Cunningham strengthens order of merit lead

Order of Merit leader Ian Cunningham EMN-170117-172206002
Order of Merit leader Ian Cunningham EMN-170117-172206002
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A field of 46 players turned out at Greetham Valley on Sunday to brave the light drizzle and play round four of the Winter Order of Merit.

Ian Cunningham added 50 points to his order of merit tally by taking first place with an excellent score of 40 stableford points, including an excellent 23 on the back nine.

Joe Sargood was second with 39, thanks to a back nine countback of 22 points, edging Chris Proudman into third. He in turn pipped Darren Haughton, Russell Holden, Neil Crees and Nick Cunnington, all with 39 stableford points, for the 35 order of merit points on offer.

Cunningham leads overall with 101 points, closely pursued by Darren Haughton (85), Chris Ellis (83) and Russell Holden (79).

Neil Toothill and Chris Howe are both only a few points behind, waiting patiently and biding their time to play their wildcards when double points are available.

* Heavy overnight rain severely reduced the field of seniors for round five of their Winter League.

The overall winner was David Aldred with 40 points, making two birdies on the front nine and then continuing his steady play after the turn.

Second place in Division One went to Keith Smith who carded 37 points including a very strong 21 on the front nine before a series of double bogeys marred his round.

David Nichol took third place with 32 points.

Scoring was more of a problem in Division Two, with Mike Pare taking the honours on 33 points.

He started with a birdie, but then carded a mix of pars and double bogeys for an inconsistent round.

Second place went to Russ Holden who was disappointed with a similar score of 32, having carded 39 points the day before in the men’s Winter League.

He finished the last two holes in gross par to give him the position on countback despite a visit to the water on the ninth.

Nick Lawson was pleased to take third place with 32 points.

In the overall order of merit the top three positions are all held by Division Two players with Russ Holden leading on 187 from Peter Palmer (172) and Stuart Dodd (137).