A BIRDIE helped clinch Matt Simons see off the challenge of a large field to win the popular Playgolf Colchester Gazette Open Singles competition.

Simons (20) also carded seven pars to card a nett 64, also earning a shot cut to 19.

He finished a shot ahead of in-form Ivan Southernwood (16), who also carded seven pars and a birdie to return nett 65 and a shot cut to 15.

Matthew Clark (15) carded highlights of seven pars and a pair of birdies to return a nett 67, for third place.

With perfect golfing weather, firm fairways and some lightning-quick greens on show, there was additional run for shorter hitters.

Rewards were available for accuracy, with some tricky pin positions meaning a missed shot could add more than one to the total.

Playgolf Colchester Seniors entertained Stock Brook Manor in the third round of the John Day Trophy.

They won 6-3 in the County Knock-out Competition, to progress to the fourth round.

The Seniors hosted The Notleys in their annual friendly.

Playgolf were early leaders and stayed in control throughout to win by 18 holes, using the Hambro formula.

The Seniors also had their weekly competition, with a Medal.

Division one saw Ron Gilzean (14) card five pars, topped with a great birdie to total nett 71 to win the division.

Alan Barrett was second on countback with a nett 74 with seven pars.

He might have won had it not been for ten strokes on the fourth hole showing why it is stroke index one, beating Guy Ansell in third.

Division two was easily won by the fast-improving Stephen Ashby, who registered the only under par score of the day.

He recorded five pars and a birdie, for nett 65.

Colin Green was second on countback from Ken Ells, after both players carded nett 70.

There were two birdies on the par threes, winning a sleeve of balls for Stephen Ashbee and Bernie Keyes.