GOLF: Overstone Park’s Freeman claims Seniors’ county title glory

Alan Freeman is the County Seniors champion
Alan Freeman is the County Seniors champion

Alan Freeman (Overstone) was crowned Seniors County champion by two strokes from Gary Hardy (Kingsthorpe) and George Hiams (Northampton) with a round of 74 at Northampton GC.

Home club member Hiams carded a net 66 to secure the President’s Trophy by three from Simon Langley (Whittlebury). County president Roger Butler (Wellingborough), Grahame Castle (Northampton) and Richard Cole (Peterborough Milton) picked up age group prizes.

Cole was part of the Milton side that won the gross team competition, while the net team prize went to Northants County.

Open Championship

NORTHANTS have two professionals taking part in the Open Championship this week as Paul Broadhurst and Kieran Thomas ply their trade at Royal Birkdale GC in Lancashire.

Broadhurst (Northants County) will be playing in the tournament after the former Ryder Cup player qualified with victory in the Seniors Open at Carnoustie last year.

Brampton Heath pro Thomas will be involved in the event as he provides coaching sessions for fans throughout the practice days and the main competition.

US Women’s Open

Leading Northamptonshire professionals Charley Hull and Meghan MacLaren will take the positives from competing in the US Women’s Open at the Trump National in New Jersey.

Kettering’s Hull, who has suffered with a wrist injury this year, regained some consistency with scores of 70 and 72 on the opening two days before finishing with back-to-back 73s to finish tied 21st.

Although MacLaren’s major debut ended with a missed cut after scores of 85 and 81, the Wellingborough pro will have learned a lot about what is required to compete at the very highest level.

Scratch League

Cold Ashby secured their first victory of the year as they held off a strong Rushden fightback to record a 5-3 home success in division two.

Big wins from Kevin Basson and James Lovett, and a narrow victory for Jim Burberry, in the opening three games sent the hosts on their way, before Jack Hall and Graham Bott wrapped it up.

British Junior Golf Tour

Ashleigh Critchley (Kettering), Leah Ribano (Northampton) and Tiger Adams (Wellingborough) will look to build on the experience of playing in the 2017 IMG Academy Junior World Championships in San Diego.

After qualifying for the event through British Junior Golf Tour, Critchley and Ribano competed in the Girls 9-10 and 11-12 Age Groups respectively, while Adams was in the oldest Boys category.

English Schools Team Championship

Northampton School for Boys had to settle for third in the English Schools Team Championship after missing out on countback at Woodhall Spa GC.

Matt Green, who won the Tom Ward Cup for the best individual score, combined with Daniel Blackmore and Henry Edwards to shoot the joint-leading mark of 74 points. Nottinghamshire’s Ashfield School won with Thomas Telford School in Shropshire in second.

Ladies Scratch League

Whittlebury Park and Wellingborough will meet in a potential head-to-head title decider next month after they recorded whitewash wins against Northants County and Overstone respectively at Northampton GC.

Natasha Ainsley-Thomas, who goes into the English Ladies Amateur Open at Lindrick this month, and Christina Hancock secured the Whittlebury win.

Wellingborough showed their power against Overstone as Carol Gibbs (8&6), Amanda Rawson (5&4) and Ellie Darnell (3&2) bagged the points.

Ladies Intermediate League

Overstone Park are the only team with three wins this season after adding another 2-1 success against Peterborough Milton at Silverstone GC.

Baylie Pyke won the opening tie by taking the 18th hole, while Gill Osborne confirmed the victory with a 2&1 success.

Handicap League Group A

brampton Heath took a giant stride towards qualifying for the Handicap League semi-finals with a brilliant 9-4 victory at Rushden in Group A.

Despite losing the opening tie by four holes and halving games two and six, Brampton seized control of the Group with three important wins in the remaining games.

Joe Witty and Elliott Metcalfe edged a tight contest, Lee Bellham and Nigel Packer strolled to a six-hole victory, before Ben Morris and Keith Thompson ended any Rushden hopes by taking their game by two.

Although Hellidon Lakes have been in good form again this season, Brampton will pip the defending champions if they beat Staverton in their last home match.

Group B

Cold Ashby maintained their perfect start to the year as they crushed Daventry 23-3 at home to make it four wins out of four.

Despite losing the opening game by three holes, Ashby were never in any serious danger as they recorded five wins - Liam Askew and Andy Morgan impressing most with a seven-hole success.

Farthingstone remain level with Cold Ashby, having played two matches more, after defeating Kingsthorpe 11-5 at home.

Group C

Convincing wins from Darren Buchan and Trevor Shiells (five holes) and Jim Collins and Pete Dee (four holes) in the opening ties sent Priors Hall on their way to a 13-0 home success against Peterborough Milton.

After a narrow win at Milton earlier in the season, the Corby club need another away success at rivals and leaders Kettering in their next outing to have any chance of making the semi-finals.

Group D

A couple of six-hole victories in the last two games made all the difference for Cherwell Edge in their home match with Northampton as they came through 18-6.

Collingtree Park still remain in pole position with five wins from their six matches.