Duck makes history as youngest Club Champ

Thomas Duck
Thomas Duck

Thomas Duck (4), who turned 15 in March this year, recently became the youngest ever Club Champion at North Cliff Golf Club.

Even the legendary Clive Clark, who went on to make appearances in both the Walker and Ryder Cups, had to wait until he was 18 before achieving this milestone.

In the 36-hole competition for the Gibson Cup, both rounds played on the same day in some testing conditions, he carded two great gross scores of 72 and 71 to finish up leading the field by eight shots.

His first round got off to a slow start and despite carding a birdie at the third hole he was three over par after six but then hit his best form.

Four birdies and seven pars were then followed with only one bogey at the 16th to mar his progress to a level par 72.

At that stage Dave Butterfield (5) and Steve Monaghan (2) were in close contention both on 74 with James Boyer (3) not far away on 76.

When round two got underway young Duck continued serenely along while his close rivals faltered.

Five more birdies at the third, fifth, eighth, ninth and 17th, offset by only four bogeys gave Thomas a one under 71 to add to his 72 and a total of 143.

Andy Allcock (2) put in an improved performance in round two and posted a 73 to his earlier 78 for 151 to finish runner-up and Boyer took third place with 76 and 77 for 153.

The prize trophy for the aggregate net scores was also won by young Duck with scores of net 68 and 67 = 135, the club president Dave Ellard was runner-up in this division with net 71 and 73 = 144, with Mark Longman (11) back in third on net 76 & 69 = 145.

Ellard also won the Seniors Section for those aged over 55 years.

South Cliff held their Club Championship at the weekend and it turned out to be business as usual as the winner was Shaun Smith (2), who claimed the title for the 14th time.

After the morning round things were tight as both Smith and Paul Moir (5) both posted excellent scores of gross 75.

Gary Thirkell (5) and Sam Pottage (4) were also well in the hunt on 77 as was Andy Roberts on 78.

In the afternoon Moir started the better of the leaders with four pars and a birdie at the second and was leading the race.

But the experience and stamina of Smith stood him in good stead as he steadily turned the screw to post 11 pars and three birdies to finish on 73 for a total of 148.

Moir played well but three bogeys on the back nine cost him and he could only finish with another 75 for a 150 aggregate.

While the others early contenders faded, Liam Douglas made an afternoon surge to post 75 to add to his earlier 80 for 155 and third place.

So, Smith was once again the Club Champion and he also claimed the Oates Trophy for the best am gross score of 75 and the Shepherd Trophy for the best pm gross score 73, quite a haul.

Nigel Middleton (12) also claimed three trophies, the Committee Cup for the best 36 holes net score with a total of 132, the Deepdale Trophy for the best net am 67 and the Matthews Salver for the best net pm 65.

South Cliff ladies were in action during the week in their Medal 10.

Division 1: 1st Caroline Woodhouse (20) net 74, 2nd Sheila Thorpe (20) net 76, 3rd Gloria Pickering (13) net 78.

Division 2: 1st Gill Skingle (24) net 71, 2nd Clare Thompson (24) net 72, 3rd Maureen Jamieson (24) net 75.

Division 3: 1st Judy Craft (29) net 71, 2nd Gwen Dixon (31) net 74, 3rd Audrey Patterson (29) net 77.