Count Back was the order of the day at the Worplesdon fixture with both the winner of the main trophy and the Wooden spoon being decided this way.It was the closest finish ever to a Northcliffe golf day, with the top five finishers all having to be separated on count back.Visibility may have been at a minimum with the early morning fog taking time to clear, but it didn’t stop the “Famous Five” of Clive Heard, Mike Wall, Gary Green, Mike Newell and Keith Cottington from seeing clearly enough to all score 34 points.
The course, which wanders through wooded heathland and is just like a mix of Walton Heath and The Berkshire, was in great condition despite the recent heavy rain and the greens were as tricky as ever.

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Society officials Barry Theobald and Ian McGowan who were in charge of checking the score-cards took considerable mathematical skill to work out the count back scoring system to separate the winners with Clive from A&N finance just beating Mike from Evenbase. Then came Gary and Mike from Jobsite with Keith Cottington from Harmsworth Printing back in 5th place.

As a single figure 8 handicapper and the main trophy winner, Clive was cut one shot under the Society’s handicapping rules with runner-up Mike, who played of 13, also cut one shot to 12.

The other three players who all scored the same points were not penalised on handicap although this will be reviewed by the Society’s handicap committee at their next meeting.

Secretary Garth Burden said that it had never happened before in his time with the Society that five players all scored the same points and needed to be separated on count back.

Clive was presented with the Tom Marlowe Trophy by Vice-Captain Graeme Thomson who thanked the Club for both the great condition of the course and the wonderful catering.

The Tom Marlowe Challenge Cup is one of the Society’s oldest trophies dating back to the early 1920’s and was presented to the Society to mark the Daily Mail’s longest serving Editor, Tom Marlowe, who was editor for 27 years from 1899-1926.

The infamous Wooden Spoon was won by new member from Evenbase, Graham Potts, but again this was only decided on count back!

As so often happens, Clive didn’t feel confident enough to back himself in the fund raising Back the Winner contest but retired members Alan Wells and Des Sowerby decided he was worth selecting and collected £50 each with £60 going into the Society’s funds.

There were three players scoring 2’s and John Morgan, Rob Thomas and John Stanton all won £15 each with £15 raised for the Funds.

Champagne for Nearest the Pin on the signature 10th hole was won by Rob Thomas and by John Stanton’s guest, James Selby, on the 4th hole.

The day also decided the top four places in the final qualifying fixture for the Order of Merit and Worplesdon winner Clive now joins Mike Wall, Rob Thomas and Stuart Passmore in the play-off for the Society’s “Golfer of the Year” award.

There was also the semi-final match played between former Mail on Sunday executive Phil Barber and Secretary Garth with Phil just winning on the 19th and he now plays Johan Fourie from A&N finance in the final.

Secretary Garth Burden said despite the early fog he was delighted that the day had been so successful with 31 playing and that he planned to make it a regular end of season fixture. He announced that the final golf fixture of the year, the Christmas Scramble at The Berkshire on November 26, was rapidly filling up and that next year’s fixture list was the best that he could remember. The 2013 season starts next March with the Society’s first visit to West Hill, the neighbouring club to Worplesdon.

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