GOLF: Northants player Boyd qualifies to play in British Open

Collingtree Park members pose with the famous British Open trophy, the Claret Jug

Collingtree Park members pose with the famous British Open trophy, the Claret Jug

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County professional Gary Boyd has qualified to play in the Open Championship at St Andrews after clinching third place in final qualifying at Royal Cinque Ports in Kent.

Boyd, who has recorded three top five finishes on the European Challenge Tour in recent weeks, carded rounds of 67 and 70 to book a spot at the home of golf next week.

Glazerite Trophy

Wellingborough Golf Club witnessed a dramatic conclusion to the MPGA Glazerite Trophy as James Whatley won the title for the second time in four years with victory in a play-off.

In the 10th anniversary of the event, the Morley Hayes pro carded rounds of 68 and 71 to finish level with Jak Hamblett (Handsworth) and Paul Broadhurst (Northants County)

With former Ryder Cup player Broadhurst dropping out of contention on the first extra hole, Whatley needed three more holes to edge out Hamblett as he clinched victory with a birdie on the 18th hole.

Midlands Boys Championships

Callum Farr (Priors Hall) lifted the John Preston Memorial Trophy after winning the Midland Boys Amateur Championship with a 36-hole total of 139 at Burghley Park GC.

Trailing by six from first round pacesetter Tom Forster (Oundle), the county first team player found his very best in the afternoon as he fired a magnificent 67 to triumph by one.

Sam Done (Kenwick) came through to take second ahead of Forster (141), with fellow county player Ben Jones finishing in a tie for sixth place on 145.

Kingsthorpe

Guy Loveland kept his nerve over the closing stretch to win the Club Championships by six shots from Jake Croxford, Leigh Woodward and Gary Hardy.

After posting an opening 72 to sit a single stroke off the pace, Loveland overcame a sticky start to his second round before carding two birdies and a series of pars in a final round 73.

The net comp witnessed a dramatic conclusion as Paul Mayhew beat Dan Blackmore, who is 50 years younger than the senior, in a four-hole play-off after both finished one ahead of Loveland on net 134.

Collingtree

Collingtree Park welcomed a special guest at the end of last month as the Claret Jug was paraded at the club on its journey up to St Andrews in Scotland for the Open Championships next week.

There was a great turnout of club members, who all enjoyed having their pictures taken with the prestigious trophy.

In club competitions, Jon Barnell, Neil Abery, Bob Ross and Chris Griffin proved too strong for the opposition in the Sat Insurance Texas Scramble as they compiled a winning score of net 60.2.

Kevin Parfitt, who defends his club championship this weekend, was runner-up alongside Jenson Parfitt, Craig Hartwright and Paul Curtis (62.3).

Cold Ashby

The Handicap League side were successful in the Team Championships as they won a thrilling contest by one from the Scratch League outfit with 256 points.

Just four points separated the leading four teams as the Ladies and Seniors Teams finished joint-third.

In the individual comp, Sally Lawrenson bagged 10 net birdies and a gross birdie on the short 14th hole on her way to 45 points. Jon Pycraft (40) and Thomas Howarth (39) were next.

Delapre

Daniel Badharee and Chris Almand combined best in the Foursomes Medal as their score of net 70 gave them a two shot advantage from Alan Jones and Philip Twiselton.

The July Stableford was far more clear cut as James Whelan’s total of 43 points earned a hug victory from second-placed Perry French (32).

Northants County

Tom Goodman lived up to his surname in the July Midweek Medal as he fired a magnificent winning round of net 63.

Steve Brightmore, who carded a gross level par score, finished two shots back in the runners-up spot, while Laurie Roach led the second division score with a net 67.

With the event also doubling up as the Medal Winners competition, Chris Fountain’s net 69 sealed the Coker Cup.

Overstone Park

Melvyn Tyers carded a winning net 68 in the July Medal as he finished two clear of Dave Mandley.

The Ladies Medal went to Lucy Martin as a net 71 gave her a four shot cushion from Gill Hodgson and Tracy Morton.

The best net score this month came in the July Midweek Medal as Andrew MacDonald saw his handicap cut to four on the back of a net 67. Phil Gardner and Luke Barney were next on 68.

Staverton

Kip Frankson saw a shot come off his nine handicap after he won the Veterans July Medal with a net 66. Tony King (68) was runner-up by one from Paul Lee and Ian Lucas.

Hellidon Lakes

A birdie two on the 18th hole proved decisive for Peter Sadler in the July Midweek Stableford as he nudged one point ahead of Dante Serra (38).

Stuart Metcalf played the par five holes especially well in the Tigers Three Club Competition as his score of 41 points lifted him three ahead of John Pike, with Thomas Haydon a further three adrift in third.

Farthingstone

Adrian Miller beat the course by five holes to finish one ahead of Duncan Tucker and Andy Morgan.

The high-handicapper did most of his best work on the front nine as he went one better than his runners-up finish in the recent Spring Bank Holiday competition.

Brampton Heath

Nicholas Lovell completed a gross and net double in the July Midweek Medal as the 14-handicapper took the honours with a net 68.

John Faulkner (net 71) was runner-up in the net competition by two from Stephen Field, who missed out by one shot in the gross category.

Daventry

Craig Alcock stormed to victory on Captains Day as he carded 41 points to take the honours by one.

The high-handicapper dropped just five strokes over the second loop of nine holes to finish ahead of Paul Read and James 
Berry.

Whittlebury

Countback was required in the latest 9 O’Clock Club comp after three men came in with the best score of net 72 in the June Medal. Geoffrey Westgarth gained the verdict from Chris King and Paul Swain.

Liz Hargreaves meanwhile won the Ladies Summer Academy Competition with a superb score of 41 points.

Anglian League

Northants first and second teams both suffered defeats at the hands of Leicestershire in the Anglian League.

In the main fixture at Park Hill, the county never fully recovered from a slow start as they lost three of the foursomes ties, with debutantes Miles Mudge and Tom Forster grabbing the only win.

The match was quickly out of reach when the home side won two of the first three singles ties, and halving the other, before they wrapped up the win by taking the next game.

Jamie Milligan stopped the rot with a battling win down the last, while Matt Myers added a half point after being four down at the turn as Northants succumbed 9-3.

It was closer in the reverse fixture at Northants County, but unfortunately with the same result as the hosts recorded their third successive defeat as they lost by a single point.

The team looked set for a positive result at lunch as Ryan Connolly and Jon Harris won 4&3, Taylor Sargeant and Michael Farr triumphed down the last, while the other two matches were halved.

Singles points from Harris and Tom Burgh in the afternoon gave county some hope, but they couldn’t complete the job despite Michael Farr’s excellent long putt for a half in the last match.

Seniors

NORTHANTS seniors couldn’t match Warwickshire in the betterball pairs at Staverton Park as the visitors won 12-6.

Despite the county halving the morning Greensomes matches, Gary Slinn (Northampton) and David Thomson (Cold Ashby) were the only home combination to secure a win in the afternoon.

Handicap League

Group A

Home side Brampton Heath kept their hopes of a semi-final place alive by inflicting a first defeat of the competition on Collingtree with a 15-6 success.

Collingtree headed into the top of the table clash with a 100% record but were given an early taste of what was to come by a six-hole victory for Brampton pair Steve Holt and Matthew Smith in game one.

Following a brief response by the away side, Brampton compounded their advantage with a four-hole triumph by James Wiggins and Barry Kelly, a narrow win and another good victory from Gary McAlister and Ian Patton (four holes).

Collingtree will still progress into the last four if they avoid a home defeat to Silverstone next week, but any slip could allow Brampton to overtake them with a big win at Cherwell Edge.

Group B

Hellidon Lakes booked their place in the last four as they secured their sixth and seventh victories of a perfect season against Farthingstone and Delapre respectively.

The 8-2 success at closest rivals Farthingstone proved vital as they quickly opened up a 7-0 lead at the halfway stage, thanks to wins for Craig Cotterill and Paul Upfield (four holes) and Richard French and Darren Welsh (three holes).

Robin Slough and Brian Adams did manage a solitary triumph for Farthingstone but the tie was already out of sight by the time final Hellidon pairing Len Edwards and Graham Newport completed the win.

A comprehensive 19-6 home triumph for Hellidon two days later over strugglers Delapre confirmed a place in the last four.

As has been the case throughout their campaign, the home side were in dominant form from the off with the opening two games giving them a six-hole lead.

Hellidon won the fourth tie by five holes, before Kevin Lovell and Duncan Childs delivered the decisive blow with an eight-hole thrashing in the penultimate game.

Daniel Lee and Alan Jones restored some pride for Delapre winning the final game by four holes.

In the other match last weekend, Daventry secured just their second win of the competition with a strong home performance against local rivals Staverton 10-5.

Staverton had started well through a triumph for Paul Hammond and Bill Marks (four holes) and a half in game two, but Daventry dominated thereafter.

With both sides struggling near the lower end of the table, it was a morale boosting victory for the home outfit, highlighted by standout performers Kevin Tarbox and Ray Lewis (five holes).

Group C

Oundle overcame the disappointment of missing out on the semi-finals as they won a collection of tight games to record an 11-1 home victory over Rushden, who finished bottom.

With just one point separating the two sides after the opening three ties, Oundle’s Peter Wright and his partner created daylight between the sides with a six-hole victory, before the hosts wrapped up a good win by edging the last two ties.

Group D

Northants County claimed a 14-5 victory at Overstone, preserving their 100% record and securing a spot in the semi-finals in the process.

County, who have entered the competition for the first time this year, found themselves on the back foot early on after a comprehensive success for Overstone pair Lee Cross and Decklyn Cook (five holes).

The away side rallied to great effect steamrolling through the rest of the tie leaving final pair Neil Taylor and Duncan Slinn (five holes) to add emphasis to the triumph.

Scratch League

Northampton continued their strong early form in the Scratch League Division One as they held on to beat Wellingborough 4½-3½ in an outstanding home contest.

The hosts got off to a great start with Dominic Jessop and Dean Roberts both recording 4&3 victories.

Sam Waite and Chris Howes enjoyed comfortable away successes to keep the tie close, but Ross Skidmore managed to grab the vital half late on to secure a second Northampton win this year.

Division Two

Overstone recorded their third straight victory as they continued their excellent start to the campaign with a 5½-2½ success at Rushden.

Such a commanding away win looked unlikely early on when Rushden clinched two points and a half in the first three matches - Rob Price particularly impressing with a 6&5 victory.

Overstone showed their class however as they won the final five games to complete the comeback, Richard Dalton taking the plaudits for his 7&6 triumph.

Intermediate League

Kettering made an immediate statement in the new Intermediate League, where all the matches are played on neutral venues, as they completed a 5½-2½ victory against Collingtree at Wellingborough GC.

Both sides enjoyed two convincing wins apiece as points from Kettering’s Paul Smith (6&5) and Neil White (6&4) were matched by victories for Collingtree’s Robert Horton (5&4) and Liam McNeela (6&4)

Kettering held their nerve better in the close ties however as Mark Hastie, Marcel Aarts and Andy Robinson triumphed down the 18th, while team-mate Steve Ashcroft picked up a half.

With Kingsthorpe, Wellingborough, Northampton, Overstone and Cold Ashby involved in the league this season, the top four teams will progress through to the semi-finals on Sunday, September 13th.