Chris Boughton’s golf column: Marathon men do their club proud
Bury St Edmunds Golf Club’s London Marathon men all performed well in the big event in the city last Sunday.
Club professional Simon Byford and club members Mike Greener, James Hewitt and Ollie Boughton had trained long and hard through the winter months and they all finished with excellent times.
Byford (My Wish) and Hewitt (Blerch Foundation) also raised much needed funds for their chosen charities.
A quarter of a million people from the UK applied to run in the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon with 40,000 taking part this year including Bury’s ‘Foursome’.
It’s all change at Flempton reports media officer Mike Moran — Paul Kent was a touring pro with a decent track record, then a local amateur golfer burning up the course at Flempton. Now he’s back in the professional ranks as an affiliated professional based permanently on site. Kent is the new resident pro at Flempton Golf Club — the first it has had for many a long year.
Moran said: “It may not be rags to riches but it is a big move for Paul as he switches from being a playing member to resident pro, in a move that delights members as they universally sing his praises for the quality of tuition now on offer.”
As well as providing a full teaching programme, Kent will also run a pro shop on site offering all the usual goods and services.
He arrives at Flempton following an active and challenging career as a tournament golfing professional.
In his early career, he completed his apprenticeship under Alex Hay at the Woburn Golf Club and successfully qualified for the European Tour. He competed all over the UK and Europe as well as the African and Australasian tours and he made the cut in 20 different National Opens.
Moran concluded: “Kent maintains that his career highlight is competing in three consecutive British Opens, but there are some who believe it will be working at Flempton Golf Club.”
Eighty-five-year-old Derek Rutterford, a Thetford Golf Club member since 1990, recorded the fourth hole-in-one of his golfing career last week on the 16th. Playing alongside George Gamble and John Lynch, Rutterford, who plays off a handicap of 18, chose to use his driver into a fresh head wind. His ball landed on the front of the green and bounced on into the hole.
Rutterford has had two previous aces at the 16th along with one more at Feltwell.
The Seniors had two major competitions last week. The Hooper Cup is for players aged over 60 and was won in fine style by Charles Kesingland with 89-23-66. He finished four strokes ahead of Martin Jackson (11 handicap) and Malcolm Wright (22hcp) who returned nett 70s.
The SSAFA Stableford is always a popular event, raising money for the Forces Charity. Barry Brackenborough was this year’s winner after collecting 39 points off his handicap of 11. John Barton (12hcp) and Derek Barton (14hcp) were second and third with 37 points.
The Aspirants Shield is for players with a handicap over 20. David Benton was this year’s winner with 38 points off a handicap of 20, followed by Paul MacRow (25hcp) and Terry Harrison (22hcp) both scoring 35 points.
It was a windy, cool Sunday morning for The Suffolk’s latest weekend Stableford, but at least the forecast of heavy rain failed to appear. Long-time pairs partners Kevin Stannard (18hcp) and Brian Johnson (24hcp) took first and second place respectively with 38 points.
Brian Wiltorn continued his recent return to form with 37 points and third place.
There were no changes at the top of the Weekend Order of Merit table with none of the four leading golfers taking part. Chris Tate on 29 points still leads Ivan Snelling by two, with Dave King third on 23 points and Stewart Kerr fourth.
Wiltorn also took second place in the Mid-Week Stableford with 36 points on count back from third-placed Bob Stevens.
Ivan Snelling was the winner on the day with 38 points with his handicap dropping back down to 10. Club Captain Alf Jackson was fourth.
In this penultimate Mid-Week Order of Merit competition John Dale, 75 points, is now only two ahead of Snelling.
The following week in the final round of the second quarter Mid-Week Order of Merit competition, Wiltorn’s recent good form deserted him and he only managed 21pts.
Dale, however, secured the Order of Merit table with an impressive win scoring 40 Stableford points, five ahead of second-placed Dave King on the day and 10 points ahead of Ivan Snelling in the final Merit table.
Mick Davey came third overall with Jim Chapman third on the day.
I am on holiday next week, so there will be no golf round-up, but I will catch up with all the local golfing results and news on May 12.