England Golf: Captains Qualifier (1)

Halifax captain Andrew Fairbairn with his son Nigel

Stunning start sets up dream day at Lindrick for Halifax captain

EG: Friday May 28th

A ‘dream’ start set up an unforgettable day for Halifax GC captain Andrew Fairbairn as he won the first England Golf Captains qualifier at Lindrick yesterday.

The 58-year-old, who plays off 12, parred the first five holes, amassing 14 points before eventually totalling 39 to win by two from Cave Castle’s John Illingworth. The event attracted a 125-strong field.

The event is open to current and past club captains and there will be seven more qualifying events ahead of the final at Woodhall Spa in August (9-10).

For Andrew everything went his way. Even when he ‘lost concentration’ on the eighth and hoicked his drive into the long stuff up the left it landed near an England Golf marshall, who was able to find his ball.

“Straight from the first everything just clicked,” said Andrew. “It was just one of those days. Lindrick is a course where you have to hit fairways and I largely did that.”

A week before the event he and his son Nigel, also a member at Halifax, played nearby Hallamshire and he felt that also played a crucial part in his success.

“The greens were fantastic and a lot faster than I was used to but the greens were slick at Hallamshire and looked very similar so I was able to get a taste of what to expect.”

The Halifax captain did blob the eighth but got straight back on track with a three-point par at the next to leave him with 20 points going out.

At the par five, 16th he managed a four-point birdie and then backed that up with a three-point par before parring 18 to round things off in style.

With nine players qualifying for the Woodhall Spa showpiece and seven entrants finishing joint ninth, the final spot was decided on last nine countback.

Boothferry’s David Greenwood was the lucky one thanks to a 19-point inward half. Eight of those points came courtesy of birdies at 10 and 14.

Leading 15 players (stableford points)
1) Andrew Fairbairn (12, Halifax) 39 (q)
2) John Illingworth (15, Cave Castle) 37 (q)
3= Philip Tiddy (11, Enfield) 36 (q)
3= Alan Brack (9, Crook) 36 (q)
3= Nick Kelly (11, Church Stretton) 36 (q)
3= Robert John (12, Leighton Buzzard) 36 (q)
7= Kevin Harrison (18, Drax) 35 (q)
7= Vicki Hughes (18, The Shropshire) 35 (q)
9= Stuart Rivett (14, Whiteleaf) 34
9= Chris Stanley (8, Scarborough North Cliff) 34
9= Alistair Booth (8, Frilford Heath) 34
9= David Greenwood (8, Boothferry) 34 (q)
9= Mark Clayton (11, Forest Pines) 34
9= Phil Swan (11, East Herts) 34
9= Ian Robinson (8, Rufford Park) 34
*q= qualified for the Grand Final
Click here for all the scores
Remaining qualifiers
• June 3: Coventry
• June 9: The Wilmslow
• June 17: Saunton
• June 24: High Post
• July 1: Berkhamstead
• July 8: Pannal
• July 22: Stowmarket