Bentley and Preston record their best rounds at Leighton

Sue Preston and Shane Bentley with Leighton club President Keith Cox
Sue Preston and Shane Bentley with Leighton club President Keith Cox

Two Leighton Buzzard golfers shot their “best ever rounds” to each win a major trophy competition within the space of three days.

Production manager Shane Bentley was firing on all pistons in the annual Presidents Putter event, carding a nett 62, his best score in 15 years as a member of the Plantation Road club.

And days later, the ever-improving Sue Preston collected the coveted Ladies Handicap Cup after nett-score rounds of 71 and 65 to win by 11 shots.

After collecting his trophy from club President Keith Cox, Shane, 58, himself President of the Leighton based Sandhouse Golf Society, was quick to praise the steadying influence of club colleague Phil Coumbe during a “blip” in his trophy winning round.

“I lost my rhythm for a hole or two, but keeping an eye of Phil helped a lot” said Shane, who had his handicap clipped by two shots after beating new recruit Stephanie Howlett by a shot, with John McSweeney third with a nett 64, a shot clear of Duncan Smith.

“There were nearest the pin prizes for John Surguy, Eddie Young and Laurie Benson and for Phillip Spratt-Callaghan for his “on the line” shot on the fifth.

The ladies winner was Sue Preston who three days later proved it was no fluke with a walkaway win in the Ladies Handicap Cup.

Having only taken up playing golf seven years ago, mum-of-four Sue and a former Croxford Cup winner, has gradually whittled-down her handicap from 36 and now plays off 27.7

Stephen Maddison won Leighton’s July Midweek medal on Wednesday with a nett 66, pipping Mike Manning on countback, with Richard Lancaster taking third place on countback from Craig Simmons after both carded nett 67s.

Leighton Seniors suffered a 6-2 reverse against Dunstable Downs, debutants John Clavey and Michael Williams both winning their matches with Patrick Quinlan and David Kingham respectively.

Leighton’s senior nine hole competition for players aged 80 or more won by Gordon Francis with a nett 36.

The Geoff Tweed putting competition was won by Peter Morgan who beat John Tarbox on countback after both took 26 putts to complete the course.

Leighton’s inter-club team beat Ellesborough 3-2 with wins by Adrian Stephenson and Mike Turnock, Tony Simpson and Shane Kimber and Anton Bednarek and Jeremy Taylor with Jon Dymock and Peter Burgoyne halving their match, before crashing 6-0 at Aspley Guise.

Stephenson and Burgoyne, Kimber and Taylor and Lee Sanders and Keith Edmunds won for Leighton in a 3-3 draw against Beds & County, while Graham Freer and Tony Simpson, Chris Yirrell and Andrew McDonald, Stephenson and Simon Enright won in a 3-2 victory over Millbrook, with Jeremy Taylor and Eddie Stephenson claiming a vital half.

Adrian Stephenson and Steve Leng, Lee Sanders and Shane Kimber, and Stuart Goodwin and Eddie Stephenson won for Leighton in a 4-2 victory over Whipsnade, with Mark Reynolds and Paul Dowdeswell and Matt Sale and Stephen Schmidt halving their matches.

Leighton Ladies beat the previously undefeated Pavenham Park 5-2 in their Shield match and by the same score against Aspley Guise, while the Mixed team has beaten Bedford 5-4, Aspley Guise 9-2 and Whipsnade 5-3, losing only to John ‘O Gaunt.

Former Leighton Captain Syd Pniewski and wife Jill won the Rushmere Ladies invitation at Aspley Guise with 41 points, beating former Leighton and two-times Woburn Captain Peter Bachelor and wife Sue on countback. Leighton Vice Captain Jeremy Taylor and partner Rosie won the guest prize, also with 41 points.