The Captain’s Winter Invitational – Yellow Ball Competition

What a great format Davey Boyce chose for his Captain’s Winter Invitational and an excellent turn out  ensured it was a day worth remembering. Before the shotgun start there were lots of questions about what Yellow Ball Format involved but by the end there was universal praise for the interest it created and the pleasure it provided. Thanks must also go to Ank and Pete for their input too.

With 20 bonus points to be added for retaining your yellow ball through to the end, keeping it in play was always going to be a priority, which is why cries rang out among those exiting the course and a group of players were seen with their noses in the dyke on the 18th. “Simmy, Simmy, Simmy, no, no, no!” they pleaded. For Gunger it was a repeat of playing Yellow Ball at Grange-over-Sands a few years back and for Jon Holmes, who carded 43 points himself on the day, it was one of those rare occasions when he resorts to prayer but the damage was done, on their very last hole. It may come as a consolation to them to know that they wouldn’t have won anyway but it did mean their total of 112 would put them last of the nine teams. Bill Hoyle had 46 points but could only stand and watch with Dave Clark as team mate Joel Barker sent their yellow ball into the pond beyond the 12th from the 11th fairway. For Joel it was part of an extraordinary return to golf as he hit four birdies for 19 points including an 8 pointer on the 17th in their total of 118. The draw threw up a few anomalies among which was putting husband and wife Di & Pete together with Ank playing gooseberry. The consistent Ank scored on every hole for his team and amassed 48 points towards their teams 130, putting them in seventh place. Sending a 71 year old man to start on the 5th didn’t seem to do any harm as he accumulated 48 points and dragged Captain Boycee and Robert Bell to a total of 137. Good to see Robert back on the course too.  Neil Shaw has been doing the club proud elsewhere but played third fiddle here to Vernon Edmondson and Tony Waugh, with Tony contributing 50 points to their 139 and John French was back with a bang leading Sue Driver and Helen Holmes to a tie for fourth place with their 139. Taking 3rd place were George Farquhar, Brian Dawson and Gary Turner with 142; featuring Gary’s top individual score on the day of 52 points, including 28 on the front 9. “That Ryan Carter can hit a long ball!” So said Dave Warren to all and sunder after witnessing the fact for himself; as did Peter Warren as the three put together 145 points to grab second place. But it would take a four ball to win it, posting a magnificent 156 with contributions from Richard Roberts, Geoff Freeman, Stephen Rowe and in his first ever comp Steve Milligan. A back nine of 71 points made all the difference.

So will this become the club Captain’s farewell piece as he heads to February 2nd’s AGM and a hand over to Ank? Could it become part of the fixtures? A lot of us are hoping so.

Next Natterjacks: this Saturday 29th & Sunday 30th January

This years AGM is this Wednesday, February 2nd 2022, starting 7:30pm at Millom Cricket Club

Report: Dave Ward

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