Chris Boughton’s golf column: Some great events on show

TOP DUO: Thetford Golf Club Lombard Trophy Thetford Pro Stuart Smith with playing partner John Clark
TOP DUO: Thetford Golf Club Lombard Trophy Thetford Pro Stuart Smith with playing partner John Clark
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The highlight of Craig Nurse’s second round in Bury St Edmunds Golf Club’s annual Championship last weekend, was his second shot to the par five 18th hole.

“I had 240 yards to the green with a tricky back left pin and hit a two-iron to 12ft just missing the eagle putt but making birdie, probably the best shot I have ever played,” explained Nurse.

The resulting two-round score of 147 gave him a one-shot win over close friend Dan Smailes who led the way on day one with a gross 70, despite four putting the 4th and going out of bounds with his second shot on the 18th.

He more than compensated with five birdies. Although he narrowly missed out on winning the championship for the third time, Smailes’ handicap was cut to 1.0 making him currently the lowest in the Bury Club.

Paul Ives won the Bobby Jones Cup for his best nett combined score of 137 with Ben Aves runner-up on 140.

In the ladies’ Championship, Marietta Robertse won with a weekend gross score of 166 followed by Bev Allen on 170.

Robertse was also runner-up in the Millennium Plate to winner Clare Sykes who had a nett score of 4-under.

General Manager, Mike Verhelst, thanked the greens staff for the superb condition of the course: “Despite the recent heatwave I cannot recall the fairways being so green for the annual club championships,” he said.

Thetford

The sun shone on Trevor 
Wignall’s Captain’s Charity Day on Saturday with 42 teams of four battling it out for a variety of prizes.

Two teams of early starters from the host club led the way for most of the day.

Steve Cartwright, Terry Stephenson, Graham Sloan and Glenn Beardsall set the pace with 90 points in the best-two-from-four format, just ahead of Geordie Gutherson, Gareth Mills, Ian Ramsay and James Killa who had 89.

Then, just before the end of the 11-hour competition, a team of visitors from Essex stormed to the first prize with a marvellous total of 97 points.

Clacton’s John Moore was the star of the show with six birdies on his card and 42 points on his own playing off a handicap of four.

His playing partners, 
Danny Abrahams and Michael Hunter from Hainault Forest and Tony Noakes from Maylands, all chipped in to secure the top prizes.

Another highlight of the day was a hole-in-one at the 11th by Phil Reeve of Colne Valley.

He used a three-iron hybrid for his first-ever ace, and made a generous contribution to the charity fund to mark the occasion.

The total raised on the day for The Stroke Association and Alzheimer’s Research is likely to be in excess of £5,000.

Gill Welham’s Ladies’ Captain’s Day was described by general manager, Malcolm Grubb, as ‘a great success’ with 39 players taking part in a Stableford Waltz with teams of three taken from high, middle and low handicaps.

“Even given the fact that the ball was running well in the dry conditions, the score of 96 points from Sharon Caws, Lorelle Turner and Liz Hodgson was very impressive,” said Grubb.

They were 17 points clear of runners-up, Liz Wigg, Shirley Spreadbury and Linda 
Connor with third place going to Jenny Rowe, Sheena Setchell and Sandra Lester with 76pts.

Nearest the pin at the 3rd for the Bronze Division was won by Sandra Gordon and at the 16th Sharon Caws was nearest for Silver.

Thetford hosted the regional final of the PGA Lombard Trophy last week where 46 pairs of club professionals and their club’s qualifying amateur partners competed for the one place on offer in the final at Portugal’s Pestana Vila Sol Golf Resort in September.

Host professional Stuart Smith and his partner John Clark had set the pace for much of the day with a five-under-par total but eventually fell short of winning by just two shots.

Bury, Haverhill, Newmarket and The Suffolk also took part.

The winning pair, who will compete in the final for a first prize of £12,000, were Lee Scarbrow and Neil Oram of John O’Gaunt GC.

Suffolk County Team

Competitions

The Park’s Trophy is a matchplay team men’s knock-out competition for Seniors’ with handicaps of nine or less.

Two local clubs were involved in last week’s third round and both enjoyed home wins against strong opposition.

Stowmarket beat Rushmere by 11 holes with Phil 
Fairbrother and Pat Shephard the star pair (8 up) and Bury beat reigning champs Diss by two in a very tough match.

The two victorious clubs will now meet in the quarter-finals at Bury GC.

The Jubilee Shield is a Four-Ball-Better-Ball competition for ladies over 60 with a max handicap of 24 and three local teams took part in the quarter-finals last week.

Flempton recorded a superb home result over 
Stowmarket winning by three holes.

Bury also made their way into the semis with an impressive two-hole win over Ipswich.