Worfield wins through to USA

Steve Mitchellin Golf

Worfield wins through to USA

By Steve Mitchell

Worfield Golf Club from Shropshire has won the Great Britain and Ireland national final of the 2004 John Deere Team Championship, held for the first time at Forest Pines Golf Club, Brigg, North Lincolnshire in August.

Worfield's net score of 56 (17 under par) in the modified scramble event was two shots ahead of Bingley St Ives Golf Club from Yorkshire in the GB field. Downpatrick Golf Club of County Down in Northern Ireland carded 60, beating Kanturk Golf Club of Co Cork on count back to become the Irish champions.

Worfield Golf Club - (left to right) Pete Worthy, Steve Russell, Trevor Williams, Mike Fowkes, William Weaver;

As overall winners, the team from Worfield - made up of club chairman Trevor Williams, secretary William Weaver, professional Steve Russell, Greenkeeper Mike Fowkes and John Deere dealer salesman Pete Worthy of John Osman Groundcare, Oswestry, Shropshire - will be travelling to America in November to play in the World Team Championships at Grayhawk Golf Club, Scottsdale, Arizona, against teams from North America, Canada, Australia, Germany and Sweden.

"We are naturally delighted to be representing Great Britain and Ireland in the USA in November," said Trevor Williams. "Everything just gelled on the day - we always thought we were playing very steadily, and just tried not to give a shot away to the card at any point. I think the key to our success was that everyone played their part. We all got our drives away, so we weren't putting ourselves under pressure at the back end.

"We also had a very good professional in Steve Russell, and with him playing well it gave us all confidence. Mind you, we did cheekily suggest to our dealer player Pete Worthy that if we won, Steve had to give him some free lessons!

"I first played Forest Pines about five years ago, and I have to say that the course is a credit to the owners and to course manager David Norton and his greenkeeping team. For a young course like this to present such good quality in its layout and finish is exceptional.

"The attitude and friendliness of all the hotel staff was excellent, and the club head professional David Edwards made the day go extremely well. I'd also like to pay tribute to John Deere for its support, particularly through the financial contributions it makes to BIGGA and GCSAI."

Like Worfield, Downpatrick's team - club captain Fred Hamilton, competitions convenor Gerard McStay, professional Robbie Hutton, golf course superintendent Emmett Curran and John Deere dealer salesman Ricky Neill of Johnston Gilpin & Co, Lisburn - thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Downpatrick Golf Club - (left to right) Gerard McStay, Ricky Neill, Robbie Hutton, Fred Hamilton, Emmett Curran.

"We thought 13 under around Forest Pines was a great score," said Emmett Curran. "We played really well as a team. I think we really only left two shots out on the course, and with only two teams making better scores I think we did the best we could.

"We could not have caught the winning team, their score was terrific and we wish them well in the grand final at Grayhawk. The John Deere Team Championship is a great format, and Forest Pines is a great course. We're certainly glad to be the top Irish team."

Altogether 24 John Deere dealerships organised regional qualifiers for this year's tournament, with a total of 426 teams competing across Great Britain and Ireland. Donations are traditionally made to greenkeeping associations in all the countries which take part in the Team Championship, and this year John Deere Limited has contributed a total of £10,650 to support the educational activities of BIGGA (British & International Golf Greenkeepers' Association) and GCSAI (Golf Course Superintendents' Association of Ireland).

The photographs supplied show the winning teams during the Great Britain and Ireland national final of the 2004 John Deere Team Championship at Forest Pines Golf Club, Brigg, North Lincolnshire

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