Yorkshire golf: Captain’s new format proves big hit at Halifax West End GC

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GORDON ABERNETHY introduced a new format for Captain’s Day at Halifax West End during his year in the role, turning it into a weekend event.

The traditional playing of 36 holes in a day was replaced by a first round on Saturday with a cut seeing the top 40 and ties playing for the main prize on the Sunday afternoon.

Those who missed the cut played on Sunday morning for a plate donated by Abernethy.

Over 140 competitors took part in a competition eventually won by Steven Langhorn from Matthew Godfrey. They returned identical net scores of 65 69, with Langhorn prevailing on countback.

In round one, the early lead was shared by Nick Lee and Chris Carr on 64. They were later joined at the top by Paul Burke as the cut line fell at 73.

Tee times for round two were emailed to competitors and bright skies the next morning welcomed the first of the plate competitors.

Graham Brazier returned a net 71 to set a mark equalled by Bernard Fee, but with an inferior back nine, and so Brazier became the inaugural winner of the Captain’s Plate.

The mood around the first tee in the afternoon was more tense than for the usual monthly medal.

By 2.20pm the last group was on the course and the early lead was set by Simon Heslop, who returned a final round net 66 to set a three-under target.

It was not until the penultimate group came in that his score was beaten, initially by Godfrey, who returned a 69 to go with his first round 65 for four-under 134.

He was pushed into second place by his playing partner Langhorn, who also returned 65 69, but had a better back nine.

Langhorn’s victory perversely was partly to do with a couple of double bogeys on his outward nine on Sunday, as he explained.

“It was quite tense on the first tee, but I got off to a good start,” he said. “However, I doubled a couple on the front nine and I think that settled me down because rather than thinking about winning I just thought I had blown it, so I relaxed and enjoyed the round.

“It wasn’t until I had counted my score that someone said that I had won”.

Captain Abernethy commented: “The weekend went so well apart from the weather on Friday. Everyone has said how much they have enjoyed it and are looking forward to the same next year.

“I wanted to create a tournament-style atmosphere with the club and it exceeded what I had envisaged”.

James Dix won the prize for best gross 36-hole score (74 71).

In the first round, the best net score was Chris Carr with 64 on countback.

Bill Lomas was best veteran (55-64) on 67 and best super veteran (65+) was Douglas Greenwood with a 67.

In the second round, John R Clay had the best net score of 67, Paul Beck was the best veteran (70) and Noel Griffiths the best super veteran (73).

The ladies’ 36-hole competition was won by Mandy Holden with net scores of 75 72 for a 147 aggregate.

The best 18-hole score for either round was by Michaela McMahon with a 73.

The usual Friday competition took place, but bad weather caused the competition to be cancelled and six defiant lady members who had braved the elements were called off the course, somewhat wet but still in good spirits.