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As the Island U’14 champion Matthew Bell became the youngest winner of the Canaccord Genuity Stableford at Castletown Golf Club in August 2022. His impressive level par round translated to 45 points.  Since then, his already low handicap has dropped by over a third.

On Saturday, Bell peeled off another amazing victory in the J. Carter Trophy, and by a remarkable margin. His one under gross par 71 was nine lower than the ‘next best’ gross score winner Gareth Morris and, with 44 points, Bell’s Stableford score was six clear of the field. Consequently, Bell’s handicap index has reduced to an enviable 2.1.

Continuing his recent rich vein of form, Sam Skelton, our senior club champion, dropped just two shots on each half to fire 38 points to take second spot. He was closely followed by former club champion Steve Boyd on 37 points.

The Laughlin family featured in the top ten, but they did not all win prizes. William, who was the runaway winner of the best nett prize in the recent Steve Keegan Memorial golf day, was fourth overall and so won the top division two prize with his 36 points. Johan Bondegreen had the same score and took second spot in that division.

William’s nephew Dan Laughlin also scored 36 points but finished fifth after countback and, being a division one player, missed-out as the three placement prizes had already gone. However, Dan’s dad David was rewarded for his persistence this week as his back nine loaded 34 points gained him the third and final division two prize.

With the windy weather only four players managed to tap in a two although Mr. Captain – Andrew Gerrard – aced the 13th for two portions from the prize pot. It was his seventh hole-in-one and the third time that he had humbled that hole. Apparently, his wedge shot tiptoed past the bunker on the right and rolled into the hole.

This coming Saturday Bill Ashworth is kindly sponsoring the Syd Ashworth Trophy in memory of his father who won the Island Championship back in 1957. Some members may remember that Bill, who was a Douglas GC member at the time, had back-to-back wins in the Island Championships in 1963 and 1964.