Scratch that one off the bucket list

Louis Michalski, Russell Howson, Matt Culley and Nicholas Munro
Louis Michalski, Russell Howson, Matt Culley and Nicholas Munro

Golfer Matt Culley achieved a personal major golfing goal last weekend in winning Ivinghoe Golf Club’s annual Scratch Club Championship.

Matt, great-grandson of the club’s founder, Reg Garrad, is already co-holder of the official course record at Ivinghoe but had never previously secured the one title he so dearly wanted to earn despite going close a number of time.

Played over 36 holes in one day, the challenge presented by the course, in already testing climatic conditions, was formidable: the pin positions on Ivinghoe’s subtly undulating greens were all fair but demanding, necessitating the most precise of approach shots allied to the most careful reading of the required ‘borrow’ on the greens.

At the culmination of what proved to be a very tight battle throughout the day, Matt finished with a gross score of 139, three shots ahead of defending champion, Nicholas Munro on 142.

Tied in third place, on 144, were Russell Shardlow and Louis Michalski, with former Club Champion, Russell Howson, in fifth place on 150.

In the parallel Handicap event, Louis Michalski, playing off 11, emerged victorious after carding a stellar five-under vs the competition scratch score in the morning round and then consolidating, in the afternoon, with another laudable round of net 65. In second place came Ryan Kirby, just three shots back, delivering a fine performance having only recently returned to form and fitness following serious knee surgery in the first quarter of the year.

And, in third place, as he was in the Scratch event, came Russell Shardlow, adding yet another great result to a season-long run of competitive success.

Competition secretary, Brian Haworth, said: “The cream invariably rises to the top in this major event and this year was no exception. Congratulations not only to Matt, but to all members who contributed so much.”