Fylde coast golf round-up: Our final four book places in Portugal for Gazette Matchplay 2019

The quarter-finals of the Gazette Matchplay Golf Tournament (sponsored by Blacktax) were held at Lancaster Golf Club. From left, Steve Norwood (Herons Reach), Richard Anderson (Lytham Green Drive), Daryl Prance (Herons Reach), Phillip Smitham (Lytham Green Drive), Ian Wharmby (managing director-Blacktax), Glenn Riches (Fleetwood), Rob Higgins (Herons Reach), Kevin Keating (Lytham Green Drive) and Darren Frame (Herons Reach). Picture: BILL JOHNSON
The quarter-finals of the Gazette Matchplay Golf Tournament (sponsored by Blacktax) were held at Lancaster Golf Club. From left, Steve Norwood (Herons Reach), Richard Anderson (Lytham Green Drive), Daryl Prance (Herons Reach), Phillip Smitham (Lytham Green Drive), Ian Wharmby (managing director-Blacktax), Glenn Riches (Fleetwood), Rob Higgins (Herons Reach), Kevin Keating (Lytham Green Drive) and Darren Frame (Herons Reach). Picture: BILL JOHNSON
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Portugal here they come! We are proud to reveal the four finalists in The Gazette Matchplay 2019.

READ MORE: Regional junior champions crowned at Knott End
After five rounds of thrilling competition, the quarter-finals took place at Lancaster Golf Club yesterday, where Richard Anderson, Darren Frame, Kevin Keating and Glenn Riches earned a dream golfing holiday in Portgual to compete for our title three weeks from now.

Blacktax is the generous sponsor of The Gazette Matchplay

Blacktax is the generous sponsor of The Gazette Matchplay

The quartet will head for the Algarve on September 26 for our semi-finals and final at the luxurious Penina golf resort courtesy of our generous sponsors Blacktax, the Blackpool taxi firm.

The four can look forward to three nights at the five-star venue, where our 2019 champion will be determined on the world-renowned Henry Cotton Championship Course. Accommodation, flights, meals and golf will be funded by Blacktax.

Keating, our youngest champion as an 18-year-old 10 years ago, won through again with a 3&1 victory over his Lytham Green Drive clubmate Phillip Smitham.

Also returning to Portugal is our 2012 semi-finalist Glenn Riches of Fleetwood GC, who defeated Rob Higgins of Herons Reach 4&3.

Captain's prize winners at Knott End

Captain's prize winners at Knott End

Green Drive will have two representatives at Penina after Richard Anderson defeated Steve Norwood of Herons Reach 3&2.

The Herons Reach club provided four of the quarter-finalists but the only one to win through was Darren Frame, who defeated clubmate Daryl Prance 4&3. We’ll introduce our four finalists more fully in next Wednesday’s Gazette golf special.

Lancaster stretched their lead at the top of the Fylde Senior League to 10 points courtesy of a 6-0 home win over Lytham Green Drive.

Time is running out for second-placed Herons Reach to close the gap, though they do have a game in hand after a blank week.

Third-placed North Shore are 15 points further back after two wins: 4-2 at Green Drive and 5.5-0.5 at home to Knott End.

Ashton and Lea are fourth after a 5-1 home success against bottom club Fleetwood. Fleetwood did win the battle of the bottom two, 4-2 at home to Fairhaven.

Devon won the England Boys’ County Finals with victory over Lancashire at North Foreland Golf Club in Kent.

Devon halved the match to win the title for the first time against the Red Rose, who last triumphed in 2006. And it was an emotional triumph following the death of their captain Grahame Moore.

The Lancashire team, which included Jamie van Wyk of Royal Lytham and St Annes, had beaten holders Yorkshire to reach the finals.

And they were on course for victory at 4½-2½ only for Devon to win the final two games. Lancashire captain Michael Carney said: “We’re undefeated over the three days but just weren’t quite good enough.”

Knott End Golf Club captain Steve Maughan has had a busy time hosting his Captain’s Prize to the Ladies, Captain’s Prize and the Captain’s Mixed competitions.

Two of these had been rearranged due to bad weather, though competitors still had to contend with a torrential downpour on Saturday and strong winds on Sunday.

The Captain’s Prize to the Ladies was won by Fiona Forrester with a score of 79 + 66 = 145 ahead of Kath Coleman 73 + 73 = 146. Best gross was Joanne Kay with 89 + 83 = 172.

The Captain’s Prize winner was Graham Didsbury with 72 + 65 = 137. Second (acpo) was Luke Walker on 66 + 71 = 137 and third Neil Cross(65 + 75 = 140 (acpo with Ian Hey 64 + 74 = 140).

The Captain’s Mixed winners were Mick and Joanne Kay with 37 points. John and Joyce Wright were second (37) and David and Fiona Forrester third (36).

Curtis Walker won the Captain’s Plate with 69. Jim Nisbett was second and Keith Hughes third, both scoring 72.

Knott End Ladies battled extremely blustery conditions in their annual Lilian Bradley 4BBB, won by Kath Coleman and Joanne Kay with 36 points. Runners-up wer Karen Higson and Sue Smith with 33.

The competition honours Lilian, still an active member of the ladies’ section, aged 93.

Fairhaven Golf Club staged a Ladies’ Exchange Day (Preston) won by Diana Cockerill, Lynn Griffiths and Gill Jakeman with 75 points.

The Men’s Middleton Cup at Fairhaven was won by Simon Beard (division one) with a 68. The division two winner was Richard Smith (72) and for division three Marc Holdsworth (70)

The ladies’ nine-hole stableford was won by Ruth Sugden with 18 points.

This week Alastair Taylor of Lytham Golf Academy asks the key question: 5 wood or 3 hybrid?

With many golfers struggling with their long irons, I am often get asked whether a 5 wood or a 3 hybrid is the best replacement.

This partly depends on the player’s club delivery and ball flight but essentially these two clubs will deliver very different shots.

Starting with the 5 wood, generally fairway woods will have a fairly deep club head from front to back.

This means they tend to launch the ball very high and the 5 wood has the highest ball flight of any club with that particular loft.

The 5 wood also gives really good forgiveness, so is generally the club for the golfer who needs a bit more help getting the ball into the air.

The extra length of shaft on the 5 wood can also generate a bit more distance.

The 3 hybrid will be about the same length as a 3 iron and the club head will be narrower from front to back.

This will give a higher flight than a 3 iron and be much more forgiving.

The hybrid will be better for the golfer who just needs a little more forgiveness with their ball striking and who cannot quite get the ball flight they desire with their longest iron.

Two differently designed clubs that will work for two different shots, but the key if you are considering either is to get fitted correctly and see what each club gives you. You maybe 5 wood, maybe 3 hybrid or maybe both!

To contact Alastair at Lytham Golf Academy call 01772 631520.