Archive for the ‘Manchester Golf’ Category

Batchelor boy makes home advantage count!

allistandamam.jpgAm winners Gary Jacques, John Davies (Alliance captain) and Andre McCreedy

HOST club assistant professional  Rob Batchelor (pictured below) capitalised on local knowledge as he tied with Penwortham’s Ryan O’Neill on 40 points in the Manchester Alliance at Stand.

Runners-up were a shot back were Tim Maxwell (Knutsford) and Andy Palmer (Chorley).

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It needed a card play-off on 45 points in the pro-am section with DavyhulmePark father and son duo Chris and Mike Lane seeing off Palmer and Keith Ashton (Bolton).

 

Home duo Andre McCreedy and Gary Jacques were runaway winners in the am-am with 46 points, leaving them three clear of Peter McManus (Chorlton) and Alliance secretary Ian Hales (Ringway).

 

 

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PGA North announces new format for a united region

PGA North has launched a trail-blazing venture to promote a golf union embracing the whole region which is the biggest in the country outside Scotland.

The Players’ Series will tee off next month with a dozen fixtures spread across the North East and North West, Lancashire and Yorkshire and Cheshire and North Wales.

Regional secretary Jonathan Paine said: “These multi events are open to all members who will be able to compete in other counties for the first time under this new format. Anyone can enter if they are willing to travel.

“It also gives me the opportunity to see more members, which is part of my enhanced remit which includes all the regions playing as one. Reconnecting with everyone will make a huge difference.

“We will able to arrange more meetings with the counties and getting to know the professionals by going to see them. I know it’s the tip of the iceberg but I believe it will be the starting point of a bright new future.

“It could have a snowball effect which would encourage more sponsorship.”

The first event in the Players’ Series will be at The Range, a brand new indoor facility in Manchester’s Spinning Fields on March 24.

Other venues include Crossland Heath, Bolton Old Links, Northenden, Blackburn, Stamford, Ellesmere, Renishaw Park, Knutsford, Wakefield, Bishop Auckland (tbc) and Fulford.

 

 

Cheshire ace Wardle elevated to women’s squad

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BEL WARDLE: Image copyright Leaderboard Photography

PRESTBURY’S Bel Wardle, who last week won the Portuguese women’s amateur, is among 10 players in the England Golf women’s 2018 squad.  She is also the English women’s open and English girls’ champion, moves up from the girls’ squad, alongside three other players.

They are Lily May Humphreys, whose four wins in 2017 included the British girls’ title; Annabell Fuller who was runner-up to Wardle in Portugal; and her older sister and fellow international Sammy Fuller.

Sammy Fuller is one of five players who are US-based while they study at university in America. The others are Curtis Cup player Alice Hewson, Emma Allen, Louisa Brunt and India Clyburn.

The squad is completed by Georgia Price and Sophie Lamb, who was leading amateur at the Ricoh Women’s British Open.

The England Golf girls’ squad includes five new players, who join established members Martha Lewis, Mimi Rhodes, Amelia Williamson and Hannah Screen, the runner-up in the British women’s stroke play. They are Yorkshire’s Charlotte Heath and Nicola Slater; Buckinghamshire’s Thalia Kirby, who was runner-up in the English U16 girls’ championship; Gloucestershire’s Ebonie Lewis and Cumbria’s Caitlin Whitehead.

Women’s squad

Emma Allen, 21, Meon Valley, Hampshire

Louisa Brunt, 19, Royal Birkdale, Lancashire

India Clyburn, 21, Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire

Lily May Humphreys, 15, Stoke by Nayland, Essex

Annabell Fuller, 15, Roehampton, Surrey

Sammy Fuller, 18, Roehampton, Surrey

Alice Hewson, 20, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire

Sophie Lamb, 20, Clitheroe, Lancashire

Georgia Price, 24, Bude & North Cornwall

Bel Wardle, 18, Prestbury, Cheshire

Girls:

Charlotte Heath, 16, Huddersfield, Yorkshire

Thalia Kirby, 16, Harleyford, Buckinghamshire

Ebonie Lewis, 17, Knowle, Gloucestershire

Martha Lewis, 18, St George’s Hill, Surrey

Mimi Rhodes, 16, Burnham & Berrow, Somerset

Hannah Screen, 18, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire

Nicola Slater, 17, Woodsome Hall, Yorkshire

Caitlin Whitehead, 15, Kendal, Cumbria

Amelia Williamson, 17, Royal Cromer, Norfolk

 

 

Glory for Wardle in final round fight-back

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PRESTBURY ace Isobel Wardle staged a stunning final-round comeback to claim a dramatic play-off victory at the 2018 Portuguese Women’s Amateur Golf Championship at West Cliffs Golf Links.

The 18-year-old began the last day five strokes behind Annabell Fuller but coped best in the difficult, windy conditions, carding a five-over-par 77 to first catch her fellow England international, then beat her on the first hole of sudden death.

Named as the World’s Best New Golf Course at the 2017 World Golf Awards, West Cliffs has quickly established itself as one of the new stars of global golf since opening last summer, and provided a fitting venue for the 88th edition of the prestigious event – which featured competitors from 15 countries including China.

Wardle, who plays off a handicap of +4.2, opened the event with a level-par 72 – the joint-lowest round of the week in a tournament that was played in cold and windy conditions throughout – but Fuller looked to have victory in her sights as she started the fourth and final round with a three-shot advantage over the field.

The 15-year-old from Roehampton still held a two-stroke lead as she stood on the 18th tee, but she double-bogeyed the hole after tangling with a bush on her way to a disappointing 82, before being beaten by Wardle on the same hole in the play-off.

“It’s amazing to win,” said Wardle, who was playing in her first competitive event of the year after winning the English women’s and English girls’ ope

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n championships in 2017. “This golf course throws everything at you, it is so tough. If you spray the ball left or right you are struggling to make a bogey.

“I had no idea what anyone else was scoring but I just tried to keep myself as low as possible. Holes 16, 17 and 18 are really tough and I knew if I could hang in with some sort of score it would make those holes even tougher with the pressure.

“I was very, very nervous, I had never been in a play-off. But I had my friend Jess Hall on the bag, she was calming me down and we went through the strategy I had in place and just played the hole.”

Bel of the ball! Portugal win for Prestbury ace

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PRESTBURY and England star Bel Wardle came from five shots off the lead to win the Portuguese women’s amateur championship in a play-off.

The 18-year-old international caught and then beat fellow England player Annabell Fuller on the first play-off hole – the 18th – on the difficult West Cliffs course.

“It’s amazing to win,” said Wardle, who was playing in her first competitive event of the year and adds this title to the English women’s and English girls’ open championships of 2017.

Fuller, 15, took a three shot lead into the final round and Wardle was five behind her – but knew anything could happen. “This golf course throws everything at you, it is so tough. If you spray the ball left or right you are struggling to make a bogey.

“I had no idea what anyone else was scoring but I just tried to keep myself as low as possible,” said Wardle “Holes 16, 17 and 18 are really tough and I knew if I could hang in with some sort of score it would make those holes even tougher with the pressure.”

In the final round, in which strong winds added to the challenge of the course, Wardle posted five-over 77 and declared herself: “100 per cent happy. I was five-over through nine and heading in to the tougher nine, so I was so pleased to come back in level par.”

It put her in the play-off after Surrey’s Fuller tangled with a bush and double bogeyed the 18th in regulation play. “I was very, very nervous, I had never been in a play-off,” said Wardle. “But I had my friend Jess Hall on the bag, she was calming me down and we went through the strategy I had in place and just played the hole.”

This was Wardle’s first competitive event since the World girls’ championship last September – and she was ready for it. “I have done a lot of work over the winter with my coach, Richard Green at Bramhall Golf Club. My swing was feeling great coming into the week and I just wanted to get back competing again. I have done all the practice, I just wanted to get out there.”

The championship was a great showcase for England talent – with English players capturing not only the first two places, but also the Nations Cup by 10 shots. Annabell Fuller, Sophie Lamb (Clitheroe) and Lily May Humphreys (Stoke by Nayland) combined to win the team prize. Lamb had her first hole in one during the championship and was eighth overall.

Donaldson stays ahead in Dubai

MACCLESFIELD’S Jamie Donaldson signed for a three under 69 to maintain his one-shot lead and set the clubhouse target at 13 under par on a fog-delayed day at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

The Welshman fired a blistering 62 on day one and while he could not quite hit those heights again at Emirates Golf Club, he continues to lead a field that has just 11 players over par.

China’s Li Haotong heads up the chasing pack at 12 under par after consecutive rounds of 66. South African Branden Grace is one shot further back alongside Alexander Björk of Sweden, who is one of 66 players who will return at 7.30 am on Saturday to complete the second round following a two hour and 50 minute delay due to morning fog.

Miguel Ángel Jiménez rolled back the years with a round of 68 that included six birdies and one bogey, to take the 54 year old 21-time European Tour winner to ten under par, alongside South African Thomas Aiken and four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy, who will complete his remaining seven holes on Saturday morning.

Six players are currently tied for eighth place at nine under, while England’s Matthew Southgate is part of a group of 15 players one shot further back, after he made the second hole-in-one of the season with a nine iron from 154 yards on the seventh, en route to a round of 68.

Donaldson said: “I played nicely. Drove the ball well. Iron play was good. Took my chances when I was close enough to do so. Hit a lot of really good putts that didn’t go in, whereas yesterday they all went in, but 69 following a 62 is a solid score.

“It can always be better, can’t it, but only one bogey. I wanted to try to go flag hunting a little bit which maybe I shouldn’t have done, but happy with how I played.

 

“I don’t know where it will be at the end of the day, but I’m just concentrating on me and concentrating on putting that ball in those small fairways. You know, taking chances from there. It’s a tricky golf course that you’ve got to manage your way around well. I did that well today again, as I did yesterday.”

Cheshire bid for County of Year award

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CHESHIRE will go head to head with Middlesex in a bid to win England Golf’s County of Year Award sponsored by Sports Marketing Surveys Inc.

The counties are the two finalists for the prestigious prize which will be presented at the England Golf Awards  at the Royal Lancaster London on February 22.

“This is a fascinating contest,” said England Golf chief executive Nick Pink. “It pits North against South and little against large – with Cheshire representing 99 clubs and Middlesex numbering just 34.

“What both counties have in common is their class and the quality of their support for their clubs and members. The judges will have a tough task to separate them and we look forward to applauding a worthy winner.”

Cheshire is celebrating a year of all-round achievement: getting more people playing golf; great support for clubs; and the smooth running of the county organisations.

The county had notable success in attracting more people into golf. Its Driving Junior Golf initiative involved 10 clubs which ran free tasters for almost 200 youngsters; 130 continued into coaching and over 100 have become club or academy members.

Girls Golf Rocks ran for the second year, at eight clubs, and some of the original beginners are now involved in county coaching. Cheshire is now one of England Golf’s priority junior counties, working in partnership to encourage more young players.

Meanwhile, more than 400 women were introduced to golf and 120 took up club or academy memberships. Almost 50 clubs promoted Get into Golf opportunities, leading to 300 new memberships, while disability programmes were run with the Stoke Association and Macmillan.

Clubs are receiving comprehensive support to strengthen their business and meet their customers’ needs. The men’s Union and women’s Association worked with England Golf to develop a county action plan and both organisations also work in partnership with the PGA in the County Development Group.

On the playing front, a Cheshire U16 boys’ team was started to increase opportunities, more girls’ coaching was arranged following the success of Girls Golf Rocks, and top players figured in England squads.

Middlesex took a modernising stride forward in 2017 when the members of its men’s and women’s county organisations voted unanimously to merge.

The foundations of the successful vote were laid in preliminary meetings when the benefits of merger were explained to members and any issues resolved.

Now Middlesex has a board of 10 elected members – with at least 30 per cent representation of each gender – a three-year business plan and a busy programme. This includes improving communications with members, setting up a database of club contacts, upgrading their website content and launching their first Awards dinner to recognise achievement by volunteers, clubs and stewards.

Education for clubs is a priority with a range of courses arranged for 2018, including safeguarding.  Relationships are being developed with golf ranges, whose customers will often progress into club membership, and this could lead to discounts for county card holders.

On the playing front, the merged organisation is very obvious. Men and women work together to run all the county competitions, referees of both genders officiate, and young golfers are offered mixed academy and intermediate coaching and playing opportunities. There’s orders of merits for men, women and juniors and lots of encouragement for club golfers to enter non-elite events.

The county is working to increase the number of junior golfers and to get more players in county competitions. It also provides financial support clubs running open events, providing they have evidence of good safeguarding.