Surprise pairing win

Ferndown golfers Bob Spiller and John Ainsworth had never played together until they were paired in the Dorset PGA-Bournemouth Alliance Christmas meeting on their home course.

And they beat a field of more than 80 players to carry off the first prize and seasonal festive fare.
Military man Spiller, who still plays off a handicap of eight at the age of 75, and Ainsworth, off 13, recorded 48 points to win by one from Weymouth assistant Michael Watson and Crane Valley’s five-handicapper Steve Steele.
Ainsworth said: “We both entered as individuals and the pairing was made by the secretary. But we got on really well. Although we made a slow start and just held our own for the first five holes, we suddenly picked up a succession of birdies.”
The pair carded 23 on the front nine and 25 on the back, helped by a couple of four-pointers.
Retired major Spiller, who won the BAOR strokeplay championship in 1980, was secretary of Blackmoor Golf Club for eleven years. He captained a Hampshire county team, that included Justin Rose, to victory over Dorset at Woodhall Spa for their first English county championship triumph for 104 years in 1996.
Former Dorset secretary Maurice Hutchins, who was also playing at Ferndown, revealed that their friendship started in October 1943 when they joined the Army together on the same day.
Spiller first joined the Alliance in 1972 while posted at Mudeford. He rejoined four years ago when he moved to Bear Cross to be closer to his daughter.
Ferndown are using a composite lay-out, incorporating the main and President’s courses this winter, as an extensive drainage programme is being undertaken.
Watson, the former Dorset amateur star, was in remarkable form. He shot nine-under-par 63 – a record for the modified track – and was four ahead of nearest challengers Martyn Thompson and Rod Davis.
He was out in five-under 30 and back in 33. He made ten birdies and dropped only one shot when he failed to get up and down from a par-three bunker.
Andy Scrutton, the Barton-on-Sea club champion for the past two years, made an auspicious Alliance debut. He shot 71, despite a double bogey at the first hole.
But the 33-year-old assistant at a Kinson golf store missed out on the amateur gross prize because of an administrative oversight.


Professional medal: 63 Michael Watson (Weymouth), 67 Martyn Thompson (Parkstone), Rod Davis (Canford Magna), 70 Gary Emerson (Broadstone), 71 Carl Jessup (Knighton Heath), Jon Shimmons (Ashley Wood), Mathew Wilson (Broadstone), 72 Lee Booth (Salisbury), 73 Peter Rodgers (Barton-on-Sea), Steve Thorne (Queens Park), James Baldwin (Parkstone), Neil Pike (Ferndown).