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Chris Boughton’s golf column: Impressive sum raised

Bury St Edmunds Golf Club captains, Nick Bonney and Joan Warnett, have raised a staggering £14,645 for the My WiSH charity during their year in office.

Last Thursday, at the club’s annual trophy presentation evening, Nick and Joan gave a cheque for £13,208 to My WiSH fundraising manager Sue Smith and fundraising officer Sally Daniels.

A further £1,437 was raised by club pro Simon Byford’s marathon running and transferred via JustGiving.

As far as anyone can recall at the club, this is the largest sum ever raised by the captains in one year.

General manager Mike Verhelst said: “The members have a lot to be proud of in their support and contributions to the captains’ charities this year.”

Sue Smith added her thanks to the members and emphasised how much this was going to mean to the two nominated hospital departments (the Children’s Rainbow Ward and the Macmillan unit).

Donations came from activities across the club including the Captains’ Charity Day, Byford’s marathon, the Ladies’ section cake book (initiated by Margaret Peasgood) and senior section raffles at inter-club home matches.

Ben Coleman’s 100-hole golf challenge and members passing their individual competition winnings also added to the pot.

The outgoing captains’ last official duty was to present the winners with their trophies, with 120 people attending the presentation.

The new captains, Ray Coleman and Hannah Clark, have their drive-in on Sunday, November 19.

Thetford GC

It was a glorious autumnal day for the full field of 35 clubs from all over East Anglia who took part in Thetford’s Festive Open, the last of their open events in 2017.

Once again, the scores at the top of the leaderboard were very close, with the winning team finishing just one point clear of their rivals.

John Yuill (Links, Newmarket) and David Sisson (Royal West Norfolk) came in with 42 points in the better-ball event to win a hamper of seasonal goodies. In his winner’s speech David said he had played at Thetford for more than 40 years and had never seen it in better condition at this time of year.

Three teams came in with 41pts, and the runners-up on countback were John Little and John Toyn (Sheringham).

Third place went to Stephen Lewis and Russell Preson, who had come all the way from Kibworth GC in Leicestershire.

They did not win the ‘longest drive’ however, as there were also entrants from Gaudet Luce GC in Droitwich.

The unlucky pair to miss out on the prizes on countback were Mike Dean and Colin Campbell of Eaton, who also had 41pts but only 19 on the back nine.

The prize for the home players was won by Ken Chatteris and his guest Gary Bethell of Ely City with 40pts, beating club captain Trevor Wignall and Alan Hitchborn on countback.

There were four nearest the pin prizes: Alan Pratt (Gaudet Luce) at the 1st, Alan Hitchborn (Thetford) at the 3rd, Paul Parsons (Tydd St Giles) at the 11th and Colin Campbell (Eaton) at the 16th.

The first of the weekend Winter Medals at Thetford was won by Ian Edmundson on countback from Paul Waters.

The two 10-handicappers both went round in 79, but Edmundson had a back nine of 38 and Waters was one shot more.

Stowmarket GC

Stowmarket were the hosts for the latest round of the Suffolk Winter Alliance meetings when 84 players, including three pros, found the course in fine condition for late autumn and the results reflected this.

Stowmarket members Alex Davey and Ken McCredie used their home course experience to finish runners-up with 43 points in this four-ball betterball competition.

Haverhill pairings took 1st (James & Ryan Hastie 46pts) and 3rd (Kim Ward & Paul Bartlett 42pts) places and Davey was top pro with 71.

The Suffolk GC

Billy and Danny Hawkins may be new members at The Suffolk, but the course layout clearly suits them well.

Playing off handicaps of 10 and 11, the brothers were victorious in the first round of the club’s Winter League recently with 40 Stableford points (Greensomes format).

Vice-Captain Pete Cocksedge and Paul Delaney were just one point back in second place.

Jackie and Peter Thomas took third spot with 36 points on countback from Bernie Bugg and Mark Henfield and Alfie Ferrari and Steve Spencer.

There was a good turnout for the club’s midweek Stableford last week despite the chilly weather.

Ivan Snelling took top spot with 38 points, extending his lead in the first quarter Midweek Order of Merit League table.

Brian Wiltorn came second on the day with 36 and lies second in the league jointly with Jim Chapman.

Mick Davey took third with 35 points beating club captain Alf Jackson on countback.

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