Round Six of the Winter League was played last weekend at Rutland Water Golf Club.
With the weather extremely wet and windy on the Saturday, the majority of the field opted to play on Sunday in calmer, more benign conditions. Teeing off early on Sunday was Ian Binley, a player who has just overcome an almost 10 year absence from the sport.
After some hard practice through the early winter months, postman Ian joined Rutland Water at the end of 2015 and soon picked up where he left off, all those years ago.
Playing with his reliable right to left ball flight, Ian had an unbelievably quick start with a fantastic birdie on the first hole.
He quickly followed this up with a birdie on the par five second and an incredible birdie two on the par three fourth. After five holes, Ian was three under par. Turning back into the wind Ian managed a par on the par three seventh which led to a front nine score of level par and 23 points.
Having not been in this position for some time, Ian began to feel the nerves early on during the back nine and after a lost ball on the 11th hole, the wheels were starting to fall off. However, Ian drew on all of his experience.
Standing on the 16th tee still under his handicap and in good shape, Ian produced another birdie on the long, daunting par five and followed this up with two solid pars on the last two holes for a superb total of 42 points.
A round that had threatened to get away from him, was pieced back together and was eventually good enough to take victory.
It was a closely run event for second place, just edged by Richard Knight on countback from Piers Wyton, both with brilliant scores of 40 points.
Ian, an all round sportsman, was delighted with his performance and more importantly the composure he maintained during a tough start to his back nine.
He said: “After the flying start I was thinking of a really high total of stableford points. But it never quite works out like that and I was impressed with my composure on the back nine to deliver a score that could have easily got away from me.
“I look forward to a full year of playing regular golf as I have a bit more time available to play these days ’.
The result consolidated second position overall for Ian who closed in on leader Mike Donaldson. Mike still has a significant advantage heading into the last two rounds. All to play for in the coming weeks