Younger Whitby golfers make their mark

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THIS week has seen some of the younger members making their mark in the competitions at Whitby Golf Club with some great scores as the course starts to dry out.

Craig Thompson produced a tremendous nett 60 in the Midweek Medal on Wednesday, beating Damon Craig into second place despite his score of 64.

Both received handicap reductions in recognition of their excellent play.

Sam Russell, Mike Coates and Richard Marshall had 68 with Paul Mendelsohn, Paul VEntress and Martin Shackleton on 69.

Bill Estill had 70 and Bob Scott 71.

Sam Wiggins won Division One of the re-arranged July Medal with a nett 65, one ahead of Mike Coates on 66.

James Jewell and Dave Kirk had 68, with Alastair Lyth, Colin Upton and Bob Scott on 69.

Richard Appleton had the best score in Division Two with 68, one better than Martin Regan. Clive Lyth had 70, Jimmy Witt 71 and Gary Sanderson and Brian Grange 74. The leading 16 gross scores qualify to contest the Jim Cooke matchplay - details later.

On Sunday, the competition was a Fourball Betterball Medal with a shotgun start. This allowed the competitors to finish their game in time to watch the final round’s play at Royal Lytham & St Annes in the Open Championship.

Three pairs tied for the two prizes on a score of 63, with Steve Purvis and Billy Hardy having the best back nine to win.

Chris and Jason Halley took second place over the last three holes from Andy Lawler and John Littleton. Mel Purvis and Graham Robinson were fourth with 64 and both Kieran Noble and Scott Major and Mike Coates with Mark Greasby had 65.

In the ladies’ section Kath Cooling won the Pyman Cup with 73, from Jean Jefferson, Sue Wessel and Karen Fellows on 76.

Karen Marshall had 78 and Sandra Bastiman 79. The July Par was won by Sue Wessel with 4 down against the card, closely followed by Karen Fellows on 5 down, Jean Jefferson on 6 down, Susie Sykes 7 down, and both Janet Wightman and Jean Owens on 9 down.

This Saturday (28 July) sees Men’s Invitation Day with the tee reserved between 8.45am and 2.15pm. The Preston Cup takes place for the adults on Sunday 29th while the juniors play for the Colonel Henry Trophies.

The August Midweek Medal is on Wednesday 1 August. The ladies section has a reciprocal visit with Scarthingwell GC on Tuesday 31 July and the Dorothy Walker Cancer Spoons competition is on Thursday 2 August.

Alan Atkinson won £100 in the 200 Club draw.

Please note there will be no junior coaching for the next three Sundays. The coaching will resume on Sunday 19 August.

Tony’s comment: What a dramatic Open Championship! Four holes to play with a lead of four should have been a walk in the park for hugely-talented Australian Adam Scott - how I bet he wishes he could have that hour over again!

All credit to Ernie Els for a great last round, particularly playing Lytham’s ferociously-difficult back nine in four under par, but you have to feel for Scott.

Sitting in front of the television it is very easy to be critical, but none of us have ever been in that situation, feeling what was going through the players’ minds.

I have often written about ‘staying in the moment’ and focussing on one shot at a time, but it is so hard at a time like that.

Add in the wind and the course drying out a little and the sleeping giant of the first three days started to show its teeth. Choices are critical; we hear a lot about club choice taking away some of the risks, but there are times when it can also limit your ability to challenge.

Did Tiger Woods stay cautious too long? One thing’s for certain, this Open will be the topic of conversation in golf club bars around the country for quite a while.