Golf: Lippitt banks Leicester Mercury Cup win
A year ago, Matt Lippitt was unable to compete in the Leicester Mercury Cup because the field was full and the draw made.
To make sure he was in the field for this year's tournament at Glen Gorse, the Humberstone Heights golfer paid his entry fee on the spot that day 12 months ago.
His year-long investment paid off when he won the trophy on Thursday with his net 69 off 14 handicap.
Lippitt tied on the mark with host club member Ben Hall (five handicap), but won with his par-five net four at the first extra hole when they played-off in a dramatic climax.
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The sun shone all day long – a rare treat in this golfing summer – but the wind posed a stiff challenge at times.
Lippitt made a disappointing start to his round, dropping shots at his opening holes, while Hall birdied the first, one of three birdies on his card.
At the extra hole – the first – Hall had to concede a shot. Both golfers were left from the tee into semi-rough.
Lippitt played a good second on to the fairway and was on the front edge of the green for three, while Hall's second was in trees right and greenside for three.
Although Hall chipped up close, Lippitt two-putted from 40 feet to take the title.
"I am delighted to have won this trophy," said Lippitt.
"Before missing out on a place in the field last year, I had played in this event for several years, so I was happy to pay my entry fee in such good time to make sure I got into the draw.
"But I never dreamed I would end up winning, so it is a real thrill."
Leicestershire squad golfer Kevin Dandy (Longcliffe), a scratch player, was around in one-under-par 71 to claim the Scratch Cup.
He had back-to-back birdies at the fourth and fifth holes, and another at the ninth to turn in two-under-par 34. His only dropped shot was at the third.
He also birdied the 12th and 13th, saw another stroke slip away at the 14th and found trouble at the 17th.
Dandy said: "I took my eight-iron for my second shot there. It should have been a nine and the ball flew over the back of the green under a tree, so that spoilt my card.
"It is the first time I have been able to play in the Leicester Mercury tournament because of work commitments, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I am pleased to have won."
Glen Gorse's Jamie Simpson (11 handicap) was third on 70 net.
Geoff Ferrar (seven handicap), from Beedles Lake, and Brian Fagin (13 handicap), from the host club and competing in his 44th consecutive Mercury Cup, both had 72 net, with Ferrar fourth on countback.
Luke Burrows (Cosby), a past Mercury Scratch Cup winner, was runner-up this time with 74 after a countback.
Ashley Mason (Glen Gorse), Jevann Parmar (The Leicestershire) and Richard Wells (Longcliffe) also had 74 rounds. The CSS was 73.