Archive for the ‘Manchester Golf’ Category

Leigh duo just miss out on Morocco challenge

LONG serving Leigh professional Andrew Baguley and amateur partner John Taylor finished a commendable joint third in the SkyCaddie PGA Pro-Captain Challenge in Morocco.

Winners were Lincolnshire duo Paul Bradshaw and retired GP Chris Hall who found the perfect antidote to combat the challenge of Moor Hall whose score was matched by Leigh.

It came in the form of a birdie-laden and bogey-free negotiation of the Gary Player-designed course at Mazagan Beach and Golf Resort that resulted in a comfortable victory for the pair from Holme Hall, Lincolnshire, who tied with Leigh.

They had begun the second and final round of the stableford format event a point adrift of their PGA Midland region rivals and tournament leaders, Moor Hall’s Cameron Clark and his club captain Paul Brindley.

Come half way the deficit had been erased then, with the duo from Sutton Coldfield seemingly becalmed, they posted four birdies for a total score of 85 and victory by three points.

The last of those birdies, was recorded at the par five 18th by Mills, a 20-handicapper who looked anything but as his chip and run came to rest inches from the hole for a tap-in.

It was a fitting way to win the tournament that, supported by Golfplan Insurance, carries a £22,000 prize fund of which £5,000 goes to the winning pro.

 

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Rooke swoops to win merit award

LEE Rooke clinched the PGA Cheshire & North Wales Members’ Tour Order of Merit despite failing to win any of the six fixtures.

But the Royal St David’s assistant was never out of the top 10 as he registered two second places, two thirds, a fifth and an eighth.

Ashton-on-Mersey’s Oliver Smith, who scored two aces in four months, clinched the final event at Knutsford with a mixed bag of bag of birdies, bogeys and an eagle in his one-under-par 71,

Rooke was a shot off the pace alongside Alderley Edge’s Charles Le Sueur and Ben Thompson, from Hazel Grove.

LEADING SCORES: 71 Oliver Smith (Ashton-on-Mersey); 72 Charles Le Sueur (Alderley Edge), Ben Thompson (Hazel Grove), Lee Rooke (Royal St David’s); 73 Graham Cox (Lymm), Oliver Pantoja (OP Golf), Benjamin Stanier (Wilmslow), Rhodri Fieldhouse (American Golf); 74 Tim Maxwell (Knutsford), Gary Brown (Marple).

ORDER OF MERIT: Lee Rooke (Royal St David’s) 626.67pts; Grant Edwards (Lakeside) 497.08; Oliver Pantoja (Hazel Grove) 447.50; Benjamin Thompson (Hazel Grove) 403.75; Rhodri Fieldhouse (American Golf) 376.25,

 

Crowther reflects on a season to remember

IAN Crowther has paid tribute to the quality of senior golf in Lancashire after enjoying a golden summer.

The Royal Lytham and St Annes player won two of the year’s biggest prizes and was crowned champion at the seniors’ championships in both Wales and Italy.

Crowther believes the standard of competition among the over 50 golfers in the Red Rose county is helping him keep his own game razor sharp.

“The seniors’ golf in Lancashire is played at such a fantastic level, and there is a great camaraderie among the players in the county team,” explained the 59-year-old, (pictured below right) after winning the Wales Seniors Championship (Image courtesy of Golf Union of  Wales)

.“There has been such a change in seniors’ golf over the last few seasons and the standard is so much higher. I think players are staying fitter and stronger later into life – and are working at their game and fitness levels even harder.

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“There was a time when a player’s game might start to go backwards as they got older, but I don’t think that is the case now. You only have to look at the number of guys in the gym!

“When you play for Lancashire it is not just a case of turning up and knocking the ball around. County captain Mike Gray did so much in bringing a professional approach to seniors’ golf at county level with the support of the Lancashire Union of Golf Clubs and there is so much skill and quality in the team.

“Everyone supports each other so you really feel you are part of a golfing family. Everybody pushes each other along to play to the highest level we can.”

Crowther represented Lancashire as a teenager, but after returning to the sport later in life he has gone on to become a regular in the county seniors team as well as an England international. He was a member of the Lancashire team that crowned all England champions twice in 2014 and 2016 as well as playing in the successful England line-up at the Home Internationals in 2016 and 2017. He also helped England to the bronze at the European Championships in Sweden.

“I played for Lancashire at 16, but didn’t play county golf as I was building a business and raising a family,” explained the retired investment management businessman. “I got back into golf in my 30s and started to lower my handicap to the point where I was playing off plus one in my early 40s.

“As a proud Lancastrian, to now be playing for the county is marvellous but to represent your country is something very special. When you are led out behind the flag and hear the National Anthem being played you are just filled with pride to be there.”

Crowther’s spectacular success this year crowns a remarkable personal story that has seen him recover from major ankle surgery just two years ago.

The legacy of an old squash injury eventually led to him needing to have his entire right ankle rebuilt.

“In the first instance it was making sure I could walk again all right, and then starting to build up the golf slowly through chipping and putting. I think some of the members thought I was mad as they would see me working on my short game in all sorts of weathers but all the hard work the excellence of the surgeon and his team at Wrightington Hospital has paid off.

“The last couple of seasons have been incredible. It’s all a bit of a dream, to be competing at the highest level, winning titles and representing both my county and country,” added Crowther, who lives at Chadderton and is also a member of Manchester Golf Club.

“And then to enjoy what has been my best ever season is unbelievable. I think I have learnt about being in the mix at events and coming through to win this year has been fantastic.”

Crowther had threatened to make the breakthrough into the international winner’s enclosure early in the season by finishing second in the Spanish Seniors and third in the Portuguese on one of his many foreign ventures with pal Rob Fox.

However a sign of what to come was his win in the Captain’s Prize at Royal Lytham before he won the Welsh title by one shot at Maesdu Golf Club, Llandudno, in July, after claiming birdies at two of his final three holes.

He then embarked on a remarkable run which saw him win the James Braid scratch competition at Clitheroe, the Northern Counties at Seaton Carew and finally the Italian championships in Milan when he soared to the top of the leaderboard with a final round, six under 66.

“It has been a season I will never forget,” he added. “I have had great support from my wife Denise and my children Ben and Amy, while I have been travelling to events with Rob over the last couple of seasons. That has been a great way to play different courses and meet new people.

“I think what I have been through with the ankle means I have learnt not to take my golf for granted – and I want to make the very best of my playing opportunities.”

Lancashire Union of Golf Clubs secretary Phil Harvey said: “We are blessed with an outstanding squad of seniors players who are a real pleasure to work with and Ian is a very popular member of the team and a role model for elite senior golfers.”

 

Corrigan leads the way at Warrington

CHILLI Dip Academy stalwart Craig Corrigan showed his class with an impressive 40 points to win the individual professional section in the Manchester Alliance at Warrington.

He prevailed by a point from Ashton-on-Mersey’s in-form Ollie Pantoja and Hazel Grove assistant pro Ben Thompson. Top assistant was Stand’s Rob Batchelor with 36 points.

Marple’s Gary Brown partnered Richard Blackwell (Mottram Hall) to success in the pro-am with 44, winning  on countback from Ben Thompson and his Hazel Grove partner Ian Walters.

Marcus Corfield (Swinton Park) and Dave Smith (Ellesmere) took the am-am honours with 42 points from Norman Haslam (Stand) and Charlie Rodgers (Pike Fold) who were a shot adrift.

Bolton golfer named Lancs president elect

Mike Lay LUGC President 2018.jpgTHE Lancashire Union of Golf Clubs has named Michael Lay as president-elect for 2018-19 and will take up the role in March.

Lay, 58, has been a member of Bolton Golf Club for 15 years and is a category one golfer and a three-time winner of the Bury Golf Championship.

He has served on the handicap and greens committees at Bolton and was greens chairman when the club hosted the Lancashire County Championship in 2015.

He has been married to Karen, also a Bolton golfer, for 24 years.  They have a son, James, who has recently graduated from Nottingham University.

Lay joined the Lancashire board in 2012, has served on the junior committee and is chairman of the SSS and affiliation committee.

He attended school in Bolton and subsequently joined Greater Manchester Police where he served until retiring after 30 years, reaching the rank of detective superintendent.  He won the English Police Golf Championship and was selected to represent the British Police golf team.

As a boy he was passionately interested in all sports and became a county standard footballer before leaving school and he still retains an interest in many other sports. Lay is also the assistant secretary of Bolton Golf Association.

He said: “I am obviously delighted to be nominated as County President and as a proud Lancastrian look forward to representing the county and its members in 2018.”

 

Four share top billing at Ringway

FOUR players were deadlock on one-under-par 70 in the second Cheshire & North Wales PGA Winter fixture at Ringway Golf Club.

Among them was host club attached David Brunton who took advantage of local knowledge when he birdied the last two holes.

Abersoch’s Iona Jones finished runner-up but was left to rue a double bogey on the final green.

The action moves to Prestatyn next Monday (Oct 30) which will mark the half-way mark in the six fixture series.

 

LEADING SCORES: 70 Grant Edwards (Lakeside), Graham Roberts (Eaton), David Brunton (Ringway), Oliver Pantoja (OP Golf); 71 Iona Jones (Abersoch); 72 Adam McCade (AM Golf), Tim Maxwell (Knutsford).

 

O’Neill’s winning debut in Manchester Alliance

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WINNING SMILES: Ryan O’Neill (second right) and the  sponsors’ team 

PENWORTHAM assistant Ryan O’Neill made an impressive debut with the Manchester Alliance four-man stableford at Helsby when he topped the pro section with 38 points.

And he celebrated a double success as he guided the sponsors’ team of Steve  Moores (Stamford), Phil Aitken (Fairfield) and Martin Dwyer (Stamford) to 85 points.

They beat Marcus Corfield (Swinton Park), Dave Hemingway (Chorley), Lee Warren (Northenden) and Dave Smith (Ellesmere) on a cpo with Saddleworth’s team of Andy Earlam, Neil Bamford, Dave Pullen and Dean Jagger in third spot with 82 points.

Meanwhile, former Manchester United ace  Ryan Giggs was a key player in Adam Hodkinson’s team.