Three in a row for Downs champion Shaun

Shaun Harrison, left, with Club Captain John Lynch
Shaun Harrison, left, with Club Captain John Lynch

Golfers at Eastbourne Downs played their most challenging annual event last weekend, the two-day, 36-hole Club Championship, to find the club’s finest and most consistent players.

Calm conditions on Saturday produced some sparkling rounds and low scores, but on Sunday gusting winds provided the sort of stern test that links courses are renowned for, and many members encountered trouble on the course’s more demanding holes.

Jenny Hughes, left, with Lady Captain Teresa Archer and Jenny Thomas

Jenny Hughes, left, with Lady Captain Teresa Archer and Jenny Thomas

Shaun Harrison, club champion in 2014 and 2013, emerged buffeted but unbowed to claim the gents’ scratch shield for the third year in succession, with a gross aggregate score of 151. Guy Dunstall (155) finished second and Nigel Smith (157) third.

Handicap trophies went to Noel Traynor in Division 1, with an aggregate net score of 144, Peter O’Neill in Division 2 (147) and Paul Choppy in Division 3 (148). Eastbourne Downs’ ladies also played their annual championship competition at the weekend, using the same two-day format and confronting the same challenging conditions on Sunday. Accurate course management and careful shot selection were of paramount importance.

The ladies’ Claret Jug for the best scratch performance went to Jenny Hughes, a frequent former champion, with an aggregate gross score of 178.

The Brenda Gornik Cup for the best score on handicap was won by a windswept but resilient Jenny Thomas, who carded 147 net and 181 gross, earning her second place in the scratch stakes too. Third place overall was won by Gill Olivier, with a gross aggregate score of 193.

In sunny and considerably calmer conditions later in the week, Nicky and Tony Reeves won the Jim Hewitt Salver, narrowly outstripping the rest of the field in this popular mixed four-ball better ball competition with 38 points. Second place went to Jenny and Cyril Thomas (37 pts), who just pipped Irene Hitchcock and Paul Staples (also 37 pts) to the post on the back nine.

Nicky Reeves, in storming form, bagged another trophy in the ladies’ midweek stroke play competition, winning the Killick Cup with a net score of 68, seven shots clear of second-placed Judy Milne. Jenny Hughes finished third on 77.

Eastbourne Downs’ seniors, meanwhile, staged an enjoyable Invitation Day in bright but breezy conditions, won by Trevor Harrison playing with John Gleaves (Mannings Heath), with 39 points on countback from Colin Whiteman and Trevor Larkin (Royal Eastbourne). In third place on 38 points were Cyril Thomas and Derek Head (Willingdon).

Guests thanked Mike Smith for organising the event, Seniors’ captain Steve Dennis, who presented prizes, and the club’s catering staff, for a fine buffet served after play.

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