THE Examiner 2007 Overseas Golf Challenge kicked off with a sociable start as this year’s Examiner Matchplay champion Andy Mear led the quartet of Barbara Horrocks, Ian Colleton and Sandra Fenn to a comfortable victory in the Team Stableford event.
Playing off threequarters of his eight handicap, Mear netted 29 points in the Fourball, including six birdies, while the two ladies – Horrocks from Crow Nest Park and Fenn from Bingley St Ives – along with Longley Park’s Colleton also figured on the card regularly as the quartet notched up a winning total of 83 points over the beautiful picture-postcard, but long (6,007m) course full of sand and water hazards at Mijas.
Under the format of two to count over the first six holes, three on the next six and all four on the last six, it is imperative that everyone gets among the points over the closing holes, and Mear’s fourball rattled up 16 points on the 16th and 17th holes which proved to be the difference over their rivals.
The only two poor holes were the 8th and 18th, where they managed only a point on each, but elsewhere they scored steadily, being particularly strong in the middle and last section.
You could almost throw a blanket over the rest of the field with just four points covering the next five teams.
The two leading ladies, Sue Morse and Tilly Prior partnered Dave Law and Steve Whiteley into second spot with 76 – they let it slip on the 13th when, with everyone to count, they managed just a solitary point – but still claimed runners-up spot on a back nine countback from John Morse, Peter Horrocks, Maureen Craven and Olivia Douglas.
Leading scores in the Team Stableford: 1st A Mear (6), I Colleton (14), B Horrocks (13) and S Fenn (14); 2nd D Law (9), S Whiteley (10), S Morse (10), T Prior (13); 3rd J Morse (8), P Horrocks (14), M Craven (12), O Douglas (15).
THE third event of the week-long golfing holiday, based at the Confortel, in Fuengirola, was the Betterball competition, which separates the second and third round of the Challenge.
The betterball competition was also staged at Mijas, but this time on the equally attractive, but not quite as long, Los Olivos course (pictured elsewhere on the page).
And once again it was the Mear/Horrocks combo which worked to a tee!
If Mear was on fire on the outward nine – he birdied the 392metre par four second for a nett eagle and four points, it was bubby Barbara who played champagne golf on the back nine as the two players complimented each other brilliantly in a 38-point winning tally.
A birdie three at the 14th and four solid pars for Horrocks on the back nine kept the scoreboard mounting in their favour, while consecutive threes at the second, third and fourth by Mear in the morning helped them to an opening half total of 22 points, well clear of any of their rivals.
It was to be Mear and Horrocks’ second success of the week, after featuring in the opening Team Stableford, while one of their teammates, was also again in the prizes, as Sandra Fenn partnered John Morse to second place in the Betterball.
Both players claimed nett birdies on the opening half, Morse at the 392 metre second and his partner coming in at the 275 metre fourth.
But it was the 13th where Bingley St Ives player Fenn came up trumps when she holed out for a birdie three (nett eagle) and a big four pointer, while the consisent Morse carded six regulation pars and a birdie on the back nine to finish with 35 points, and second spot on countback from Tommy Ward and Peter Horrocks (husband of the winner) who had the same total but a poorer inward half.
Leading betterball scores: 1st Andrew Mear (Cleckheaton) and Barbara Horrocks (Crow Nest Park) 38; 2nd John Morse (Woodhall Hills) and Sandra Fenn (Bingley St Ives) 35; 3rd Tommy Ward (Longley Park) and Peter Horrocks (Crow Nest Park) 35.
INDIVIDUAL winner Sue Morse was also in the winning ‘Team of the Week,’ where her winning tally was joined by those of Tilly Prior, Dave Law and Steve Whiteley, giving them a grand total of 289 points, a massive 31 points clear of nearest rivals, Robin Hanson, Lee Matthews, Sue Couch and Val Lawrence.
The Examiner Overseas Golf Challenge was once again organised and booked by Paul Hanson, from Hanson Travel Worldchoice, of Pudsey, who also accompanied the holiday party, along with Examiner sports writer David Lockwood.