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Silver lining finale to FWA Golf Day at Stoke Park

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Images courtesy of Vauxhall, the sponsor of Home Nations football

Neil Silver collected the prestigious Joe Melling Trophy at the Football Writers’ Association’s annual Golf Day at Stoke Park.

Neil, former Press Association senior Sports Reporter who now combines covering matches for The Sun with teaching young journalists at Harlow College, scored an impressive 38 points around the magnificent Buckinghamshire course.

As well as the trophy, donated in memory of the former Mail on Sunday chief football writer, Neil also won a chance to play on Wentworth’s West Course later this year on a golf day held by VPAR, who ran the automatic scoring system.

Ex Sunday Times writer and now Aston Villa head of media Brian Doogan finished second with 36 points ahead of the Birmingham Mail’s Gregg Evans.

Some 76 golfers competed in the Vauxhall sponsored event, including Scotland manager Gordon Strachan and Wales boss Chris Coleman.

Strachan-Golf-225x300A host of other big football names also played, including Scotland assistant manager Mark McGhee, ex-England stars Cyrille Regis, Mark Bright, Luther Blissett and Paul Walsh, as well as Northern Ireland’s record appearance holder Pat Jennings.

Neil’s fourball with Glen Ward, Tony Bloom and Alan Marcelis also won the Vauxhall Trophy for the team competition, held in stableford format, with the best two scores on each hole counting to the prize.

Brian Doogan’s team finished second, with third prize taken by Sun writer Mike McGrath’s team.

Tom Breese, part of the William Hill team, won the Longest Drive prize while freelance Ralph Ellis, who writes for the Sunday Mirror, Daily Mail and Daily Star, claimed the Nearest The Pin title with a hole in one.

Traditionally one of the highlights of the football golfing calendar, the annual FWA Golf Day, returned in 2011 thanks to the support from Vauxhall, the sponsor of Home Nations football.

Ralph Hits The Wrong Hole-In-One

A hole-in-one is usually a cause for celebration in golf, but one of the journalists had mixed emotions when he sunk a rare shot at the FWA Golf Day.

Ralph Ellis, freelance sports writer for the Sunday Mirror, Daily Mail, Daily Star and BetFair columnist, won a Titleist SM5 Vokey sand wedge as the Nearest The Pin champion – but it should have been a Vauxhall Cascada!

All of the golfers were given the chance to win the vehicle on hole 21 and all they had to do is hit a hole-in-one.

However, Ralph missed that shot and landed it on the 11th hole instead.

“When it went in, we all went berserk running around celebrating – Ryder Cup style,” Ralph said.

“The good side of it was that it was the Nearest The Pin competition, though it’s a beautiful car and I would have preferred to do it on that hole.

“The golf club will do and I’ll work on it for next year so that I can score at the right hole.

“It was a unique experience and all part of a very good day that Vauxhall contributed to.”

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