Chris Boughton’s golf column: Hambro Cup win no fluke
Bury St Edmunds Golf Club are the Suffolk County Hambro Cup team knockout champions (under 10 handicap) for the second year running.
Fielding six of the eight players who were victorious in last year’s final, captain Phil Smailes led his team to a convincing 11 up win over Gorleston at Rookery Park.
Trevor Titcombe and Dan Smailes were the stars of the morning foursomes on Sunday, winning their match 4 up with Roger Nicholson and club junior champion Max Adams winning 3 up.
Despite Mike Greener and club champion Craig Nurse losing 5 down, Bury went to lunch 3 up overall with Suffolk Senior Championship runner-up Steve Dufffety and Stephen Lankester also winning 1 up. Nurse and Greener more than redeemed themselves with a 7 up success in the afternoon matches.
Also in the afternoon Titcombe and Smailes and Duffety and Lankester were all square, while Nicholson and Adams won their second match 1 up.
Team captain Phil Smailes congratulated his squad on another superb Hambro campaign including reserve on the day Ben Coleman and fellow squad member Malcolm Wyer and club captain Nick Bonney, who provided support from the side-lines during the final.
The Hambro Cup was first played for annually by Suffolk golf clubs in 1931 and this was only the fifth victory by the Bury Club (1935, 1975, 1996, 2016 & 2017), but this year’s win showed it was no fluke and the club are worthy Suffolk County Hambro Cup Champions for the second year running.
Bury GC Tolly team (10-18 hcp) also played their final at Rookery Park on Sunday but lost to Ufford Park by 9. But this year was an impressive run to the final by captain Colin Aves and his team – Max Whittaker, Paul Ives, Sean Frost-Plamer, Mike Darling, Barry Storey, Edward Pomeroy, Steven Gee and Ben Whittaker.
Bury play in yet another Suffolk County final (the club’s 6th this year) on Monday, teeing off at midday, when they face Brett Vale in the Beaumont Trophy at Stowmarket.
n Bury St Edmunds Golf Club held their annual Seniors’ Open last week with 100 members and their guests taking part. The day was organised by Graham Judge and sponsored by Buckle Shipping, Gross & Co, Cecil & Larter, Enhance Air and Greene King. Alan Connell (Chelmsford) won The Perpetual Cup, for guests, with 39 points and Brian Burns took The Cusworth Trophy, as the best home club player, with 40 points. For results and prizes see the results page (133).
Thetford GC Ladies’ Section held their finals over the weekend for both the Handicap Knock-out and the Club Championship.
On Saturday, the finalists were Jess Dixon and Wendy Puttock playing for the Handicap Trophy. Dixon had to give Puttock 10 shots, but despite a valiant effort she did not have the answers to Dixon’s game, on the day, which was arrow straight combined with great putting. This resulted in three birdies for Dixon giving her a well-deserved win 5&3.
On Sunday, Dixon was back on the course this time to face Kath Malvern (defending her title), in the Club Championship final. It was always going to be a thrilling match and the two opening holes (the 6th and 7th) were both halved in birdies. Dixon was 1 up at the 11th, then the 12th was halved in fours but Malvern found some determination to win the next four holes to go three up.
Dixon managed a fabulous birdie at the first to claw back one hole, but she was running out of holes. Malvern made it two at the 4th hole and Dixon needed to birdie the hole to continue play but failed losing the match 2&1.
Ladies’ Captain Gill Welham said: “Both finalists played fantastic golf, but Kath played under par for the course on the day. Well done to all finalists over the weekend, it was a spectacular weekend of golf and wonderful to watch and to referee.”
n Four-handicap Robert Setchell won the Neville Bishop Trophy and was crowned Thetford Golf Club’s Men’s Champion on Sunday.
Setchell returned cards of 75+78=153 to win by three from last year’s junior captain, Dean Scott, who came in with 78+78=156. Scott, who plays off 9, had the consolation of taking the handicap prize with two nett 69s.
Club Manager Malcolm Grubb reported: “Robert said in his winner’s speech that he had won the Junior Club Championship at Ely in 1971 when he was 11 and has been trying to win a club crown ever since then.
He has managed it now at the age of 57.”
Third place in the gross competition went to Robert Taylor (5) who had 81+77=158, beating seven-handicap Jack Chi Wai-chiu on countback.
Last wednesday was the last major ladies event this season for Stowmarket, when 38 lady members and their guests from 23 different clubs arrived to take part in the Autumn Ladies’ Invitation Day.
Event Organiser and vice-captain, Anne Fenning, reported: “The weather was a bit four seasons in one day and chilly at times, but the day was enjoyed by all.”
The format was a full handicap Stableford scoring team event with two scores out of four on the par 4s and 5s and all scores to count on the par 3s.
The winning team was Jane Darling (Stow), Judi Walker (Eaton), Sam Annis, Julie Sparling (Felixstowe) with 99 points and the runners-up, Clare Peck (Stow), Bernie Bugg (The Suffolk), Edwina Hughes, Di Hegarty (Felixstowe) with 94 points. More scores page 133.