Frankly speaking ... he's the Champ!
Veterans CHampion David Grant with YUGC President Laurence Wood and Seniors Champion Frank Grant
By Danny Lockwood Standing on the final tee at Ilkley in the Yorkshire Seniors Championship, Huddersfield’s Frank Greaves hadn’t a clue where he stood in the field. He’d only been 1-shot back of leader and clubmate Charles Webb after round 1, alongside Moor Allerton 2023 Captain Johnny Lawrence, plus county teammates Phil Kitching (Rudding Park) and Andrew Wiltshire (Pontefract). And round 2 wasn’t going too shabby. But even though he had his group’s responsibility of entering scores on the Golf Genius app after every hole, Greaves wasn’t taking a peep at how the leaderboard stood. It had been an up and down round, an opening birdie being followed by bogeys at 9 and 10, before back-to-back birdies at 13 and 14 were fol- lowed by a bogey at 15. Then a great approach to inside five feet on the 16th yielded a final birdie of the round and put him on level par for the day and a +3 total. “I came here with no expectations, to be honest,” he said afterwards. “I had a good score coming off [my index] so was focussed on just trying to play to my handicap. “The course was hard and I was just playing for bounces into the greens. Andy [Woodhead] was saying, ‘just keep going Frank, keep going...’ so I did.” Greaves hit the fairway at the last and drilled another iron at the green but carried it all the way to the short stuff. “I thought it was 15-feet behind the pin, not the 55-feet it ended up.” Greaves saw playing partner Woodhead race his putt a good 12-feet past – then left himself a tricky, breaking 6- footer short. When it missed low he was home in +1 – still unaware that he’d had a 2- shot cushion on the last, thanks to that birdie on 16. It was only the congratulations of Harrogate Union president Alastair Davidson walking off the last green that brought the victory home. Saying the title was his biggest achievement in the game – “by absolute miles!” – the 57-year-old, playing in his 3rd Seniors Championship, added: “I didn’t hit many fairways, but my irons were really good for two days and I only got in one bunker. I just came here to play really – I got to go round a quality golf course for two days for 50-quid!” Cumbrian by birth, Greaves represented his county as a junior before relocating to West Yorkshire and playing at Halifax West End before spending the last six years at Fixby. And there was no time to sit back and enjoy the glory – a stalwart of junior golf both at Halifax- Huddersfield and Yorkshire, it was off the next day to Shrigley Hall for the Northern Region Boys Qualifier. Coggin’s +1 round of 70 left him in second place, one stroke ahead of Moor Allerton’s 2023 captain Johnny Lawrence, with Woodhead (Hessle) and Garforth’s Steve Cain leading a pack of county players trying to chase down their teammate Greaves. The Veterans Champion for players aged 65+ was won by Bradford’s David Grant on +8 while age group prizes for 60-64 went to Coggin and for 70+ to Beverley’s Rodney Shimwell.