Chris Boughton’s golf column: Thetford skipper aces first hole

HOLE-IN-ONE: Thetford Club Captain Trevor Hitchborn celebrates his ace with vice-captain Bob Pearson (left) and Alan Hitchborn (right)
HOLE-IN-ONE: Thetford Club Captain Trevor Hitchborn celebrates his ace with vice-captain Bob Pearson (left) and Alan Hitchborn (right)
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Thetford Golf Club’s Trevor Wignall will no doubt have a busy year as club captain, especially with the club purchase from landlords Crown Estates almost ready to proceed.

However, the demands of captaincy were put aside last week thanks to a hole-in-one in the Seniors’ April Stableford.

Wignall started his round on the par-three first hole with a 176-yard five-iron shot that landed on the upper tier of the green and rolled gently into the hole for an ace.

He was accompanied by playing partners Bob 
Pearson (vice-captain) and Alan Hitchborn.

Pearson was wearing a bow tie for the club’s ‘40s Night on Saturday and was challenged to wear the same outfit for Monday’s competition when he aptly celebrated the captain’s ace.

Thetford Ladies’ second team suffered a narrow 4-3 defeat away to Sprowston Manor in Division Six of the Norfolk Ladies Golf League last week.

Margaret Hayward, Ann Engwell and Mary Neal were the winners for Thetford.

Stowmarket

Ian Harvey and Sue Knights recently completed their year in office as captains of Stowmarket Golf Club. During the year, they raised an amazing £13,000 for their jointly nominated charity CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young).

The new Stowmarket club captain Mark Tibbenham’s drive-in theme was characters from the film Toy Story.

He was joined by several members dressed as characters from the film, including vice-captain Barry Knights.

Despite these distractions, the new club captain found the fairway with a 205-yard drive off the first tee.

Tibbenham and Ladies’ captain Clare Peck have selected the East Anglian Air Ambulance as their charity for the coming year.

It was a fine day for the Ladies’ recent Medal competition at Stowmarket.

Liz Laflin played to her handicap of five and took top spot in Division One with a nett 72, beating Jane Darling.

Ladies’ handicap secretary, Edwina Hughes, also won on countback, in Division Two, pushing Tracey Delaney into second place, both with nett 70.

Angela Rodgers led the way in Division Three with nett 72.

The Suffolk

It was overcast, with a cold blustery north easterly for the latest Midweek Stableford at The Suffolk and consequently there were no stand-out scores.

John Dale’s 35 points were enough to take first place on countback from Men’s captain Alf Jackson. Dale extended his lead to 11 points in the Midweek Order of Merit table.

Bury St Edmunds

Three golfers returned scores of nett 69 in the Croger Cup and Lombard Qualifier, held at the club last week and the leading positions had to be decided on countback.

Tony Strowger took top spot with 81-12=69 followed by Dan Smailes with 71-2=69 and Daniel Bright 82-13=69.

Strowger will now play with club professional Matt Alderton in the Lombard Pro-Am competition. The top-eight placed golfers also qualified for the knockout stage of the club’s Croger Cup.

In Bury’s Midweek Medal, reigning club champion Michael Gee came out on top on countback with 75-4=71.

The recent Winter Goblets champions Stephen Lankester (76-5=71) and Mike Greener (77-5=72) took second and third places.

Suffolk Winter Alliance

There was an entry of 83 players for the final event of the 2016/17 Suffolk Winter Alliance played at Haverhill Golf Club, on a fine spring day.

The Professional prize was once again won by Stowmarket’s Sam Forgan with 71. Runner-up Dean Fairweather (Breckland Pines) returned a score of 73.

In the main Fourball Betterball competition, Paul Nuttall (Stoke-by-Nayland) partnered John Craddock (Stowmarket) to take top spot with 45 points.

The Haverhill Ladies’ pairing of Lynn Fish and Mandy Williamson were runners-up with 44.

The final Individual Order of Merit table was dominated by golfers from S-B-N, who held the top six places. Ian Benson kept his lead to be crowned champion with 218 points followed by Roger Gardiner, Brian Castle and Mike Moore, all on 211 points.

Sam Forgan took the Professional’s Order of Merit title for the second year running.