THE sun shone but there was not a sombrero in sight as The Three Amigos rode off with the big prize.

The occasion was the 145th birthday Pro-Am at Furness “Old Links”, organised by the Professional Golf Association.

Nineteen teams of four, each including a guest professional, battled the stiff Walney wind in the first PGA event at the course for 34 years.

Local favourites among the list of professionals were Paul Rawlinson, who linked up with the Barrow Golf Club team, Simon Edwards (Windermere) and Gary Wolstenholme (Carus Green).

And at the end of a gruelling day of thrilling competition, it was the early starters – host club trio Allan Sutton, Steve Butler and Brian Walker, playing under the banner of The Three Amigos label and assisted by Simon Edwards – who took the top award.

But they had to wait until the final countdown for confirmation that their 14-under-par total of 128 would be enough.

The Crown Hotel trio of ex-Furness captain Martin Ellis, John Stevens and Steve Helling, helped by professional Steve Parry, came in with the same score late in the afternoon.

It needed a card play-off over the last six holes to separate the two teams.

Although the windy conditions ruled out any chance of record scores, even from the group of seasoned professionals, they were unanimous in their approval of the course conditions, as prepared by head greenkeeper Alick McKay and his two-man team.

Parry, the Bolton pro who picked up the £600 professional first prize with a one-under-par 70, said: “I admit until I got the invitation to play I had never even heard of the club, but when I get back I will be telling my members to get up here and play the course. It is one you can be really proud of.”

Tournament controller Andrew Chadwick hinted that Furness may not have to wait quite as long as 34 years for the next event on the PGA calendar, suggesting that a repeat visit could be made as early as next year.

The biggest cheer of the presentation was reserved for the Furness Lady Captain’s team of Val Kirkwood, Jane Trelore and Alyson Wood, who were in the prizes thanks to a fifth-placed finish with their five-under-par total of 137.

Furness captain Ian Murray paid his tribute to greenkeeper McKay and all the organisers and volunteers who had made it a day to remember – “the best in my career,” he said.

But he saved the final word for the players – professionals and amateurs alike – with the message: “Haste Ye Back.”


Professionals: 1. Steve Parry (NWGAcademy/Harts Common), 70; 2. Phil Archer (Birchwood), 71; 3. Gary Wolstenholme (Carus Green) and Ryan O’Neill (Penwortham), 73.

Teams: 1. The Three Amigos, 128 (cpo); 2. Crown Hotel, 138; 3. Leitch Construction, 131; 4. President’s Team, 132; 5. Lady Captain’s Team, 137.


Grange Fell Golf Club: Grange Fell Open: 1. S Garner and D Garner, 45pts; 2. A Coyles and B Wilkinson, 42pts; 3. J Hodgson and I Cribbin, 41pts; 4. K Pearson and S Watts, 41pts. Twos: W McDonald, S Watts and K Pearson.

George Airey Trophy (Greensome Medal): 1. NJ Higginson and D Robb, 64.6 nett; 2. K Pearson and S Watts, 67.4 nett; 3. M Garnett and P Mason, 67.8 nett.

Furness Golf Club: Warwick Cup: 1. G Park, 87-20=67; 2. R Spence 67+1=68. Division One: J Capstick, nett 69. Division Two: A Kerr, nett 70. Division Three: E Lynas, nett 69. Best Gross: R Spence, 67. Nearest the pin: R Leitch.

Barrow Golf Club: Porker Trophy: 1. Brian Evans and Stewart Moscrop, 72-7.5=64.5; 2. David Howell and John Nixon, 79-13=66; 3. Keith Goldsworthy and Steve Mitchell, 83-16=67.