CIRENCESTER'S Chris Watson lifted the Eric Cole Bowl when his 40 stableford points gave him victory in the Cirencester Seniors Open.
Cirencester Golf Club
Seniors Open – Eric Cole Bowl
In all, 37 clubs were represented by 130 players and the turn-out reflected very well on the appeal of the Cirencester course to visiting golfers and the organisation on the day.
After a steady outward nine, Watson, playing off 19, excelled on the homeward half, and rolled in a 45-foot birdie putt on the par five 17th to clinch the title from Cirencester's David Golding, who also scored 40 points off a handicap of 21.
Golding had the consolation of being the winner of Division Two for the higher handicapped players, finishing ahead of Dave Cummings (Upavon) on 39 points and home player John Anderson (38).
Division One, for the lower handicapped players, was won by John Hall, who put his recent ordinary form behind him to score 39 points, despite a double bogey on the 17th.
Standing on that tee, the Eric Cole trophy looked to be his.
The 17th hole, however, was the highlight for Ian Hall of Ogbourne Downs. Playing off seven he had a birdie there and scored 38 points to get second place. Third was Cirencester's Tony Jafrate, whose 37 points was better on countback than Mervyn Randall (Feldon Valley) and Paul Stephens, who both also scored 37 points.
The winner of the trophy for the Over 75s was Cirencester's Stephano Episcopo with his commendable 37 points.
At the prize giving in a crowded clubhouse, the seniors' captain thanked the many Cirencester members who had helped to make the day a success, in particular Bob Allen, the seniors' assistant secretary.
CIRENCESTER did well to draw this away contest and could have won it.
A comfortable win for John Pugh and Andy Leith and a workmanlike win by John Morris and John Cross together with half-points from the pairings of Clive Bennett and Mike Bishop as well as Gordon Stone and John Parsons made Cirencester secure, but one narrow loss and a virtually forfeited final match gave Burford a share of the spoils.