Chris Boughton’s golf column: Big turnout for Stow event

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Stowmarket Golf Club held their annual Captains’ Charity Day last week and raised nearly £6,000 for the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) Charity which provides a helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) for the people of East Anglia.

Since its launch in 2000, the service has attended over 20,000 lifesaving missions, touching the lives of many thousands of people.

More than 100 golfers took part in the event which was hosted by club captains Mark Tibbenham and Clare Peck.

The Ladies’ Captain had a busy day with her team, Gripfixing Ladies, winning the golf competition with 119 points. Gregories Gofers came second with 117 points followed by JF Construction with 114.

Stowmarket entertained last year’s winners Stoke by Nayland in the third league match of the Curry Cup last Sunday, looking to build on two good away performances.

The team started promisingly winning four points out of a possible six in the morning foursomes. The afternoon singles commenced only for the heavens to open, with the early starters competing in challenging conditions.

Once the sun broke through, Stoke by Nayland began their fightback winning three of the first four singles matches and looking to build some momentum to filter down to the later starters, in order to turn the match in their favour. This plan was never realised with

Stowmarket making the most of the better weather and halting the early charge, winning six-and-a-half points out of the remaining eight points available.

The final result was Stowmarket 11.5pts, Nayland 6.5pts.

Bury

The rain stayed away for last week’s Friday Stableford at Bury GC but it was very windy and consequently there were no exceptional scores.

The course is currently in superb condition and clearly to the Gee family’s liking as they dominated the event. Steven took top spot with 36 points from his 11-handicap followed by his father Andrew with 35pts pushing his older son Michael (3hcp) into third place on countback.

Andrew and Steven recently starred in the Club’s Tolly team quarter-final win over Bramford while Michael was part of the winning Bury GC Hambro quarter-final team.

Michael Gee was also in Bury’s Stenson team last Saturday when they played Purdis Heath in the quarter-finals of the scratch competition.

The strong Ipswich based club were always going to provide stiff competition for Bury, despite their home advantage and so it proved. Bury were down 2.5-1.5 at lunch after the morning Foursomes and faced a battle to claw their way back in the eight afternoon singles.

Team captain Phil Smailes made what turned out be to be two crucial changes in Bury’s line up for the singles, bringing in Chris Driscoll and James Scott. They won their matches, as did Dan Smailes and Michael Gee, to bring the teams level 6-6 after 36 holes. Smailes picked his son Dan for the playoff and birdied the par 5 first hole to take Bury into the semi-finals.

Bury are now in the semi-finals of the three premier Suffolk County Golf Union men’s team knockout competitions for 2017 (Stenson, Hambro and Tolly).

n Bury will be opening their course up for their Family Open Day on Sunday (1-4pm). Their pro will be on hand to give free 10-minute taster lessons alongside tours.

Thetford

There were some terrific scores for Anne McHarg’s President’s Day at Thetford Golf Club on Sunday, with Dean Scott edging Rob Taylor on countback after both recorded a remarkable 48 points.

It was a shotgun start for this Blue Flag competition with extra Stableford points available at the more difficult pin positions. Rob Taylor took full advantage, picking up 22pts at the Blue Flag Holes, but it was not enough as Dean Scott had 25pts on the back nine, three more than Rob. Nic Barnes also had a day to remember but his 47pts was only good enough for third place. The nearest-the-pin winner at the 16th was Mick Maskell.

In the afternoon, there was a mixed Funsomes event and the winners were club captain Trevor Wignall and Kath Malvern with 34pts, one ahead of Rob Faulkner and Sheila Spreadborough. Robert and Sheena Setchell took third place with 31, beating Dave Smith and Pauline O’Sullivan on countback. Phil Beer (16th) and Sheena Setchell (3rd) were the nearest the pin prize winners.

The Suffolk

Thirteen-year-old Alfie Ferrari scored a stunning 47 points to easily win the Mid-Week Stableford at The Suffolk last week.

Jim Chapman will no doubt have been surprised an disappointed his 44 points was only good enough for second place but his handicap was cut from 10 to 9. In a high scoring event Bob Stevens came third with 41pts and Daniel Kaye took 4th with 40. There were nine scores of 38 points or more.

Craig Smart carded a nett 67 off his 20-handicap to win the medal, pushing Pete Cocksedge and Dave King into second and third places with their scores of nett 69.

After three rounds of the Major Mayhem Open series Dominic Roe, Dave King and Terry Manning all have 75 points at the top of the leader board. John Dale lies 4th with 73.