Chris Boughton’s golf column: Halliwell’s final fling attracts big numbers

HANDS ON THE CUP: Mike Halliwell, Stowmarket Golf Clubs Seniors section outgoing captain, presents The Bayley Trophy to winner Clive George
HANDS ON THE CUP: Mike Halliwell, Stowmarket Golf Clubs Seniors section outgoing captain, presents The Bayley Trophy to winner Clive George
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Stowmarket Golf Club’s senior members traditionally hold the Final Fling for their outgoing captain at an away venue and earlier this month they returned to Gog Magog Golf Club for this year’s event.

Fifty-three seniors joined Mike Halliwell to celebrate the end of his year as captain, while club professional Jon Markham was the special guest.

In the Stableford competition, held on the day, Clive George won the Bayley Trophy with an excellent score of 42 points, followed by Barry Austin with 37pts.

George’s remarkable round included playing the back-nine holes, mainly into the breeze, to par and nine one-putt holes. Alan Crouch came third with 36.

The seniors had a busy week with their March Midweek Stableford taking place on their home course the following day. Clive George struck gold again, this time with a score of 39pts to top a big entry of 77 golfers.

Runner-up John Clark was one point back and beat Nigel Kirby into third place on countback.

The Ladies’ section at Stowmarket held their March Midweek Stableford competition last Wednesday on a lovely day, but with mixed results.

Carolyn Heywood came top in Division One, and overall, with 39pts followed by Samantha Annis with 35pts.

Margaret Arbin was third overall, and winner of Division Two, with 34.

Division Three’s best score came from Pat Partridge.

The Suffolk

It was a fine spring morning for The Suffolk’s March Weekend competition and the players took advantage of the sunshine to return some good Stableford scores.

Leading the way was the reigning club champion, Chris Tate, with a one over par gross round from his 5-handicap and 40 Stableford points. Tate will play off four next time out.

Veteran campaigner Iain Stark (13hcp) was runner-up on count back with 39pts from John Pritchard (15hcp) and Colin Debenham (18hcp).

Last year’s club captain, Paul Dufosee (14hcp), made a rare appearance at the Midweek Stableford competition and enjoyed the fine golfing weather, winning with 39pts.

Ivan Snelling kept up his run of form with second place, on countback from Pete Cocksedge, both scoring 37pts.

Snelling now leads the club’s Midweek Order of Merit table, after eight rounds, with 52pts closely followed by Mick Davey on 50pts and John Dale on 49.

He also leads the Weekend Order of Merit table, after four rounds, with a total of 25pts for his efforts.

Chris Tate’s win took him up and into second place with 19pts to his name.

Thetford

Brian Chadwick recorded the second hole-in-one of his career when he sank his tee shot at the 16th, using a seven iron.

Chadwick, club captain in 2014, was playing a friendly round with Barry 
Brackenborough and Alan Brown.

According to manager Malcolm Grub: “All three hit the green and it was only when they identified the balls that they realised Alan was about eight feet short of the hole, Barry was within 18 inches and Brian was in the hole.

“It meant the scores for the hole were 3-2-1. Brian’s previous ace was at the 11th seven years ago.”

Brad Smith, the newest member of staff at Thetford Golf Club’s pro shop, had an impressive round of level-par 72 to win the Thetford leg of the Golf Days UK Norfolk Tour on Friday.

Smith (2hcp) picked up 38pts to win by two from seven-handicapper Nick Stinson.

Dylan Green came third with 35 off a handicap of one.

Thetford’s Iain Yule, who plays off scratch, recovered from a poor start to return 31 points.

The scores were high for the Ladies’ March monthly Midweek Medal, but Sandra Smith bucked the trend with an nett 72 to win Division Two.

Smith, playing off 28, finished nine strokes ahead of Shirley Spreadbury. Linda Connor finished third with 81 off 36.

Sheila Spreadborough topped Division One with 99-19-80 on countback from Janice Bone 94-14-80. Jennifer Rowe came third.

Flempton

Flempton held their Jim Leishman Trophy last Wednesday, with a good midweek turnout in the sunshine on an ideal day for playing golf.

Twelve handicapper 
Richard Jaggard took the trophy, scoring 38 Stableford points, with runner-up 
Peter Marshall (21hcp) just one point behind.

Omar James-Johnson (15hcp) took third place on 36pts beating John 
Humphreys (19hcp) on countback.