Hill wins three-hole play-off to be named Leighton’s champion

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A three-hole play-off was needed to determine Leighton Buzzard Golf Club’s 2015 champion – with 22-year-old Matt Hill adding the gloss with a shoot-out winning performance against defending champion Matt Tizzard.

The duo have been golfing rivals for years, battling for top spot as juniors and now as full members of the Plantation Road club where they have honed their skills to win County, schools and club honours.

Former handicap trophy winner and defending champion Tizzard held a one-shot advantage after a first round 74, with fellow former Vandyke student Hill clawing it back with a second-round 71, the lowest gross score of the event.

Their joint 146-totals resulted in the first championship play-off for years, with double County champion Hill reclaiming the club trophy he won in 2013 with a better score over the three-hole shoot-out.

And there was a double reason for Hill to celebrate – he’s achieved a “first” in product design after studying at Loughborough University for three years and now plans to play a little more golf before determining his career path.

In the Club championship, Colin Beesley took third place, beating David Jones on countback after both finished with scores of 154, and former champion Peter Brennan was fifth with 155.

Ben Sandham won the handicap trophy, his nett 135 after an impressive second round nett 63 giving him a five point victory margin over David Jones. Peter Brennan was third place with 141, and the every improving Ed Stephenson pipped Mark Knight four fourth on countback after both finished on 142.

Ladies Captain Debbie Pollard-Barns retained her club championship title with matching rounds of 85 to beat former champion Val Berry, with Barbara Rickard winning the handicap trophy with a nett 144, a shot clear of runner-up Jean Bendall. Angela Samuels had the best gross first round and Gill McDougall the best gross second round scores.

Richard Rogers won Leighton’s midweek stableford with an impressive 48 points which cost him a four shot handicap cut to 16.4, with James Harris runner-up with 46 points. Ernie Tillyer took third place with 43 points on countback from Phil Martin, with Adam Cobb (41), Callum Campbell and Richard Barrow (40) heading a chasing pack.

Adrian Stannard and Paul Jarman teamed up to win Leighton’s Bunny Winter millennium greensome foursomes with 42 points, with “master runners-up” David Hawkins and Paul Atkinson finishing two shots adrift. Paul Ellam and John Latimer took third place with 39pts, ahead of Jeff Wood and Ron Pearce.

Paula Cox, Oonagh Russell, Anton Bednarek and Keith Young teamed up to win Leighton’s KcKinnon trophy with a nett 66.7, with Angela Samuels, Debbie Pollard-Barns, Terry Wright and Robbie John runners-up with a score of 68.2.

Painter Alan Philpott won the Leighton Sandhouse Society match at Tadmarton Heath with 36 points, a shot clear of Paul Ellam with John Clavey third on countback from Shane Bentley and Eddie Mehew after all finished with 33pts. There were nearest the pin prizes for Keith Edmunds (2), Syd Pniewski, Phil Coumbe and Philpott, with Danny Nairne, Mehew and Rob Tate winning the team prize.d