The men at Ivinghoe Golf Club battled it out at the annual Club Championship this month – with hit-shot Brandon Black adding his name to the illustrious list of winners.
Undoubtedly the most prestigious and challenging event in the golf club’s calendar, the Club Championship is a scratch stroke play competition held over 36 holes on the same day.
Invariably the competition is keenly contested, yet history shows that only the very finest of the club’s golfers ever enjoy the honour of lifting the Championship Trophy.
Indeed, over the past 21 years alone, only five players – Mark Flitney, Russell Howson, Oly Browning, Nick Munro and Matt Culley – had previously seen their names engraved on the cup.
However, the Fantastic Five became the Super Six as Black pounced to join the elite list.
It was only two years ago that clearly talented youngster Black last triumphed in Ivinghoe’s Junior Club Championship.
Yet now, having worked intensely on honing his already fine game, he has achieved another key golfing goal to add to other recent triumphs.
The battle for the scratch competition honours in the morning round saw Black, who carded a fine gross 70, narrowly ahead of Howson who carded 73.
Howson last won the Trophy back in 2001 yet, some 13 years on, he was once again right back in the hunt.
Another stellar morning round was played by Brian Grice who also returned a gross 73 but, playing off a handicap of 14, that represented a three-under-par net 59.
Two shots further back lurked the 2013 defending Champion, Culley.
But, in the afternoon round, both Black and Howson played superb golf, improving still further on their earlier scores – with Black shooting 68 and Howson firing another fine round of 71.
That was just a shade too good for the chasing pack of Grice, Russell Sharldow and Jack Poulton, with Black enjoying a six shot-margin over Howson, and Shardlow in a very commendable third place.
In the parallel Handicap Club Championship, a delighted Paulo Lanca played magnificently throughout the day, returning a score of level par over the two rounds.
That saw him beat Howson and Black into second and third places, respectively.
The trophies were presented by the club president, Mrs Sandra Garrad; assisted by the current club captain, Mr Emilio Petrou.