The Seniors' Order of Merit came to a conclusion at a very windy Royal North Devon Golf Club on Wednesday, 4th September with the Seniors' Stableford Championship. Four trophies were being contested and the number of entrants was, to be honest, a little disappointing but that didn’t stop the day being hotly contested.
The 20mph+ wind blowing across from the WNW, probably the toughest wind for the course, made the club review from which tees the tournament should be played. The sensible decision was taken to play from yellow tees, which at RND is still 6400 yards. The competition turned out to be Reductions Only for handicap purposes; it really was tough.
The tournament is all about handicap prizes, and the Championship Veteran’s Trophy was won by Saunton’s John Deacon (13) with a score of 36, built on an excellent back 9 of 20 points, played in 4-over par. That was just a single point ahead of Ilfracombe’s Ian Neale (12). These two were the only ones to score inside their handicap buffer zone.
Teignmouth’s Mark Haskell (5) claimed 3rd place on 33, ahead of Steven Betteridge (Saunton, 12) on countback, whilst East Devon’s Steven Morton (13) had the best back 9 of those on 31 to take the 5th place voucher.
The best score from a golfer aged over 65 came from Exeter Vice-Captain Rick Pillow (5) with 29.
There was also a team prize based on the best 3-score aggregate for any club. With the low overall entry only 5 clubs were represented with 7 teams contesting, but the Saunton team of Paul Vicary, Steven Betteridge and Alan Payne scored 93 to beat Ilfracombe’s Paul Richard, Ian Neale and Simon Calvert by a single point.
The Scratch Bert Hudson Cup went to Paul Vicary (Saunton, 1) with 32 points, just beating first man out Mark Evans (RND, 2) by a point. Warren’s Tim Aggett (0) was third with 29.
The event was also the culmination of the Seniors' Orders of Merit. There was no change at the top of the Handicap OOM as none of the top 3 featured in the points scoring. Rick Pillow retains his 10-point lead over Exeter club-mate John Fairman (13) with Teign Valley’s Steve Allen (6) in a highly commendable 3rd place.
In the Scratch, Tim Aggett extended his lead over Richard Ward (Dainton Park) to a final 12 points, Tim’s 5 scoring events a top place and 4 thirds for 54 OOM points. Rick Pillow remained in third despite not scoring in the last event, ahead of Paul Newcombe (East Devon) and County Senior Captain Colin Papworth (Teignmouth)
The top players in each Order of Merit will be invited to the end of season Presentation Day event at Bovey Castle Golf Club on 1st October 2019.