Underdogs Ivinghoe stoked with Park triumph

Ivinghoe Golf Club's Chris James and Geoff Shephard.
Ivinghoe Golf Club's Chris James and Geoff Shephard.

IVINGHOE Members Golf Club pulled off a shock result as they defeated the prestigious Stoke Park Golf Club to reach the last eight of the Hillman Trophy Plate competition.

It is the first time Ivinghoe have progressed to the quarter-finals of the tournament in their 50-year history.

The foundations for Ivinghoe’s victory were laid by Russell Shardlow, Nigel Fair and Alex Groom who each bagged halves in their respective matches.

Groom fought back from a 4-down deficit at the turn, and that form led the way for the rest of the Ivinghoe players to secure the victory.

The tide began to swing in Ivinghoe’s favour in the fourth match as Tom Culley – showing some of his best form of the season – stormed to a convincing win to give his side the lead for the first time in the tie.

Last round’s hero Roy Barden then added another vital half to put Ivinghoe within a point of victory, with two matches still to finish.

And it was left to Chris James, who has been on stunning form in recent weeks, to secure the winning point – beating his opponent 4&3.

In the final match, with the tie already won, incoming club captain Paul Black lipped out from eighteen feet on the 17th hole to narrowly lose 2&1.

Team captain Geoff Shephard said: “It was a great day of golf playing against strong and gracious opponents representing a wonderful club.

“All of the guys, each one of them can be justifiably proud of their performance today.

“It’s another little piece of history for the club.”