Oil recycling apprentice Ed Stephenson is still celebrating an amazing six days in which he won twin golf club championships with his 17th birthday sandwiched between the two.
But it was a close call for the former Vandyke student who was ten shots behind competition leader Jamie Stone after the first round of Leighton Buzzard Golf Club’s championships on Saturday. For after Sunday’s second 18-holes, both players had identical scores of 143 – and faced a three-hole shoot-to determine the winner.
Both had four on the first; Ed nudged into the lead with a par on the 11th Par 3, and then sealed victory with a par on the 18th to retain the title he won last year. David Banwell (148), Mark Reynolds and Josh Banwell (151) and Andres Valentine (152) were the other top finishers.
There was some consolation for 26-year-old Jamie, a fuel sales technician whose high-octane first round of 69 deserted him on Sunday when, playing off a handicap of six, he carded 74 to finished with a nett 131 – a total good enough to win the club Handicap Championship by four shots from Scotsman John McKay. Darren Valentine and Lee Sanders (138) and David Hawkins (139) were the other leading challengers.
Just six days earlier Ed, playing off a handicap of three, won the Club Junior Championship with a total of 147, with Brandon Waddington runner-up with 155. Ed’s brother George, 13, who starts at Vandyke this autumn, was the Handicap trophy winner, his nett 130 giving him a seven shot lead over runner-up Brandon Waddington with Henry Wooster third with a nett 140.
Said Ed: “I thought I was out of it after nothing went right on Saturday – but Sunday was a different story when I hit 64 and Jamie had no luck on the greens.”
Christine Giles and Anne Tilbury teamed up with Michael Harper and Graham Pellow to win Leighton’s McKinnon Texas Scramble with a nett score of 56.4, with a hole-in-one on the Par 3 11th by new member Simon Warrington helping colleagues Graham Robinson, Sylvia Dell and Margaret Browning finish second with a score of 57.8. Lesley Bednarek, Pam Stannard, Nigel Chapman and Chris Chehade finished third with 58.4.
Kent Waterman won Leighton’s July stableford with 41ptas, pipping Voja Savic on countback on the back nine holes. Kate Knight took third spot with 39pts, beating Neil Laming on countback. Other leading scores: 38 – Andrew Money, Lee Braybrook; 37 – Christopher Read, Andrew Ashall, Richard Samuels, Brian Wilson, David Hanley, Peter Gadsden, John Allinson, Gary Hart.
It’s been a sweet ‘n sour spell for Leighton teams. The club squad beat South Beds 4-0 with wins by skipper Robbie John and Neil Laming, Nick Tingey and Tim Martin, Andy McDonald and Simon Enright and John Latimer and Simon Rossiter, with Billy O’Neill and Dave Roffe halving their match.
But Leighton Seniors are still searching for their first away win of the season, losing 5-3 at Dunstable Downs and 5-2 at Redbourn. George Bashford and Stephen Maddison, Andrew Mcdonald and Steve Marriott and Ian Rimmer and Graham Avery were the Leighton winners against Dunstable, while skipper Peter Myrants and Martin Broadley andAndrew Mcdonald and Mike Turnock won at Redbourn with Chris Figg and Dave Roberts halving their match. .
 Handicap trophy winner Jamie Stone, Club Captain Robbie John and Champion Ed Stephenson.
 Leighton Club Captain Robbie John presents the Championship trophy to winner Ed Stephenson.