Captain John drives in at Whalley Golf Club

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ON Saturday, the new season officially got underway at Whalley, with the Captain’s Drive-In taking place.

The competition was supposed to have been played the previous week, but had to be rescheduled due to freezing temperatures and snow!

Much better conditions were evident at the weekend, with some sunshine and a dryer course which even yielded some fairway run!

Over 80 players competed.

A sensational final shot hole-in-one on the par three 18th ensured a win for Dan Rogers, who, without this, would have finished fourth! He also wins a watch and in addition won the golf club sweep.

Dan won with an 85-13-72, from Division Two winner Howard Walmsley (91-18-73), John Heap (84-10-74) and Stuart Andrews (96-20-76).

The captain of Whalley Golf Club, John Clegg, is pictured preparing to drive-in, watched by president Lorna Slinger, lady captain Wendy Green and friends and well-wishers (s).

• BLUE balls were order of the day when Clitheroe Golf Club captain Paul Wood found a window in the Arctic conditions to drive-in.

The following Spring Fourball required a card play-off to confirm victory for Andrew Walmsley and Steve Dean with 41 points.

Walmsley thought he was playing a single Stableford after the front nine, but Dean showed his mettle on the return leg with a stunning finish to put the duo on top spot.

P. Geddes and P. Le Chapois raised a few eyebrows when securing second place with the same points total, and A. Clark and C. Emmerson won a head to head with Phil Hanson and John Lord for third spot after countback on the last six with 39 points.

The influx of new members did not feature on the Leader Board after Saturday’s Marriott Medal and first CC Qualifier.

Danny Nutter headed a trio of quality golfers in Division One, and his nett 70 gave him a one-shot advantage over Gary Byrne to take second prize.

Byrne won a three card play-off with David Heesom and Graeme Edmondson with the same 71 nett.

Meanwhile, Steve Dean, the man with the early season form, settled in the clubhouse with a smug look and a nett 70 return to claim first prize from scratch man Nutter.

Chris Brennan had five pars in the last six to return a nett 67 and claim the Division Two prize with a three-shot cushion over the engaging Ian Battersby.

The highlight of Battersby’s round, a birdie 2 on the 14th and a confident finish for a nett 70.

Peter Woods took third place and Nick Brice won a three-way play-off on 73 for 4th.

Norman Entwistle had a blip around Amen Corner but a birdie 2 on the 17th put him back in the frame and he stormed in to fifth place.

Dave Hillary’s four dropped shots on the final two holes cost him a prize with the same nett score.

Sunday’s Three-Man Team Event found Mark Ashworth in recovery mode as he partnered Tim Stanley and Garry Byrne to record two birdies and 16 pars for a winning 78-point total.

The Preedys, Daniel and Dominic teamed up with Miles Wade to take second place with a creditable 76.

Lady captain Gillian Eddlestone was the only competitor in the Ladies’ 5-Club Competition to record a two, but it proved to be to late to put her on the Leader Board.

Tracy Bentley, with 35 points, took first prize as friendly rivals Fletcher and Fielding battled for the runners-up spot.

Marilyn Fletcher, with 33, finished with a two-point advantage over Michelle Fielding and Kris Baldwin settled for fourth place.

Elaine Grindrod had a comfortable five-point margin for the Division Two prize with 37 points and Carolyn Cort took second ahead of Pam Lavery on 31.

Finney, Fletcher and Fielding had to settle for the runners-up prize in the Ladies’ 9-hole Texas Scramble as they were one shot off the top team of Barbara Andrews, Diane Buttle and Janette Ranson, who carded an impressive 32.8 winning score.

• PHIL Campbell won Mytton Fold Golf Club’s ELGA Qualifying competition at the weekend.

His outstanding round of 74-6-68 gave him the win, the honour of representing his club and a handicap reduction!

Junior organiser Richard Greaves, hit the heady heights with a 98-27-71 to take second place, beating John Kwasniewski (85-14-71) on a card play-off.

With such low scores it was a surprise not to see any of the leaders sharing in the twos pot. This was shared out by Gordon Lucas and Dave Westwood (both at the ninth) while John Welch waited until the final hole before claiming his share.

Lady Captain Doreen Hammond had to delay her Drive-In due to snow, but on the re-arranged date, competitors were still greeted with sun, biting easterly winds, sleet and light snow showers.

Back in the warm 19th, Hazel Sellars was declared the winner with 34 points and Past Captain Patricia Leyland (32 points) runner-up,. Pauline White (27 points) finished third. Linda Clegg’s birdie at the ninth earned her the whole of the twos pot.

In the ladies’ March Medal, it was a win for Jean Havard with a 114-36-78 just ahead of Judith Kay (106-27-79) and Linda Clegg (103-23-80). The mad March winds had not subsided by the following Tuesday, and had been joined by snow showers, so the Tuesday element of the competition had to be cancelled, leaving Sunday’s scores to stand as the final result.

The March 9-hole stableford went ahead, and Hazel Sellars came out on top with an excellent 18 points, ahead of LC Doreen Hammond and Pauline White.