Mendip Spring Teaching professional George Ryall returned to one of his former attachments to secure victory in the 10th Medal of the Gloucester and Somerset Winter season, writes Andrew March.

Ryall posted a 5 under par round of 67 at The Players' Club which included 5 birdies and an eagle. Crucially two of those birdies came at the final two holes which edged him clear of James Hannam (Bath) and Mark Sanders (Knowle) who both returned rounds of 68.

Some brief flurries of snow fell on the early starters on a bitterly cold morning for the second visit to the Bristol venue in three weeks. This time it was the Codrington layout which set the examination though for the professionals.

A flawless front nine from Ryall saw him collect strokes at the 1st and 3rd before adding an eagle at the short par 5 9th to turn at 4 under par. He took advantage of another reachable par five at the 11th to move to 5 under before a couple of bogies at the 13th and 15th threatened to derail his challenge. His closing salvo though took him back to the top of the leaderboard at the conclusion of play.

Hannam and Sanders played alongside each other in what was the low scoring group of the day. They were joined by 4th placed man Mark Plummer (Cirencester) and the trio were collectively 11 under par. Between them they carded 15 birdies with Hannam claiming 6 of them on his way to his best finish of the season. Filton’s Daryl Kelley was 5th on 70 ahead of last week’s winner Luke Derrick (Henbury) on 71.

Oake Manor Assistant Matt Turner made his debut in Gloucester and Somerset Medals and swiftly made his mark inside two holes. He holed in one at the short second and this collected him the running sweep which has been accumulating since January. Golf has a funny way of getting its own back though as just 5 holes later a disastrous 11 on the 7th was marked down on his scorecard which pretty much ended his challenge for the day. He rallied well though and added 6 more birdies in his final 10 holes to collect the birdie sweep money.

The top three in the Total Triumph Order of Merit are now starting to distance themselves from the chasing pack. Giuseppe Licata still leads by just under 20 points but now George Ryall has leapfrogged Ed Goodwin into 2nd spot after his win. Daryl Kelley has moved into 4th spot but trails Goodwin by over 30 points.

The penultimate Medal of 2018 will be contested at Forest Hills GC in Coleford next Wednesday.