Durham father and son John and Rob King snatched victory on countback in the PING Family Fourball Betterball – and claimed their first win together in 27 years of playing golf.
They scored 48 points on the Thonock Park course at PING’s Gainsborough Golf Club in Lincolnshire, pipping Yorkshire father and son, Robert and Lewis Hunt, by virtue of their better back nine.
The clincher was Rob’s fifth birdie of the day, which he holed from about 30ft on the 18th and he said: “We are really over the moon, we have never won anything playing together.”
The popular competition – which is run by England Golf – was played for the first time last year and the Kings were third. Then it was their turn to lose out on countback when they just missed second place.
The pair, from Eaglescliffe Golf Club, took up golf together 27 years ago after Rob had a knee operation and had to give up football and cricket. Back then they played together a lot, but over the years they’ve developed their own golfing circles so they jumped at the chance to have a competitive outing.
“I liked the family theme of this competition and I wanted to come and play with my dad,” said Rob, who is an 11-handicapper. John plays off 18, at the age of 75, and manages to fit in three to four rounds a week.
Despite missing out on the top prize, Lewis Hunt, 16, had the compensation of recording the best score of his career to date. He was seven-under par on his own ball, with five birdies and a chip-in eagle, but Robert also played his part in the score.
“Dad was backing me up,” said Lewis, who started with two consecutive birdies.
He took up golf when he was 11, encouraged by his dad, and now plays off three and is in the Yorkshire boys’ B squad. Father and son (Burstwick) often practice together but it’s at least three years since they played together in competition – so Robert grabbed the chance to enter this tournament.
“We’ve really enjoyed it, it’s been good,” said the 12-handicapper. “It gets people together, you get to meet new people and it’s just been fun.”
More countbacks were required to separate the next three groups who all tied on 45 points. Third place went to another father and son combination, David and Darrel Edwards of Stafford Castle, who love family golf. “My dad introduced me to golf and to our golf club 29 years ago and he was president when I was captain in 2011,” said Darrel.
Fourth were Rupert Pilgrim and his 12-year-old daughter Jess (Harewood Downs/Harewood Artisans, Buckinghamshire). Rupert holed a very important putt on 18 for their total, but he insisted: “I probably scored on four holes, Jess was stunning.” She’s certainly on great form having cut her handicap by four to 15 over the last two weeks.
Fifth place went to Yorkshire’s Jenny Davies and her daughter, Jo, (Bondhay) who were in the first group out on the course. They were among five pairs from Bondhay who entered the competition. “We’re a very family oriented club,” said Jenny, who won England Golf’s 2017 Volunteer of the Year Award.
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