcome.

It has been at its present home since 1923, with the Dr Alister MacKenzie designed course offering superb views over the Morecambe Bay and to the Lakeland fells beyond.

The award was presented to the club during a schools tri-golf festival event by England Golf’s Lancashire Golf Club Support officer Adam  McAlister.

Morecambe’s general manager Stuart Buckley said: “”We are one of only a select amount of golf clubs in Lancashire to have received this award and it is a testament to our team of PGA professional coaches and volunteers at the club that put in hours of work to achieve what we have done.”


Champion Flanagan fights way back to fitness


TOP MAN: Tony Flanagan receives the trophy from Lancs UGC president Mike Lay

TONY Flanagan capped his return from major surgery by being crowned Lancashire Seniors’ county champion for the first time.

The Clitheroe man’s entrance into the over-55 ranks had been delayed by a back problem which required an operation and intensive physiotherapy to even return to the golf course.

With the 58 year-old also suffering problems with the tendons in his right arm, it looked like his chance to be part of the thriving seniors’ scene in the Red Rose county was passing him by.

But at Blackpool North Shore, the months of hard work, both out on the range and on his rehabilitation programme, paid off in style as he claimed the title for the first time with a three-shot victory.

Flanagan paved the way for his success with an opening 70, one under par over the challenging seaside course, which was matched by Karl Bowker of Bolton Old Links.

And he held off the chasing pack with a second day 74 to leave last year’s winner, Trevor Foster from Accrington, in second place.

But the outgoing champion paid a fulsome tribute to his rival and friend, saying: “I have always said football is the best game in the world, but golf is the greatest – and one of the reasons for that is the friendships you make. So I am not disappointed to be runner-up because I am chuffed for the man who has won.”

Flanagan, too, paid tribute to the backing he has received as he battled back from surgery. “To be honest, I was a bit choked,” said the Whalley man, who is playing his first full season in the senior ranks.  “I have received so much support from people.

“This was a championship I always felt I could win, but that doesn’t mean it was going to happen. So I am delighted to have come out on top of a high quality field.”

Flanagan had clubmate Mark Ashworth, a former Lancashire county champion, on the bag for the first round and it proved a successful combination.

“Mark is a good friend of mine and he felt that the course would suit my game,” said Flanagan. “He helped me plot the right lines round the course and then on the second day it was a case of getting round safely to post a total.

“I must admit I had a good feeling about the course when I arrived. I have worked hard on my game and have been striking the ball well. And I holed some important three or four footers on the last five holes to make sure I didn’t drop any shots late on.”

Flanagan will head north for the Scottish Seniors as his next assignment while he is also hoping to play his part in Lancashire’s bid to become national champions again.

Rob Godley (Hillside) finished third behind Flanagan and Foster, while the age group category winners included former Lancashire county captain Cliff Bowman, who took the honours in the over 70 group at the age of 77.



Winner: Tony Flanagan (Clitheroe GC) 70-74=144 (+2)

Runner-up: Trevor Foster (Accrington GC) 74-73=147 (+5)

Third: Rob Godley (Hillside GC) 75-73=148 (+6)

Category A (55-59 years): Gross winner, Gary Byrne (Clitheroe) 149; Nett winner, Ian Owens (Burnley) 145

Category B (60-64): Gross winner, Martin Wild (Wilmslow) 152; Nett winner, Clive Appleby (Fairhaven) 144

Category C (65-69): Gross winner, Mike Gray (Lancaster) 155; Nett winner, Stuart Coupe (Pleasington) 141

Category D (70 plus): Gross winner, Cliff Bowman (Blackpool North Shore) 162; Nett winner, Len Walker (Denton) 147

Best nett day one: Karl Bowker (Bolton Old Links) 70-2-68

Best nett day two: David Hughes (High Legh) 77-9-68


Kelly gets his eye in to win Lancs crown


CHAMPION: Luke Kelly receives the trophy from Mike Lay, president of the Lancashire Union of Golf Clubs. Picture: RAYMOND FARLEY

LUKE Kelly delivered one of the rounds of his life on the way to winning the Lancashire County Championship.

The 19-year-old from Ashton-under-Lyne completed a superb two-shot victory over the testing links at West Lancashire Golf Club where he  was seven under par for the four rounds,  his second round six under 66 proving the pivotal moment.

Kelly opened with a two-over 74 which left him in need of making up some ground after Richie Blundell (Hillside) set the pace with a 68, one ahead of George Holland (Southport and Ainsdale).

However a stunning start to his second round sent him on his way to the halfway lead.

Kelly, a regular with the Lancashire county men’s team, rolled in five birdies on the front nine and could have gone even lower after missing a four foot putt at the ninth where his approach rattled the flag.

That set up his 66, matched by Joseph Bannan (Manchester) in the third round on an action-packed final day which saw the remaining 36 holes played out.

Bannan’s heroics cut the gap at the top to one but Kelly held his nerve to deliver 70,71 over the last two rounds to keep his rival and Jonathan Hurst (Pleasington) at bay.

Kelly, who started playing aged 11 at his local club and is coached by Gareth Benson, said: “I hold the course record at Warrington, and that is the only round I can think betters the 66. I had played well on the first day but made a few mistakes, but second time round I started holing a few putts and cut out the errors.

“This was one of the events I always wanted to win and it’s a great feeling to be county champion. It is a great championship and the 72-hole format sets you up nicely for the big national events.

“The weather was different every day so it tested all aspects of your game,” added Kelly, a former England-U16 international.

Meanwhile, Pleasington will represent Lancashire in the national finals of the champion club competition.



Kenwright bowls them over

HAYDOCK Park’s Ian Kenwright, who won the Lancashire County Championship in 2015, proved he still had the winning touch when he claimed the Southport & Ainsdale Bowl.

But it was a close call as he posted scores of 75 and 71 to prevail on countback from three chasing players.

Among them was Hillside’s Oliver Ravenscroft who leapfrogged to the top of the in the Galvin Green Northern Order of Merit fixture table, 20 points ahead of Bury’s Ciaran Doherty and Curtis Clarkin, from Nelson.

And it was double delight for Ravenscroft who won the Lancashire Links Trophy.

LEADING SCORES: 146 Ian Kenwright (Haydock Park) 75 71, Greg McIlroy (Southport & Ainsdale) 74 72, Mark Hyde (Southport & Ainsdale) 73 73, Oliver Ravenscroft (Hillside) 73 73; 147 Anthony Stirling (Formby) 73 74, Matthew Nuttall (Royal Birkdale) 73 74; 148 Calum Scott (Nairn) 76 72, Graeme Booth (Formby Hall) 76 72, Jack Shelley (Formby) 76 72, Reece Cranfield (Wigan) 73 75, David Peel (Stockport) 70 78; 149 David Higginbotham (Southport & Ainsdale) 74 75.

ORDER OF MERIT: 230pts Oliver Ravenscroft (Hillside); 210 Ciaran Doherty (Bury), Curtis Clarkin (Nelson); 165 Ian Kenwright (Haydock Park); 150 John Carroll (Huyton & Prescot), Matt Collinge (Greenmount); 140 Steven Capper (Royal Liverpool); 135 Mark Hyde (Southport & Ainsdale); 125 Richie Blundell (Hillside), Mark Duncalf (Southport & Ainsdale); 120 Jack Brooks (Mere).

Lancashire Links Trophy: 288 Oliver Ravenscroft (Southport & Ainsdale)); 290 Matthew Nuttall (Royal Birkdale); 293 Mark Hyde (Southport & Ainsdale).







Ravenscroft is top of the shots  

THERE was no change at the top of the Galvin Green Northern Order of Merit following the Formby Hare with joint pace setters Ciaran Doherty, from Bury, and Nelson’s Curtis Clarkin 40 points ahead of the chasing pack.

Hillside’s Oliver Ravenscroft moved into third spot as he posted rounds of 72 and 70, edging out Royal Birkdale’s Matthew Nuttall by a stroke.

But there could be some changes in the pecking order after the Southport & Ainsdale Bowl after a double-header weekend.

 LEADING SCORES: 142 Oliver Ravenscroft (Hillside) 72 70; 143 Matthew Nuttall (Royal Birkdale) 72 71; 145 Mark Duncalf (Southport & Ainsdale) 69 76; 147 Mark Hide (Southport & Ainsdale) 70 77; 148 Richie Blundell (Hillside) 74 74, Callum Swift (Kings Hill) 72 76; 149 Callum Scott (Nairn) 75 74, Reece Cranfield (Wigan) 72 77; 150 Greg Holmes (Royal Birkdale) 76 74, Thomas Winn (Morecambe) 76 74, Anthony Stirling (Formby) 74 76; 151 Michael Sumner (Formby) 80 71.

 ORDER OF MERIT: 210pts Ciaran Doherty (Bury), Curtis Clarkin (Nelson); 170 Oliver Ravenscroft (Hillside); 150 John Carroll (Huyton & Prescot), Matt Collinge (Greenmount); 140 Steven Capper (Royal Liverpool); 125 Richie Blundell (Hillside), Mark Duncalf (Southport & Ainsdale); 120 Jack Brooks (Mere); 105 Chris Chilton (Stockport); 100 Jonathan Little (Heswall) Bryan Hughes (Hesketh).

Please note that Clitheroe Golf Club has withdrawn from the Galvin Green Northern Order of Merit



It’s Holmes at the double for Lancs champ



GREG Holmes secured a dramatic and historic victory to become Lancashire County Boys’ champion for the second successive year.

The 17-year-old Royal Birkdale player, pictured receiving the trophy from Lancashire UGC president Michael Lay, is the first to lift the title in back-to-back seasons for 23 years.

He followed up an opening 72 in the morning over a tricky and well-presented challenge at Crompton and Royton to go two shots better in the second round and secure a narrow one-stroke success with a combined total of two over par 142.

But the result was in the balance until the closing two holes after the only players to break par in the morning round – Josh Fallows, also from Royal Birkdale, and Louis Talarcyzk (Royal Lytham & St Annes) – had thrown down the gauntlet.

Both found it difficult to build on the 69s they returned in the first round, with Fallows adding a 75 to finish in third overall with a 144 total.

But Talarcyzk was in contention up until the penultimate hole, when his second to the 17th found out of bounds at the rear of the green and Holmes suddenly had a two-shot advantage going down the last.

Talarcyzk showed great character to drill in a 15 feet putt for birdie on the 18th to close with a 74 and a total of 143, which saw him finish runner-up.

Holmes, who has established himself in the Lancashire men’s team over the past 12 months, went into the event in good form, having finished in fifth at the Fairhaven Trophy.

But he felt he could have played better, commenting: “I did not hit my irons as well as I would like but I felt my putting was good.”

And none more so than on that crucial 17th hole, where he drained a seven feet par putt to make sure he took advantage of his closest rival’s late stumble.

“This was one of the events I had targeted for the season, but it has been a tough six months,” added Holmes, who dedicated his victory to his late mother Sue.

Holmes – who is also a member of his hometown club, Wigan – joins the list of multi-winners of the title.

ID Gradewell finished as champion for three successive seasons from 1968-70 while M Tomlinson was also a three-time winner in 1976, 1978 and 1980. Double winners include P Robinson in 1981 and ’83, S Andrew 1991/92, S Whitehead 1994/95, Matthew Baldwin, now a European Tour player, in 2000 and 2002 and, most recently, Oliver Clarke in 2014 and 2016.

Royal Lytham, represented by Louis Talarcyzk and Jamie van Wyk , will represent Lancashire at the English finals at Frilford Heath GC in August.

RESULTS: Championship Plate: Greg Holmes (Royal Birkdale, 72-70-142); Runner-up: Louis Talarcyzk (Royal Lytham & St Annes, 69-74-143); Third place: Josh Fallows (Southport and Birkdale, 69-75-144; Best nett total: Elliott Tickle (Blackley, 69-66-135); Best morning nett: Thomas Watson (Dean Wood, 69); Best afternoon nett: Jack McPhail (Huyton and Prescot, 69); Best morning gross: Grady Rogerson (Royal Lytham & St Annes, 69); Best afternoon gross: Jamie van Wyk (Royal Lytham & St Annes, 72); Champion club: Royal Lytham & St Annes (Louis Talarcyzk, Jamie van Wyk)