Home soil success for Hepher after seniors victory

Simon Hepher enjoyed a good day at the office by winning the Norfolk Seniors’ Championship at the golf club where he works – Middleton Hall.

Hepher, who runs the shop at the West Norfolk club, used his day off to fine effect as he fired a four-over-par 75 and clinched victory by two shots.

Local knowledge came in handy for Hepher, especially on the back nine. He showed a cool head on a hot day, not least at the par 5 12th – the scene of a superb up-and-down from a greenside bunker for a par that kept him heading in the right direction.

Hepher’s only blemish on the way home was a bogey at the 17th hole. But he showed his resolve with a solid par at the last to finish ahead of James Macleod – the 2022 champion – and Alan Sheridan, who both shot 77.

Hepher, 55, said “It just all came together. I’m ecstatic. I thought if I came in with a good round I thought I’d get quite close, but I didn’t think I’d win it.”

Modest Hepher – the only golfer from Middleton Hall to tee up in the event – was quick to point out the edge he had over the rest of the 43-strong field.

He said “I’m at a massive advantage to these boys, because obviously I play here week in, week out. So, I kind of know where to be and not to be.”

Victory secured him a shot at the English Seniors’ County Champion of Champions tournament at Woodhall Spa on September 16-17.

Indeed, it was a double celebration for Hepher, who also finished top of the pile in the County Seniors’ Handicap Championship. He received seven strokes and signed for a net 68 – two clear of Bawburgh golfer Andrew Gooch.

The day’s other big winner was Hunstanton Golf Club’s Michael Slattery. He shot 81 to land the Super Seniors’ Scratch Championship and was also victorious in the Super Seniors’ Handicap Championship.

The Eaton trio of Roger Finney, Colin Campbell and Alan Sheridan took top spot in the scratch event with a team total of 234. They were also the winners in the team handicap competition, thanks to their net tally of 215.

Middleton Hall Golf Club’s own Seniors Club Championship was won by Mike Learne with a gross 77, on countback from Mark Platts.

Third was Trevor Richardson with 80 and Simon Hepher was fourth with 84.

Net score winner was also Mike Learne with 67, on countback from Ian Lowry, Mark Platts and Douglas Berwick.

The Men’s Monthly Medal saw Lee Atkins triumph in Division One with 73-7=66. Runner-up was Darryl Hazelhurst-Jeavons with 79-12=67 and John Pesci (81-13=68) was third.

In Division Two, Nick Thorpe (89-21=68) won on countback from Andrew Stoker (103-35=68). Mark Atkins was third with 92-22=70.