Tough test for senior teams

Rob Stephens

Tough conditions tested the players in the second day foursomes at the senior men’s English County Championship, where the wind whipped across the links at Goswick Golf Club, Northumberland.

Players struggled with their stance on the most exposed tees as the locals explained that the morning’s crosswind was the most testing, offering little relief in the way of downwind shots. What’s more, they predict worse to come tomorrow!

But the teams battled through, with Yorkshire and Gloucestershire sharing the honours while Sussex lead Warwickshire 2-1.

Gloucestershire’s Bob Broad and Rob Stephens (pictured) snatched a half in the final game for the teams to go in to lunch on level terms. They had trailed Yorkshire’s Johnny Lawrence and Andy Whitworth by two holes with two to play but won 17 and 18 with a birdie and a par.

However, Lawrence had the distinction of the playing the most impressive shot of the morning when his second on the par five 11th finished within a foot of the hole. The eagle putt was conceded.

Earlier Yorkshire’s Jonathan Plaxton and Ian Clarke had scored a comfortable 5/3 win while Gloucestershire’s Mike Parkin and Hugh Purvis won their game 3/2. Purvis is aged 67, reckons he’s the oldest player in the field and so far has won three points from three games.

In the morning’s other match, Martin Galway and Roy Stephenson scored the first point for Sussex, getting ahead early on and staying there. They got to 2up after eight holes and halved the next seven holes before winning the 16th and the match.

The other two games were both decided over the last two holes, Sussex gained their second point from Tony Allen and Martin Tell who were never behind in their game, although their opponents got them back to all square with two holes to play. However the Sussex pair finished strongly with a pair of pars to win 2up.

The final game went Warwickshire’s way after Rob Soen and Peter Gordon won 17 and 18 to finish 2up.