A golfing trip of a lifetime could be awaiting any of our four local pairs who are appearing at the Mannings Heath golf course next Tuesday to take part in the penultimate stage of the Lombard Trophy.
Europe’s biggest pro-am tournament, now in its ninth year, started with an initial entry of around 100,000 players from clubs all over Britain and Eire.
The winners of 16 regional one-round better-ball medal-play finals, of which Mannings Heath is one, will win an all-expenses paid trip to play in the grand final being held in San Lorenzo, Portugal, in early September, when a first prize of £7,500 will be up for grabs.
Eltham Warren’s Terry Crowther and his professional playing partner Gary Brett reached this staged after carding a nett 64 in their club’s qualifying event in March.
Crowther, an engineer who lives in Catford, has played golf for more than 30 years, currently off an eight handicap, and also enjoys greyhound racing.
Brett, who is 37, has been Eltham Warren’s resident professional for eight years and topped the South Region Assistants’ Order of Merit in 1995.
Joining them will be Paul Anderson, a project surveyor from Orpington.
Anderson, who has played for 10 years and now off off a handicap of 22, teams up with 48-year-old Nigel Child, who has been the professional at Cherry Lodge Golf Club for 16 years. They won their club’s event in late April with a nett round of 69.
Representing the Austin Lodge Club will be 49-year-old Keith Thompson, a company director who lives in Hartley, and Gregg Haenen, who is 33 and has only been the resident professional there for just four months.
Thompson, who first started playing golf 12 years ago, does so now off a 16 handicap and has the added burden of being a West Ham fan! The duo won their club qualifier with a nett round of 73 early last month.
One of the oldest competing will be 63-year-old Alan Backhouse, who is now retired and also lives in Orpington.
A player for 20 years, Alan is a member of the Broke Hill Club, where he teams up with 36-year-old Cameron McKillop, who has been the pro there for 12 months.
They earned their place for next Tuesday’s event when they carded a nett score of 70 in April.