Greensomes joy for Rookery Park pair

THE Rookery Winter Greensomes took place in cold and breezy conditions, which inhibits the ball on its flight through the air.

Starting on the 16th hole, Robert Drage and Peter T Smith dropped three shots in the first four holes. Short game ace, Drage, surprised his partner by missing an 18 inch putt.

He redeemed himself with a long putt on the 15th hole and a brilliant pitch shot to set up a tap-in birdie on the 7th. Smith's 10ft putt on the 18th was also crucial in the pair's final score of 43 points, which gave them a two shot victory.

Due to injury and work it was Drage's first full round in three months and, as the short game is usually the first to suffer in a lay-off, he surprised his partner with his skill around the greens.

Although he missed some of the Turkeys over the Christmas period, his job, as a butcher, saw him selling them on a daily basis.

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Drage, an eight handicapper, packed up judo and football to concentrate on golf when he was 15 years old. He had also been a cricketer and an athlete.

Ken Sansom and Keith Shales returned a score of 44pts in the Greensomes but were disqualified for playing their first two holes off the wrong tee markers.

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There was a time when such errors were regular events. To combat this, when the winter programme began, the white markers were taken in and the yellows simply put a little further back for competitions.

Paul Lowman with Kevin Jones, the Alan Holmes and Bidwell, Mark Crowe with Chris Laws, 41pts and Mark Saunders with Brian Nichols 40pts, took the remaining prizes.

Darren Gotts has just played a shot deemed to be impossible by many golfers.

He played a 'fresh air' shot with a putter. On the 10th hole he was behind a tree and had to hit what would normally have been a pitch shot, but, having to keep the ball low, he decided to take a putter.

Although disputed by Gotts, his partner, Tony Atkinson, estimates that the putter missed the ball 'by at least six inches.' Gotts, however, was far from despondent. He believes that the putt is in illustrious company.

In the 1983 Open championship at Royal Birkdale, US Ryder Cup star, Hale Irwin, played a 'fresh air' shot when attempting a putt of just two inches and lost by a single shot.

Gotts asserts that he had far more justification for playing a 'fresh air' shot than the famous American did and that his effort should be celebrated rather bemoaned. His friends are not convinced.

David Batley

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