Matchplay champions crowned

JOHN Lacey and Jade Jackson have been crowned club champions at Saddleworth Golf Club after winning the men and women’s matchplay knockouts.

And it was memorable for both players as it was their first-ever major at the Ladcastle Road club.

John, 68, a retired post office engineer, defeated Adam Slack 2&1 in the 18-hole final of The Wharmton.

“I was four holes ahead after 10, but Adam came back strongly and it was touch and go towards the end,” explained the eight-handicapper.

“There was joy and happiness at eventually winning a major as I have been a member since about 1997.”

Grasscroft-based John added his chances of winning a major have receded as he no longer plays at weekends when they are held.

“I usually play socially once a week with the seniors and vets,” said John who used to star for Saddleworth’s A team.

John, whose lowest handicap was 1.8, is no stranger to success as he was previously a member at Crompton and Royton where he won the Hall Cup, a major.

It was while John was serving in the Army with the Royal Engineers that he was introduced to golf.

An accomplished cricketer, John represented the Combined Services who had fixtures against Minor Counties along with Oxford and Cambridge Universities.

“We had a three-day match which ended after two days. We were looking for things to do on the day off and I was asked to go along with some of my team-mates for a round of golf,” he said.

John, an all-rounder, began his cricketing at Oldham Cricket Club as he was raised in Watersheddings.

He was a sporting all-rounder representing the Army as golf, cricket and squash and was also the garrison darts champion.

Jade, meanwhile, lifted the Committee Cup after her 2&1 final victory against Denise Brown for her first major victory.

“I was runner-up in the Chronicle Cup earlier this year and been the bridesmaid quite a few times, so it was nice to finally win one,” explained the 32-year-old financial planner from Greenfield.

Jade added the final was tightly contested final in which she established a two-hole lead before Denise squared the match and Jade pulled clear again.

A member for five years, Jade describes herself as relatively new to golf.

“It is my first year of proper, competitive golf. Until now I have been learning to play the game,” she said.

Jade has made great strides this year as she has reduced her handicap from 29 to 21.

It ought to be no surprise that Jade became a golfer as her grandparents, parents, siblings, husband Alex, uncles and cousins were and are players.

And father David Taylor and husband Alex almost made it a family double as they reached the final of the men’s doubles knockout when they lost to Phil Ramsker and Dave Hewitt at the third hole of sudden death after what was described as a “blockbuster” match.

Husband and wife Bryn and Maxine Parfitt formed a winning team to win The Henry Hartley, the mixed doubles.

And the women’s doubles went to Sue Knebel and Jean Dervan.

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