The third round of the Seniors Winter League was played on the Lakes course at Greetham Valley this week in surprisingly gentle conditions given the amount of rain and high winds that had battered everyone over the weekend.
Playing a stableford format over 10 rounds with the best five aggregate scores to count towards the overall winner, competition was intense with 14 players scoring 36 points or better.
In third place came current Seniors captain Peter Wood with 38 points in a round which would have been so much better if he had managed not to put his ball out of bounds on the second hole which cost him a zero score.
Second place went to John Taylor, also with 38 points, who likewise would have liked to keep his ball on the fairway on the eighth hole and avoid a zero score.
The overall winner was Ian Kelham, playing off 18, who managed to score on all holes to accumulate 39 points.
Ian’s round was a model of consistency with only two double bogeys but a pocketful of par scores.
After three rounds of play no clear leader has emerged on cumulative scores but there are a number of players who have all chalked up consistent mid to high 30 scores so competition will be intense for over the next rounds.
l In the Gents Winter Order of Merit the field is also closely bunched after three completed rounds with only 16 points separating the top 10 players.
Leading the field is Carl Causbrook with 76 points but he is closely followed by Jim Wheeler on 74 and Neil Crees on 70.
With two more rounds to follow before the halfway stage at the New Year there are opportunities to be had for all entrants.
Graham Smith, who having won the Seniors Championship earlier in the year, also won the right to choose the format to be played in the Seniors Monday competition at the end of November. Graham decided to select a Texas Scramble but with the added twist in that each player in the nominated three-ball had to have his drive selected six times and also to putt out six holes.
With hindsight this appeared to be a highly prescient selection by Graham as he and his teammates (Jim Wheeler and George Brand) easily won the competition with a net score of 63.4 after deducting their aggregate handicap allowance of 4.6.
The runners-up were Robert Birch, Dick Thirlwell and Roy Foster with 67.7 but full honours must go to the winners who scored consistently well on the Lakes course; for the front nine the winners hit five pars and four birdies for a gross score of 32 whilst on the back nine they manges seven pars and one birdie although they did mar their perfect round with a bogey on the stroke index one, sixteenth. Oakham United were knocked out of the Hinchnigbrooke Cup by Yaxley in the quarter-finals on Tuesday night.
Yaxley, who are going well in ninth in the division above UCL Division One side Oakham, won 1-0 at In2Itive Park thanks to a goal from Jack Saunders in the 55th minute.