Norbury claims first major of the season at Saddleworth

MICHAEL Norbury claimed the first major of the season at Saddleworth Golf Club with victory in the Committee Cup.

It was a debut major for the 28-year-old from Dobcross who triumphed following a card play-off with ‘bridesmaid’ Gary Simpson as he had a better second round score in the 36-hole medal.

And Michael follows in the footsteps of father Peter,66, who is also a major winner at Saddleworth, though his only success came three years ago in a pairs’ competition as he and Andy Wilde won The Ladcastle.

Michael, who works in accounts, did not know if he had the right figures as he had a lengthy wait before discovering he had won.

He said: “I haven’t played in many majors so didn’t have previous experience of what might have been a winning score, even though I had a good round.

“I probably had a five-hour wait so went to the pub for a few drinks before returning.

“When Gary and I finished on the same score I also didn’t know if the card play-off was based on the scores for the first or second rounds.”

Had it been determined by first-round scores, Michael would not have triumphed.

But Michael’s second round five-under-par nett 66 edged him to the top of the leaderboard.

Michael fired a five-over-par gross 76 in the second round, his best-ever round.

“There were no big moments and I simply played steadily with 13 pars and five bogeys,” he explained.

And his success resulted in his handicap being cut to nine, the first time he has been in single figures which had been his objective at the start of the season.

Michael was a junior at Saddleworth but fell out of love with the game and only returned to playing six years ago.

“I quickly got down from 20 to 12, but I had been stuck on 10 and 11 for some time,” he added.

Michael, whose brother Rob is also a member at Saddleworth, had nett rounds of 71 and 66 for 137 while Gary returned 70 and 67 for his 137 as he lamented on again being a ‘bridesmaid’ as he finished second in the Committee Cup for a fourth time, though he has won it once.

Gary, who has won five majors, is chairman of comps and he says ironically it was his committee that changed the rules regarding card play offs.

“Don’t remind me! Our committee changed the card play off from the first to second round. Had it still been based on first round scores, I would have won,” he lamented.

In third place was Adam Pritchard with rounds of 75 and 64 for 139.

Dave Ashton’s nett 68 earned him the first-round prize while Warren Mundy’s 64 was the lowest score in the second round.

Alan Squires shot 72 for the best gross score in the first round and Ben Pullen’s 72 matched that in the second round.

Barrie Lees and Tony McNamara lifted the Cyril Taylor Trophy with a score of 64.6. Runners-up were Mike Farrimond and Ben Simpson (65) while third place went to mark Abbott and Steve Goodwin (65).

A group of 15, including professional Andy Earlam, went to Ganton Golf Club, near Scarborough, to compete for the Cooper Cup in memory the late Nigel Cooper, a former captain.

The competition, a Stableford, was won by Andy Dunster with a score of 36 points.

• Two big women’s competitions have taken place.

Kathy Scott and Janice Nicholson won the Coronation Foursomes with 36 points in the Stableford, three clear of runners-up Sue Booth and Fiona Heston.

Louise Hinchliffe lifted Mrs Clegg’s Trophy with a score of 33 points edging out runner-up Janice Nicholson on the card after she returned the same score.

Winners of the qualifier for the Daily M ail Fousomes were Tracey Rowbotham and Maxine Parfitt (71.5) who were well ahead of runners-up Anne Head and Liz Hichliffe (79.5).

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