Published: 06:00, 18 September 2020
Dean Danton celebrated 'the sweetest one of all' after winning his fifth scratch Canterbury Golf Club Championship, the 36 holes George Cup.
He won the title by a stroke from defending champion Josh Bristow on Sunday, in a field of 112.
Michael Cunningham (h9) scored a superb second round gross 75 (net 66) for victory at seven under par in the handicap club championship Victory Bowl.
Danton had to hold his breath as Bristow lined up a 15-foot breaking birdie putt on the 18th green to force extra holes and keep alive his hopes of a hat-trick of title.
But Bristow’s putt slid inches past and he duly tidied up to allow Danton to hole out for his first George Cup since he won four in a row between 2012 and 2015, with a winning two over par total of 144 (71,73).
Danton was visibly moved as his father Bob and fiancee Jess brought out his six-week-old daughter Millie for victory embraces next to the 18th green and he joked: ''I hope Millie was watching when I sank the winning putt.''
It has been a long, hard road back to another club championship for Danton, who played a key part in the club’s 2019 East Kent League and Guilford Cup double triumph despite struggling for form and even the will to play.
“I just kind of fell out of love with it,” he said. “And when I found out Jess was pregnant the interest went even more.
“The win wasn’t the reason I was emotional at the end, it was after seeing my dad Bob bringing Millie over to me and that will always be a treasured memory.
“This is the one that means the most, purely because of what’s gone before and now I’ve got my little girl, this is the sweetest one of all.”
Overnight leader Lee Tidy dropped to third overall in the net Victory Bowl, three shots behind Michael Cunningham and two behind second placed Anthony Grove.
Jack Reed beat his previous best by seven shots to win his first men’s competition in Wednesday’s Stableford, with 41 points.
Fran Fearn (h16) scored an excellent 82, net 66, to win the Ladies’ Pollard Cup on Wednesday by two shots from Elizabeth Carlotti. Christine Bowles (h34) won the Lady Veterans Trophy on Thursday, with 39 Stableford points.
All three competitions played at Ashford Golf Club last week were Four-Ball Better Ball pairs events opening with the Veterans sections summer tournament for the Wright Cup.
It proved to be a hotly contested affair, decided on card countback, with section stalwarts Alan Wood and Dick Rump just pipping Dave Allerton and Mervyn Barnes.
Both pairs notched up 43 points, just one ahead of third place duo David James and Mike Collins.
Geoff Lane, meanwhile, registered his first hole in one.
The Ladies staged their competition for the Denis Earl Cup over Friday and Saturday when a score of 42 points for Beryl Sutherland and Pauline Pfeffer just edged out Jenny Ursell and Lizzie Webb on 41. Tina Brookes and Virginia Zlabiene finished third with 40.
The Denis Earl Men’s Cup was the prize on offer for a large field on Sunday and just two points separated the top five teams.
Yet again countback was required to determine the winners who were Liam French and Shawn Cooper with James Mitchell and Mark Rosier pipped at the post both teams notching 48 points.
Mark Penfold and Lennie Brooker were the best placed of three teams recording 46 points, ousting out David Foad/Jack Richardson and Peter Knight/Simon Pilbin also on countback.
A highly successful Festival Week at Walmer & Kingsdown Golf Club was climaxed on Saturday by club captain Billy Fisher’s Prize Competition.
Winner of the men’s competition was David Fountain with 42 points, followed by David Spicer in second place with 40 points on countback from John Puttock, Andrew Lloyd-Skinner and Martin Packer.
The ladies’ competition was won by Rosemary Ebden with 40 points, with Katherine Connolly the runner-up on 39, while the junior event was won by Amos Brazier with 38 points.
Billy Fisher said: “Thank you to all the club members for making Festival Week a great success.”
He also thanked Peter Frater, Kevin Arman and Jimmy Herron for their hard work and club professional Richard Perkins for running the charity draw which raised £576 for my Prostate Cancer UK, the captain’s charity.