Gray defies gale-force wind to win

ESSEX invader Roger Gray, of Thorndon Park, defied the gale-force wind at Waldringfield to produce a level par round of 70 which was good enough to win the pro-am on Thursday.

By Tony Garnett

ESSEX invader Roger Gray, of Thorndon Park, defied the gale-force wind at Waldringfield to produce a level par round of 70 which was good enough to win the pro-am on Thursday. He beat Tim Johnson of Woodbridge by one shot.

Six players shared third place on 73. They were Andrew Collison (Bungay), Jon Fryatt (Thorpe Hall), Mark Baker (Colchester), Robin Mann (Felixstowe Golf Range), Mitch Kierstenson (unattached) and Andy Cotton (Ufford Park).

The event was the first at Waldringfield since Alex Lucas was appointed as head professional and was well supported with 27 teams.

The prize fund was generous and the prize table for amateurs impressive thanks to sponsorship from Wilson and Titleist-Footjoy.

Danny Barton of Fynn Valley guided in the winning team with 83 Stableford points, and two from four to count off three-quarter handicap. Barton played with Nick Denny, Jamie Horsfield and Warren Goddard.

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It was good to see 14-handicap Horsfield in the prizes as he has battled back from a second serious footballing injury sustained as a player for Woodbridge Athletic. He will probably stick to golf from now on.

Mark Baker of Colchester, the captain of the Essex PGA, took second team prize with Steve Wynne, Tony Rand and Alan Sharricks. They had 82 points.

Mark Stokes of the Rayleigh Golf Range accumulated 80 points with Po Lee, David Carne and Barry Copeland.

Fourth team prize went to Tim Cooper of Newton Green with Nathan Ellis, Scott Jennings and Simon Godbold.

Jack Parkinson of Woodbridge was nearest the pin at the first and David Carne nearest the pin at the 18th. The greens and fairways were in excellent condition considering the recent weather.

Other professional scores included: 74: Danny Barton (Fynn Valley), Tim Cooper (Newton Green); 75: Scott Rusbridge (Frinton), Jason Levermore (Clacton), Tony Dobson (Stonham Barns); 76: Mark Stokes (Rayleigh Golf Range), Kelvin Vince (Rushmere); 77: Andrew Robinson (Felixstowe Ferry), Simon Harrison (Thorpeness), Rob Pritchard (Stonham Barns), Alex Lucas (Waldringfield), David Gitsham (Cretingham), Jon Markham (Stowmarket).

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