Cirencester Golf Club

Gloucester & Somerset PGA

CIRENCESTER Golf Club’s 18 holes proved a tough challenge for the cream of the Gloucester & Somerset professionals who visited the course for the latest PGA Medal on Wednesday, writes Danny Hall.

Filton pro Giuseppe Licata was the only player to match the par of 71 which earned him a one-shot win on a difficult day at the Cotswolds course.

The weather was cold, bright and very breezy, but it was the rolled greens which more than tested both pros and members playing on the day. They were smooth but lightning-fast in places and the greenkeeping staff had set up some devilishly difficult pin positions.

Despite his recent run of excellent form, even the home club’s Ed Goodwin was able to record only a 74 for joint-seventh place, and he was not alone in ‘degreening’ with a putter in hand on the day.

However, given the unprecedented rain in January and February which has led to widespread closures and restrictions at golf clubs, the pros were thoroughly complimentary about Cirencester with Stockwood Vale Golf Academy head pro James Jukes tweeting ‘was the best condition course I have seen all winter’.

Winner Licata had to overcome a difficult start playing into the wind on the front nine and four bogeys contributed to his being two-over-par at the turn, but he carded two birdies and seven pars in a best-of-the-day back nine of 34.

Four players posted rounds of one-over-par 72 and they shared second place. Burnham & Berrow’s Shane Kaye was the first in the clubhouse on that number closely followed by Brickhampton Court’s Luke Gaskins. Isle of Wedmore’s Lee Corfield made his first appearance for a few weeks and also posted a 72 including five birdies.

Mark Plummer, who is attached to Cirencester, made up the quartet on 72 as he claimed the final share of the prize money.

Corfield therefore closed the gap at the top of the Total Triumph Order of Merit to within two points of leader and reigning champion Ed Goodwin, with Licata consolidating third spot with his win.

Seniors’ Eclectic winner Tony Scrivens

Seniors’ Section

Seniors’ Eclectic

TONY SCRIVENS has wasted little time in making an impression on the seniors’ section with his superb golf having joined Cirencester after the sudden closure of his previous course, Carswell GC in Oxfordshire, last September.

Ten-handicapper Tony cemented his burgeoning reputation as a ‘birdie-machine’ by running away with the Seniors’ Eclectic competition during the winter.

The multi-round tournament takes the player’s best score on each of the 18 holes over a maximum of 10 rounds to produce a composite ‘super round’. Our thanks to Mike Helyer for keeping up with the considerable ‘admin’ involved.

Tony, using his unusual but effective crouched putting style, rolled in a remarkable 11 birdies to record a gross 60 (nett 50).

In truth, his lead was never in much danger after he signed for five birdies on his very first round in the competition.

“I have been made to feel very welcome at the club since I joined in November,” said Tony.

“I met up with my old Carswell chums a couple of weeks back and they have all been struggling to get a game at their new clubs because of the weather. Yet I’ve not lost a single day here when I wanted to play.

“There were only a couple of guys with lower handicaps than me at Carswell and I always felt I had to live up to my handicap there. Coming to Ciren has allowed me to play with more freedom, but after this win I suppose I will be a marked man!”

Second place, with a nett score of 53, went to 20-handicapper Mike Brown.

Bob Allen, Dave Allen, Malcolm Crossley and Brian Whittaker (who posted an excellent 10 birdies) shared third place with a nett score of 54.

Eleven players in total made it into the prize fund with Danny Hall taking seventh place on a nett score of 55. He was followed home by a quartet in joint-eighth – Simon Hall, David Lowbridge, John Morris and John Parsons – all on a nett score of 56.