Champion Atkinson misses out on the double by a single stroke

Paul Atkinson (left) and Jamie Stone (right) with club Vice Captain Jeremy Taylor and their trophies.
Paul Atkinson (left) and Jamie Stone (right) with club Vice Captain Jeremy Taylor and their trophies.

Reigning Leighton Buzzard golf club champion Paul Atkinson retained his title on sun-blessed Sunday, but missed out on completing a “double double” by a single shot.

Royal Mail project manager Paul was defending both his championship and handicap trophies won last year against a 117-strong field.

And the 50-year-old Lincolnshire born golfer, who plays off a handicap of five, completed two rounds of the Plantation Road course in a gross 147 shots, six less than his trophy-winning performance a year ago.

But despite keeping a double bogey off his card, Paul’s nett 137 resulted in him missing out on retaining the Handicap Cup after golf shop sales advisor Jamie Stone, who plays off a handicap of seven, carded nett rounds of 67 and 69 for a 136 total to reclaim the trophy he won three years ago.

“It was disappointing not to win the two titles for a second time, but Jamie is a good golfer and deserved his win” said Paul after collecting his trophy from club Vice Captain Jeremy Taylor.

Championship runner-up was four handicapper Tim Martin with total of 149, with Stone on 150, Stuart McLeod, Gregory White, and Eddie Stephenson all on 152, one clear of Andrew Ashall.

Former Vandyke student Jamie carded a seven on the par four 17th but had enough left in the tank to finish four clear of Handicap trophy runner-up Stuart McLeod, who beat Brandon Sanders and Tom Mitchell on countback after both finished with rounds totalling 140.

The best gross score on Saturday’s storm-hit first round was the 73 carded by Ben Proud, with Dan Latimer’s 66 the best nett score. Greg Driscoll’s 76 earned him Sunday’s best gross prize, with Lewis Scott taking the best nett score award with a 69.

Leighton duo Clark and Debbie Pollard-Barns beat teams from Aylesbury Vale, Tilsworth, Aspley Guise, The Bedford and Rugby to reach the last 64 out of 1,200 starting teams in the Daily Mail national foursomes, but lost out for a place in the last 32, narrowly losing at Chigwell after giving 11 shots to their rivals playing on their home course.

Club seniors and ladies joined forces to share the spoils 3-3 with the juniors for the Kingston Trophy. Ben Proud and Shin Bateman, Andres Valentine and Olivia Campbell, and Edward and George Stephenson won for the juniors while Denis Leitch and Terry Wright, David Sweetnam and Barbara Rickard and Chris Figg and Avril Simpson won for the Seniors and Ladies with Paul Johnson and Gill Ladd halving their match against George Wooster and Brandon Sanders.

Leighton’s inter-club team celebrated a 3-2 victory over Millbrook, with Graham Freer and Tony Simpson, Chris Yirrell and Andrew McDonald, and Adrian Stephenson and Simon Enright returning winning cards and 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 with wins by Avril Simpson, Patti Marriott, Christine Rimmer, Beryl Wood and Barbara Rickard, having beaten Aspley Guise by the same score, while the Mixed team has beaten Bedford 5-4, Aspley Guise 9-2 and Whipsnade 5-3, losing only to John ‘O Gaunt.