Leighton Buzzard Golf Club Golf Director
It's a cliche but the Masters does not start until the back nine holes on Sunday and that is exactly what happened.
I was struggling to rationalise that Spieth was going to win because he was hitting the ball everywhere. Short game can only make up for so much for so long and Spieth's putting was outstanding but it could not make up for him hitting it in the bunker on the 10th and hitting his drive in the trees on the 11th. So the five shot lead was reduced by four shots because Willett had made two birdies which was always on the cards. Standing on the 12th knowing he was hitting it so poorly and knowing that his bad shot was leaking right he put a poor swing on the tee shot. Now he knows he is in trouble because he knows the lead he had from start to finish was gone. I empathise with Spieth as I know exactly how he feels and I am sure you do as well. Then he hit a shot that no one expects a professional golfer to hit, but they do because they are all human beings and not robots. Human beings make mistakes and will continue to make them forever more. Spieth's head, for a brief moment was gone. But something interesting happened on the 13th tee. He ripped it down the middle and played the 13th hole very well. He got his composure back which was outstanding. Unfortunately the swing problems returned on the 14th. This is why I could not believe he would win. His game was just so poor.
To regain your composure it is important you focus on keeping your breathing smooth and calm. This will help calm you down and reduce the tendency to panic. It is a difficult skill to learn because in the heat of battle most people forget what to do. One man that didn't forget was Danny Willett, with his game firing on all cylinders he remained calm and composed. He used all of the mind game techniques he knows to get him through. I have been fortunate enough to learn from Willett's sports psychologist and he is brilliant. Willett used the mind game techniques on the 18th tee where the crowd were disrupting him. He walked away from the ball a few times, then eventually checked his yardage book, chatted to his caddie, went through his routine and hit a great shot. Moral of the story is if you are disrupted start again and stick to your routine. I have to say that Willett was superb and I hope he can win a few more majors.
Masters sweepstake winners who have shop vouchers waiting for them are: 1st John Latimer £60, 2nd Mike Smith £45, 3rd Nigel Chapman £30, =4th Scott Douglas £11, =4th Steve Gibbs £11 and =4th Mark Hammond £11.
Low round winners all receiving a £5 voucher in the shop. Round 1, Mike Smith, round 2, Tim Hobday, round 3, Andy Walton and round 4 Scott Douglas.
It was a knock-out of a different kind for senior Leighton golfers with seasoned campaigners Tom Davis and Keith Camp winning the Bernard Smith winter league shield.
The duo, no strangers to golfing success despite clocking up close on 150 years between them, beat younger hopefuls David Sweetnam and Victor Albertella for the title.
Seniors Captain Robbie John maintained his unbeaten start to the season with matching 6-2 inter-club victories over Aspley Guise and Aylesbury Vale. Robbie teaming up with Victor Albertella, opened Leighton's account against The Vale and was followed into the clubhouse with wins by John Bettle and Martin Broadley, David Kingham and George Darbyshire, Harry Adam and David Debell, Philip Spratt-Callaghan and David Newby, and Graham Robinson and Fred Ritchie. Terry Wright and Keith Thurtell, Paul Johnson and Dave Roberts, Andy McDonald and David Debell, Denis Leitch and Danny Nairne and Rob Tate and Kelvin Young returned winning cards against Aspley Guise, with Captain Robbie John and Ron Dickinson and John Tarbox and Mike Manning halving their matches.
Lesley Brazier and Oonagh Russell topped the tables as highest scorers in Leighton Ladies April stableford competition, with Lesley taking the Division Two award with 38 points and a better back-nine. Lila Garrod was Division Three winner with 31 points, beating Joyce Young by three shots, while Gill McDougall was Division One winner, her 33 points pipping Sandra Bellis by a shot.
Barbara Healey won the Ladies stableford qualifier with 38 points, with Lesley Bednarek, Oonagh Russell and Sandra Bellis finishing with 35 points apiece.
A better back-nine score earned John Ager the April Division One stableford title after he and ever-improving teenager Ed Stephenson both scored 40 points. Nigel Chapman was third with 39 points, with Daniel Haggerty and Mark Hammond (37pts) and Robbie John, Neale Proud, Steve Shepherd, Will Sampson, and Peter Burgoyne heading a chasing pack with 36 points. Bryan Bateman pocketed his second competition in consecutive months when he won the April stableford with 42 points, just weeks after taking the March Medal top spot for Division Two golfers. His 42 points pipped Tim Dawson by a shot, with Mark Vincent taking third place ahead of Archie Galpin on countback. Adam Cobb, John Magee and Victor Albertella all finished with 38 points.
Leading results in other recent club competitions include: 50th Anniversary Trophy: 36pts - Patti Marriott, Dave Evans, Derek Shaw; 35pts - Simon Rossiter, David Roberts; 34pts - Daniel Latimer, Angela Samuels, Stuart Goodwin, Geoff Dimmock, Derek Richards, Graham Richmond.
75th Anniversary Trophy: 39pts - Neale Proud; 38pts - Phil Coumbe, Ed Stephenson, Barry Wills, Jon Evans, Stuart McLeod; 37pts - Manny Barker; 36pts - Andrew Ashall, Phil Eddy, Richard Samuels, Andy Tizzard.
April Medal - Division One: Chris O'Mahoney, nett 66; Paul Atkinson, Daniel Haggerty and Manny Barker, nett 69; Mike Smith, nett 70; Division Two: Brandon Waddington, nett 64; John Smith, nett 69; Steven Paine, nett 70; Chris Yirrell, Tim Mitchell and Ben Hazell, nett 72.
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I hope you enjoy the rest of the articles in this week's newsletter
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