PHILLIP Montgomery’s win in the Rawson Cup at Stamford Golf Club, his first-ever success in a major, came as a complete surprise.
“I had not been playing well since lockdown and before going out to play in the Rawson Cup relayed that to professional Mark Smith,” explained the 29-year-old project manager with Network Rail.
“Mark offered me a free 20-minute lesson to sort out why I was playing so badly, but I expect he has rescinded that!
“It was crazy how my game suddenly improved. That’s golf and why we love it.”
Phillip went out to shoot a six-under-par nett 64 from his 18-handicap to record a three-shot margin of victory.
Indeed, it would have been wider but shooting over the green and out of bounds at the 18th which saw him record a double-bogey five on the par three.
“I thought I might have blown it when that happened. The ball pitched on the green and must have taken a flyer,” he said.
Phillip, whose handicap has been cut from 18 to 15 after his victory, added his putter proved a magic wand as “everything went in” which he said was unlike him.
Golf is very much a family affair for Phillip as dad Chris, brothers Joe and Alex and uncle Chris Houfe are all members.
Phillip’s nearest challenger was Sam Hudson who was runner-up with 75-8-68 on the card from Ian Starkie (76-8-68), Trevor Hulton (89-21-68) and captain Tony Brown (89-21-68).
Incorporated in the Rawson Cup was the Gold Medal, another major, involving the winners of each medal round from the previous 12 months.
Sam Hudson claimed his first major with his score of 75-8-67.
Runner-up was Steven Moores (74-5-69) and third was David Cheadle (87-17-70). Fourth was Jon Perks (76-5-71) on the card from Ryan Jones (82-11-71).
Sam was delighted with his three-under-par nett 67 in the wet and windy conditions.
“I knew I had to play the last six holes to level par to win and was one-under-par for them,” explained the 24-year-old field service engineer who works in the medical industry.
“I birdied 15, bogeyed 16 and birdied 17th. It was just a pity the clubhouse was closed so I couldn’t have a drink to celebrate.”
Craig Peate is no stranger to the sports pages after winning the Centenary Vase, his second major in 12 months after his success in the Lowe Trophy last year.
The 35-year-old electrician from Carrbrook shot a seven-under-par nett 63 from his 14-handicap. It was the first time he had ever shot below gross 80 on the course.
But admitted he was lucky to overcome runner-up Ryan Harker (82-19-63) who lost out on the card for top spot.
“Ryan, who led for most of the day, had a 10 on his card which cost him victory,” explained Craig.
“My highlight was playing the back nine in two-over-par gross 37 which was pleasing as there was a strong wind which didn’t make it easy.”
Craig was pleased with his consistency pointing to 10 pars and a birdie two on the 10th as key to his success.
“I didn’t keep an eye on my scorecard, though I knew I was on for a good round, but not how good,” he continued.
Craig added the Centenary Vase is possibly the most coveted of the majors, the one most want to win.
Craig is only in his third year playing golf and in his second year of taking part in competitions.
Third place in the Gold Medal went to Peter Jackson (77-12-65) on the card from Stephen Finan (73-8-65) and Stephen Rawding (80-15-65).
The WL Coates Trophy, a major for the seniors, saw David McManus emerge as the clear victor with 44 points in the 18-hole Stableford.
Runner-up was Stephen Finan (41) while third place went to Kevin Brown (40).
• The women’s Lowe Trophy was won by Kimberley Mulvaney (90-17-73) from lady-captain Nikki Pimlott (113-36-77) and Marjorie Harrop (114-36-78).
Runaway victor of the June monthly medal was Judith Whitehead (95-32-63) from Lesley Green (118-45-73) and Joanne Akers (87-11-76).
The July medal went to Lesley Green (117-44-73) from Freya Moores (99=25-74) and Kathleen Barry (106-26-80).