A greensome stableford was played at East Devon, writes Paul Willoughby.

PUBLISHED: 08:33 17 July 2017 | UPDATED: 12:53 20 July 2017

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Golf generic picture

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A greensome stableford was played at East Devon, writes Paul Willoughby.

This is the one where you play in pairs, both drive from the tee, then decide which is the better shot and play foursomes (ie alternate shots) thereafter. Got it?

I have good news and bad news. The good news is that The Open at Royal Birkdale will just have started within minutes of your reading this article – Thursday 20.

This course has been (alongside Royal Lytham) the most regular venue for the Championship other than St Andrews.

For golfers, The Open is the FA Cup, Olympics and Wimbledon rolled in to one and thank goodness it is being shown on BBC!

There will be 156 contenders for the Claret Cup (and a cheque for £1.42m for the winner – a mere bagatelle!) and at the time of writing this article there were still four places to be filled; the top three from the Scottish Open, finishing this Sunday, will automatically qualify as will the winner of the John Deere (he of the tractors) Classic in the USA. Dustin Johnson is one of the favourites to win, but I’m holding out for a British winner, Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood or Rory McIlroy.

The bad news is that an EDGC member (thanks, Bill) saw some ringed necked (green) parakeets in his garden in Budleigh Salterton within the last week or so!

These birds are descendants of escapees from a private aviary in 1970 and there are now over 50,000 of them, especially in the south east of England.

David Attenborough originally called them, ‘glamourous oriental strangers’ (bet he wouldn’t be so charitable now) whereas they have also been described as ‘secateurs with wings’.

They have grown so numerous that the RSPB may soon have to ask the government to consent to a cull – these protected birds are in direct conflict with our native woodpeckers, starlings and nuthatches for nest sites and a real pest to fruit growers.

Let me know if you see one – they are unmistakeable with a long tail, green body and pink beak. (Sounds like something out of The Eagle (Mighty Mekon – that dates me) or Avatar!)

Remember, that if players play to their handicaps, then their score will be 36. Anyone who scores more than that will be playing under their handicap and doing well.

With that in mind, the winners will be very pleased with their performance – Guy Peters and Mark Dunsford scored 42 points.

Very well done, – names in lights and prize money only slightly less than the Open winner! The very close second team was Glynn Currey and Ben Maguire with 41 – (missed the win by that gnat’s whisker; Oh that missed putt!) and the third prize went to Alan Forte and Richard Tate who scored 40.

From a good turnout of 52 players there was a twos pot of £104 to be shared between five teams.

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