Our annual Gents Invitational was again a full-house event with 48 teams shoe-horned onto the course for an afternoon bang-start and for the first time generously supported by club member Derek Howard of St James Place Wealth Management.
The format of 4BBB suited the relaxed atmosphere that the day is intended to foster and allowed a gentle ease-in after a liquid lunch. With Derek providing the bulk of the prize table thoughts soon turned to just how many points were available for those whose game could rise to the challenge. Competition was keen with prizes available for both those with official competitive handicaps and those whose golf is restricted to social and occasional and for whom golf is a non-competitive pastime.
Clear winner and making a very welcome and popular return to golf after a period of time away for personal health reasons was past captain Phil Harris and his guest, former WWGC member (and all that local knowledge!) Tom Vence Gunstone. Phil and Tom (43pts) edged out Dharma Gurung and partner Tek Rai and Tony Lanfear with A Groves who both scored 42pts apiece to take 2nd and 3rd places.
In the non-competitive class Rob Penny and partner Kev White (43pts) saw off the challenge of Mike and Matt Jones (38pts) to take the spoils.
Spot prizes were awarded for longest drives, nearest the pin and nearest the pin in 2 on 6 holes:
Longest Drive on 2: D Johnson (Westbury) Longest Drive on 12: Matt Jones (Westbury) Nearest Pin on 4: Phil Moody (Mendip) 118 Nearest Pin on 16: Pete Saunders (Cumberwell) - 78 Nearest Pin in 2 on 8: Chin Thapa (Brickhampton Court) Nearest Pin in 2 on 18: Paul Trim (WWGC) - 69
With only four 2s achieved from the 48 pairings the pot was a very attractive dozen and half ProV1s per pair:
Steve Few & R Pearce (Wincanton)
Johnny Rowe & Ben Dixey (Leckford)
Andy Sutton & J Williamson (North Wilts)
Kevin Murphy & N McWilliams (North Oxford)
1st Phil Harris & Tom Vence Gunstone (Westbury) 43pts
2nd Dharma Gurung & Tek Rai (Chippenham) 42pts
3rd Tony Lanfear & A Groves (Salisbury & S Wilts) 42pts
4th Chris Lindop & D Bratt (Farrington Park) 41pts
5th Bill Powell & Wayne Black (Mendip) 41pts
1st Rob Penny & Kev White (no club) - 43pts
2nd Mike Jones & Matt Jones (Westbury) 38pts
Photo: (l to r) Tom Vence Gunstone, Derek Howard, Phil Harris and Steve Few.