The Fred Hirst Draw – Reaction

The Fred Hirst Trophy was presented for the first time to P Mellor in 1969 by Mr & Mrs J.J. Barker. The trophy was created as a Major at Todmorden Golf Club in memory of Fred Hirst; a dedicated member of the club.

Records show that Fred Hirst won his first competition at TGC in 1910 – The Captain’s Prize. Roll on 90 years and it is Matthew Saxon that stands ready to defend his title. With the mix of new members and established talent at TGC the only matchplay Major is about to start and it could yet be one of the best.

So, here’s a first review of the tournament. The only known so far is that the four quarters of the draw will eventually produce one semi finalist each.

1st Quarter

Sean ‘The Treas’ McLernon was first out of the hat on the draw and will be a tough challenge for anyone in this part of the draw should he make it past Geoff Whitworth (20). Geoff, though, can turn it on as we’ve seen in Winter League last season, so not an easy one to call. Glenn Duckworth boasts the lowest handicap (13) while The Cockney Bandit lurks amongst the others whom share a lot of Fred Hirst experience. An open group.

Although not pitched together these two will fancy a good run in an open group. Anyone facing the treasurer had better make sure they are all up to date on subscriptions.

2nd Quarter

The heat is turned right up in this part of the draw. Winter League winner Rich Mills (8), Sir Mick Heys (JHJ Barker holder, 13), Phill Ellis (Winter League finalist, 10) enter the draw with none other than current champ Matt Saxon (10). Add new member and medal winner Bobby Fielden (12) into the mix and there promises to be some classics played. Al Stobbs and John Whitham will have something to say about the way this goes (win or not) and TGC would love to see the mighty Godfrey Pickles ride roughshod over all of them out of ‘the quarter of death’ and to the semis.

Arguably the match of the preliminary round. The current champ faces a stern test against winter league finalist Phill. Phill will be dreaming of strolling up to victory on the 18th at sunset in the final just like at Royal Liverpool.

3rd Quarter

A fascinating part of the draw containing no fewer than six new members all of which are paired together. Regular playing partners Tom Gilbert (14) and Rich Wood (19) battle it out in a preliminary round whilst Dan Fielden (10), leader of the Summer League contends with Chris Hartley (19). At the draw Chris said, “I may as well stay sitting down”, but matchplay will offer shots to those higher handicappers per hole which can make all the difference psychologically. Simon Hemmington and Andrew Lupton (both 10) have all the TGC experience and skills to exploit any new member match nerves should they progress.

Battle of buddies Tom & Rich. They normally tee off at 7pm for a quiet early morning knock together. Check out BRS to see if that changes after this one. This’ll put Dez Crossley in a tricky spot on what to say…

4th Quarter

Another fascinating quarter with most the players in the mix. With three preliminaries to take place this group is a difficult call. New member Marcus Calvert is the lowest handicap (8) but will do well to get past current Silver Rabbit Mark “The Boomerang” Wallis (17). Mark Wareing (10) is super steady at the moment with top 5 positions in all leagues and then we have returning member Lee Earnshaw and Mick Parenti (both 11) battling it out with some real quality in their preliminary. Throw in the very in-form Jonny Rob (18) and a pair in Dez Crossley & Dave Rushton (both 20…) whose bandit ratings are fit for busting and you have the perfect mix of matches.

If you don’t hear these two battle it out on the course then you’re either deaf or live in Halifax. A humdinger in prospect.

The draw again….click for a PDF

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