Golf round-up: Sweet victory for Lavender in Shires Junior Golf Tour

Ben Lavender
Ben Lavender

Some stunning scores were carded in the opening Shires Junior Golf Tour event of the season as a record field of 56 boys and girls of all ages played at The Bedford Golf Club on Sunday.

Northampton member Ben Lavender’s winter practice sessions paid immediate dividends in the bronze category as he triumphed with a superb round.

Although this division was reduced from 18 to 16 holes due to fading light, Lavender still managed to card an incredible total of 42 points as he finished six ahead of Josh Loakes (Kingsthorpe).

The silver division went to Kingsthorpe’s Owen Watts as a tally of 39 points edged him one ahead of Callum Gant (Rushden) and Shires Junior Golf Tour debutante Jake Sheridan (Priors Hall).

Bedfordshire & County’s Elliott Smith (41 points) won the top section by five, while home club member Kai Williams (39) took full advantage of local knowledge as he finished ahead of Tour newcomer Jadon Pham (Kingsthorpe).

With the next competition taking place at Kibworth on March 22, for more details of how to play on Shires Junior Golf Tour, please visit


Dan Wood embraced the challenge of competing as the favourite in the NPGA Overseas Pro-Am as he secured a five shot victory on the Old and Victoria courses at Vilamoura in Portugal.

Competing against 11 other county pros, Wood compiled rounds of 71, 72 and 70, before adding a final day score of 72 to clinch victory ahead of Bryn Morris.

Third placed Jon Handyside helped Priors Hall amateurs Jason Hy, Ryan Seaman and Arun Ganatra secure the team honours as they led from start-to-finish to end on 580 points.

Brampton Heath

Alec Francis birdied all four par five holes during the Midweek March Medal as the two-handicapper clinched the gross prize by one from Dean Montgomery, whose net 68 secured the net honours.


Back-to-back birdies on the 14th and 15th holes helped Chris Malton clinch a countback victory from Lamont Montezu in the March Stableford. Both men carded 40 points to nudge one ahead of Arthur Johnson and Neil Abery.


The annual Captains vs Vice Captains team match went the way of the latter as Paul Croxford’s outfit triumphed by 12 points over the side led by club skipper Tim Smeathers.

Both the men and ladies teams meanwhile progressed through to the third round of the Mail on Sunday with 5-0 and 3-2 wins against Northants County and Overstone respectively.


Lorraine Gilder recorded back-to-back ladies competition victories as she won the gross and net categories in the March Medal and Thistle Cup.

The six-handicapper’s net 75 lifted her two ahead of Alison Irvine in the first event, before she went one shot lower in the Sunday tournament to get the better of Jean Mckenzie (76).

Overstone Park

Kevin Day was successful in the March Midweek Medal as a round of net 68 lifted the high-handicapper two clear of Lee Cross.

A few days later, Day compiled 39 points to take third in the March Yellow Tee Stableford behind Jamie Liggins (39) and John Hillier (41).

Jill Godfrey (33) was the leading lady.


A stunning burst of four gross birdies in five holes on the outward stretch sent Terry Wesley on the way to a brilliant mark of 45 points in the March Stableford.

The 18-handicapper finished three points ahead of Paul Rappo, with Geoffrey Embley clinching third prize on 40.

Cherwell Edge

Frank Parr took the honours in the March Seniors Stableford as he carded a couple of fours on the closing two holes to snatch victory.

Keith Pauling finished just one behind with 36 points, while three players were a further points off the pace.

Cold Ashby

Four gross birdies were on the winning scorecard of Paul Askew in the February Midweek Stableford as he beat Ashley Hammond (37) by three points.

Sally Lawrenson had plenty smile about after the second round of the Ladies Joker competition after carding 25 points over nine holes. Rose Dempsey finished runner-up with 23.


Frank Watts enjoyed a three point advantage from Andy Gray and Phil Carter in the Sunday Pro Shop Stableford after bagging 40 points.

Mark Norton came in with the best score of 39 points in the Pro Shop Stableford the previous day. Paul Heaps (38) clinched second spot by one from Simon Gregory.


Kip Frankson was the only player to match his handicap in the Vets March Stableford as he finished two points ahead of Martin Lane, Lawrie Worbey and Tony Pernyes.


Forty five points was a magnificent winning score in the March Medal as Michael Johnson secured a comfortable victory. Duncan Tucker and Lawrence Smith both grabbed 40 points.

Hellidon Lakes

Countback was needed in both the top two divisions of the March Medal as David Reeves (net 74) edged out Paul Upfield, while Chris Harvey (72) got the better of fellow 17-handicapper Paul Washbrook.