McMurran wins Whitby Whisky Stableford

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THE run-up to Christmas sees lots of festive competitions at Whitby Golf Club, with bottles and meat vouchers as prizes.

John McMurran won the Whisky Stableford last Wednesday with 42 points on a difficult, windy day.

The other prize-winners were Dave Jewell with 37, John Carter and Les Underwood with 35 and Jimmy Witt on 33.

Dave Weatherill also had 33 but was knocked out of the prizes on the back nine.

The Turkey Stableford on Saturday was won by Mark Kerr with 42, beating Andy Smith into second over the back nine.

Ian Wiggins had 41, Peter Easton 40, Alistair Lyth, Paul Mendelsohn, Steve Ingleston and Bill Estill 38 and the final prizes were Dave Kirk, Peter C Brown and Dave Batchelor on 37. Dave Upton also had 37 but lost out on the countback.

Sunday’s Turkey Medal was won by Paul Ventress with 69, beating Dean Bennett over the back nine. Steve Ingleston and Richard Barker had 70, Steve Purvis 71 and Martin Shackleton and Bob Scott took the last prizes on 72.

Dave Weatherill lost out again over the back nine.

After the first eight rounds have been played in the Winter Stablefords, Billy Hardy leads the Best Ten Cards with 283, ahead of Mel Purvis on 270, Andy Smith on 265, Mike Rothwell on 264 and Les Spedding on 260.

In the best six cards in the Sunday Fourballs, Bob Scott leads with 388, with Simon Walker on 390, Tam McConville and Paul Ventres on 396 and Dean Bennett on 399.

Tam McConville is at the top of Division One of the eclectic with 56, with Paul Ventress, James Morrison and Michael Coates on 57.

Division Two is tied, with John Littleton, Dave Weatherill and Dave Collett on 60. Mel Purvis is just behind on 61.

Normal service resumes on Saturday (17 Dec) with a Stableford, there is a Fourball Betterball on Sunday 18 and a Whisky Stableford on Wednesday (21 Dec).

The seniors played a Texas Scramble on Thursday before adjourning to the dining room for Christmas dinner.

The team with the best nett score was Ian Harrison, Peter Davies and Andy Burbidge with 45 2/3, and the best gross was Peter Reynolds, Peter Burton and Keith Robinson with 66.

Steve Ellis won £100 in this week’s 200 Club draw.

No tip this week, just complete admiration for this season’s achievements by Luke Donald, a long-time favourite of mine.

To win the order of merit on both sides of the Atlantic without playing full time on either tour is astonishing - no wonder he is well clear of his nearest challenger as number one in the world.

The way he plays the game looks deceptively easy; hitting a majority of fairways from the tee and a lot of greens in regulation.

He doesn’t get greedy when he gets in trouble, playing the percentages and taking his medicine.

When he misses a green his short game is excellent, particularly his bunker play and his putting has been extremely sharp this year.

All in all the complete package and winning majors cannot be far away.