GOLF: Hitchcock gets Kingsthorpe going in win

Gavin Hitchcock

Gavin Hitchcock

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Kingsthorpe maintained their strong start in Scratch League Division Two as they made it two wins out of two this year with a 5-3 home victory against Cold Ashby.

Gavin Hitchcock gave the hosts the perfect start, in more ways than one, as he bagged a hole-in-one on the fourth hole whilst beating Paul Askew 5&4 in the opening tie.

Further home points early on from Mark Bazeley (3&2) and Jake Croxford (5&4), plus a half from Leigh Woodward, gave Oliver Haywood the chance to seal the team victory, which he did on the closing hole.

Cold Ashby made the scoreline look more respectable as Graham Bott won 7&5, Bob Clayton halved, before Fraser Carnihan defeated county champion Jack Brown down the 18th hole.

Division Three

Kettering continue to set the early pace in the third tier as they thrashed Collingtree with a comprehensive 8-0 home triumph.

In an outstanding team performance, Charles Ward (3&2), Neil White (5&4), Dave Harkess (3&2) put the hosts firmly in the driving seat, before Rob Stevenson came in with a 5&4 success.

Dean McIntyre (2&1) secured the home team win, while Jamie Ashcroft (5&3) and Michael Campbell (2&1) added two more points at the back end of the order.

The only debate was whether Kettering could complete the perfect day, 
which they managed to achieve as Iain Auld won the 18th hole against Trevor Twelftree.

Division Four

Daventry gave an early indication of their capabilities this season on their home course as they whitewashed Stoke Albany in the opening match of the division.

The hosts needed to battle hard in the first three games as Nathon Freezer and Chris Balic recorded 2&1 wins, while Chris Jackson was taken the distance by Matthew King before coming out on top.

From then onwards it was all Daventry as John Hunter (3&2), Paul Read (5&4), Daniel Haynes (4&3), Chris Eveleigh (6&5) and Adam Tarbox (4&3) wrapped up a one-sided contest.

Handicap League

Group A

Collingtree qualified for the semi-finals without having to hit a ball as they received a walkover home victory against point-less Silverstone.

Collingtree, who only needed a draw to confirm top spot, will now face Group B winners Hellidon Lakes in the last four next month.

Brampton Heath, who could have overtaken Collingtree if the leaders had slipped up, put the disappointment of narrowly missing out on the semis behind them as they registered a battling 9-4 win at Cherwell Edge.

The away side were pushed hard and by the time the fifth match had been completed, they found themselves a single point adrift of Cherwell.

Brampton weren’t to be denied a sixth victory in eight outing this year, however, as the final pair of Michael Burrows and Don Field recorded an impressive six-hole success.

Ladies Scratch League

Wellingborough bounced back from their first defeat in six years as they responded to the 2-1 loss against Northampton by beating Overstone Park by the same scoreline.

The team got off to a winning start as Carol Gibbs defeated Gill Hodgson 4&3 in the opening tie at Peterborough Milton GC.

Although Gill Snelson lost the third game on the 17th hole, Ellie Darnell had already sealed the team victory with an impressive 4&3 success against Margo Lerin.

Northants County remain the only unbeaten side after they received a walkover 3-0 win against Whittlebury Park.

Intermediate League

Northampton’s strong middle order made all the difference in their clash with Kettering as they helped the team record a 5-3 victory at Cold Ashby GC.

The match looked evenly poised following the opening couple of matches as Christopher Kay’s 3&2 win for Northampton was cancelled out by a narrow success from Kettering’s Richard Ashcroft.

Northampton then took control as Gary Slinn and Dean Roberts completed big wins, Sam Gilkes added another point on the 18th hole, before Nick Hansell confirmed the victory with a 2&1 success.

Kettering, who defeated Cold Ashby in the opening fixture of the season, fought back well with two late points from Graham Jones and Jordan Darnell.

Ladies Cecil Leitch

Wellingborough’s ladies team have made it through to the Cecil Leitch semi-finals after finishing first in Group 3.

They did so on points difference from Staverton Park, Northampton and Overstone Park.

Northampton’s 5-2 home victory against Overstone on Sunday meant that none of the four teams in this section managed to win an away contest.

Therefore, on the back of three 6-1 victories on their home turf, Wellingborough finished top as they joined the other Group winners Whittlebury Park, Northants County and Elton Furze in the last four.

The Open

County professional Gary Boyd’s hopes of a high finish in the Open Championships were blown off course as he suffered in the wet and windy conditions at St. Andrews.

Making his first appearance in a major for four years, Boyd looked in good shape after 12 holes of his opening round as he sat at one-under-par.

But it all went badly wrong over the closing stretch as he carded three bogeys, plus a triple bogey on the 16th hole, to come in with a score of 77.

Drawn to play in the last group on the second day, the rain and wind made scoring conditions virtually impossible as back-to-back double bogeys on the eighth and ninth holes ended any hopes of making the cut.

Unfortunately for Boyd, who has excelled on the Challenge Tour this season, a number of weather postponements meant he needed to come back on Saturday to complete his second round as he finished with an 80.

Shires Junior Golf Tour

Matt Goode was in magnificent form in the ninth round of the Shires Junior Golf Tour at Glen Gorse in Leicestershire as he smashed a winning score of 47 points on Sunday.

The 17-year-old from Priors Hall finished 11 points clear of Stephen Hughes in the Silver Division, with Dev Popat in third spot on 35.

Northants County’s Katie Amos led the way in the Bronze Division as she finished one ahead of club-mate Jack Peters after shooting 44 points.

Forty two points was the best score in the top division as Peterborough Milton’s Ben Chance beat Jason McGuinness (Kingsthorpe) by two, with Oliver Saunders in third on 37.

In the nine-hole competition, where four-year-old Booby Moore attracted a lot of attention for his ball striking, Dillon Basi (The Bedford) was successful by a single point from Conor Tallentire.

With golfers up to 21 years of age allowed to play, the next Shires Junior Golf Tour event takes place on Monday, July 27 at Peterborough Milton. Anyone interested, needs to contact Paul Bull on 07824 666480 or email paul@shiresjuniorgolftour.co.uk.

Northampton

Lewis White made it three victories on the spin in the Club Championships, and six in total, as he recorded a four-stroke success over two rounds.

After sitting joint first with his brother Sam after an opening 72, the reigning champion held his nerve in the second round as he carded another 72 to finish ahead of Dominic Jessup.

Third-placed Colin Mackenzie had the consolation of winning the net prize as the five-handicapper’s net total of 140 was one better than Dave Goldman.

Collingtree

Daniel Messom became club champion for the first time as he withstood the awful weather conditions to beat Aidan Rosling on the first extra hole of a play-off.

After finishing tied for first place with Rosling on 152 after 36 holes, Messom held his nerve in torrential rain to clinch the victory on the iconic 18th hole.

Rosling also had to settle for second spot in the net competition as he finishing two strokes behind his brother Conor, who posted a net total of 140.

Whittlebury

Christian Williams was a model of consistency on the final day in the Club Championships as he strolled to an eight-stroke victory from Paul Booth.

Although James Coveney led by three following an opening 75, he dropped out of contention as Williams carded one birdie and just three bogeys in a second round 74 to lift the Catlow Cup.

The net competition was a lot tighter as Nick Whitehead collected The Forrest Putter after he edged out Adam Cook (both 142). Adam Sales and Jason Robinson finished just one shot off the lead.

Michael Lally clinched the Wainwright Cup as the high-handicapper’s net score of 110 over 27 holes was three better than Ronald Self could shoot. Nicholas Wheeler, who compiled the leading gross score of 143, finished third.

Farthingstone

Paul Hodgkiss won the Club Championships title for the second time after beating Ian Donald in a sudden death play-off.

With both players finishing a single shot clear of Richard Marsh on 158 over 36 holes, Hodgkiss clinched the victory on the second extra hole.

The net competition went to Ian Bell as a brilliant second round of net 67 lifted him one ahead of Anthony Marriott.

Cherwell Edge

Stephen King fired an astonishing eight-under-par gross round of 62 to lift the Scratch Cup. King bagged six consecutive birdies from 
the 10th hole as he triumphed by 11 strokes from Luis Witherall.

Brampton Heath

Forty six points was a magnificent winning score in the Ladies Midsummer Major as Sylvia Inglis saw five shots come off her 35 handicap. Jean Pickering and Susan Hancock were second and third respectively with 38 apiece.

Daventry

Forty two points was the best tally in the third Summer Stableford competition as Len Newell secured top spot by three from Les Sadler, with Jason Liddington and Stephen Wyatt just one further back.

Cold Ashby

Countback was needed in the Ladies July Medal as Sally Hill and Ruth Sleigh carded the joint-best round of net 67. Hill gained the verdict.

Jim Burberry was successful in the July Midweek Medal after posting a round of net 70, while Sally Lawrenson won the Ladies Thursday Stableford with a nine-hole score of 19 points.

Kingsthorpe

Nigel Welford, Barry Crowl and Mike Collins combined perfectly with in-form Scott Dickens in the Passmore Cup as they shot the leading score of net 54.

Vice-captain Paul Croxford, Mark Todkill, Steve Rodger and Dan Letts (54.7) were runners-up ahead of the quartet of Gavin Hitchcock, Lee Hitchcock, Max Armstrong and Robin Adams (55).

Overstone Park

Forty-seven points was a brilliant winning score in the Ladies July Stableford as Julie Stapleton triumphed by six from Sarah Parry.

Stapleton, whose handicap was cut from 33 to 28 as a result, was devastating on the par three’s as she birdied the second and 13th holes.

Staverton

Two excellent scores grabbed the respective plaudits for Jeanette Patrick and Jackie Strangwood in the most recent ladies competitions.

Patrick fired a brilliant net 65 to win the Ladies July Medal/Medal Cup by five strokes from Tracy Lane, while Strangwood led the way in the 16th week of the Ladies Tuesday Night Stableford with 21 points.

Delapre

Alan Picketts completed a gross and net double in the July Medal as the 12-handicapper compiled a round of net 67 to finish three ahead of runner-up Anthony Vella.