TOP-QUALITY social distancing golf was on display when Alton staged their annual club championship with 38 members battling over 36 holes.

At the end of the first day, the clubhouse lead was tightly contested between the favourites.

Bobby Alexander led the field after a blistering back nine – including a birdie two at the 12th – on countback from former Alton mayor Derek Gardner.

His three birdies included one on the challenging fourth which was the highlight of a great round.

And his form saw him leading the challenge for the net prize with a two- under-par 67.

Close behind was club captain Matt Ireson, whose brilliant round was sadly marred by a two-shot penalty at the seventh for playing the wrong ball.

Meanwhile, the pack was close behind, a notable birdie on the challenging 13th – a hole that had not been birdied in competition since 2015 – from Trevor Rosati serving as an early warning that all was still to play for.

On the second and final day, the course set up proved challenging, with standard scratch just shy of plus-two.

Would someone emerge from the pack to lead the field, or would the leaders sustain their form and see off the contenders?

Derek fell by the wayside with three double bogies on the front nine, Bobby’s chances all but disappeared with a double at the sixth, and uncharacteristically captain Matt shot seven over his handicap – so it was game on.

Out of the pack they came – and steady as she goes Trevor Penn took the net prize with two under-70 net rounds.

Meanwhile the charge for championship was led by the appropriately-named Knights – Spencer Knight, playing off scratch, saw his chances all but disappear when he took a unbelievable nine on seventh in the first round.

But he played brilliantly on day two to recover – only to be pipped by his dad Carl, who recorded a three-under net 74 to take second place on day two, son Spencer having to settle for third on day two.

But Bobby Alexander and Matt Ireson’s scores on day one were still outstanding.

However, they had to settle for second and third places respectively, as Carl Rooney pipped all of them to the post with steady net golf throughout the competition, crowned by three birdies on the final day to be crowned Alton’s champion golfer of 2020.

Club Championship

1, C Rooney 78+73=151; 2, B Alexander 74+79=153; 3, M Ireson 75+80=155.

Net Championship

1, T Penn 68+69=137; 2, C Rooney 73+68=141; 3, B Alexander 68+73=141.