Watson enjoys flying start to the new year

Gorleston Golf Club

The New Year’s welcome respite from the wet weather enabled the course management staff to re-open the main greens and resulted in an excellent entry list for both the Men’s Midweek Stableford and the January Monthly Medal. The Stableford competition became the first official competition of 2013 with 38 points being the winning totals in both divisions. In Division One David Watson secured first place, albeit narrowly on countback from veteran Arthur Fellingham. Malcolm Lake was the victor in Division Two and a total of 71 players participated, demonstrating once again, the popularity of this midweek competition.

Perhaps an indicator of how players have missed their competitive golf in recent weeks was the fantastic turnout of 99 players for the January Medal. This compares with an entry of 77 in the corresponding fixture for 2012. With playing conditions being kind, several good scores were recorded. Leading the way in the First Division was Paul Platten with a nett 67. David Uden recorded the best nett score of the day with a 65 securing the Second Division, prize whilst Andy Ingham will no doubt enjoy a celebratory drink from his prize for victory in Division Three of an engraved club tumbler while he reflects on his continued good form.

Signs of the green shoots of a new season have also come about in the form of draws for Suffolk County competitions and also the Mail on Sunday Classic for both genders.

The Ladies’ teams will feature in the preliminary rounds of both the Stearn Trophy and Cranworth Salver. In the Stearn the ladies have the unenviable task of a cross county trip to Haverhill, whilst the Cranworth team have been drawn against Seckford Hall with the match being played at the neutral venue of Rookery Park. Fortunes however, have favoured the ladies Seniors’ Jubilee Shield team as they have been given a home draw in the first round against Bungay.

A totally new competition; the Weston Bowl has been inaugurated for 2013 in which Gorleston Ladies will initially compete in a scratch league against opponents Thorpeness, Diss, Haverhill, Rushmere and The Suffolk with matches being mutually arranged at both clubs’ convenience.

For the men, two home draws in the Hambro and Tolly Cobbold competitions against Rushmere and Beccles respectively will give the teams optimism for further progress. Less fortunate were the seniors Parks Trophy team who have to endure the long journey to Sudbury for their meeting with Newton Green, whilst the seniors Beaumont team have the luxury of a bye in the first round.

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In the Mail on Sunday Classic, the men have a repeat of last year’s third round match at home against Beccles whilst the ladies once again start their journey to glory with a bye in the opening round.