Chris Boughton's Golf Column: Barlow and Coleman take top prizes
Last weekend the sun shone and the rain stayed away for the annual Club Championships at Bury St Edmunds Golf Club, held over two days.
The best gross return on day one came from Ben Coleman who had been in fine form in the weeks leading up to the championship.
Coleman included five birdies in his first-round score of two under par (Gross 70) with rising young star Michael Gee the next best with gross 72.
Gee fell away with a disappointing gross 77 on Sunday but big hitter Craig Nurse led the second day with a gross 72, including an eagle on the first, to add to his first day gross 75.
This left Nurse tied with Coleman with both three over par for their combined two-round scores and a play-off needed to decide this year’s Gross Club Champion.
Coleman, who finished runner-up last year came out on top on the second play-off hole and said: “Craig’s is one of my best friends at the club so it was a pleasure to play against him, we both said whoever won, it didn’t matter.”
He added: “I missed a good chance at the first play-off hole for a birdie to win but a solid par at the second did it for me.”
Both Coleman and Nurse thanked course manager Tom Smart and his greenkeepers for the superb condition of the course over the championship weekend.
Coleman, who works hard on his game, plays off a handicap of one and said he is targeting scratch by the year end.
The Ladies Gross Champion for 2019 is Suffolk County team member Alice Barlow (who plays off Scratch) with a two-day score of 77+74=151.
Last year’s champion, Mariette Robbertse, was runner-up.
The Ladies Nett champion (Millennium Plate) is Josephine Aves who returned nett scores of 76 on both days and the runner-up Liz Bezance.
In the men’s Nett competition Marcus Price had a flying start on Saturday with a superb score of 79-12=67, adding a nett 75 on day two to win the Bobby Jones Cup.
Price, who is coached by local Professional Dean Fairweather, said he was delighted with his championship win and his target for the remainder of this year is to get his handicap down to single figures (currently 11).
Craig Nurse was the Nett runner-up.
Stowmarket GC stormed through to the semi-finals of the Suffolk County team knock-out in the Hambro Cup with an uncompromising 31up win over visitors Bungay.
Stow were on fire, winning all eight matches, with Henry Cutting and Jack Forgan the stars of the day with 7up victories both morning and afternoon.
Stow will now face a tough test against Rushmere in the semi-finals at a neutral venue (Newton Green) on Sunday, July 21.
In the 19 matches played in this year’s rounds leading up to the semis in the Hambro, there have only been two away wins.
Last year at the same stage there had only been one away win.
Stow were runners-up to Aldeburgh in last year’s final at Bury GC. Stow are also in this year’s Tolly semis where they will play Woodbridge, also on July 21, at Newton Green.
They despatched visitors Kingfisher 14up in the quarter-finals.
On Saturday in temperatures exceeding 30C The Suffolk Golf Club used their home fixture advantage to good effect in their Division Three Weston Trophy team match against Rushmere to record a fine 4-1 win.
Charlie Garrod led the way with a 5&3 victory, Karoline Chan won 4&3, Jackie Thomas beat her opponent 3&2 and Angie Lewis triumphed on the 18th hole.
All the fixtures in the three Weston Trophy Divisions, which is a Suffolk County Ladies competition, are played both home and away.
Thetford Golf Club
“Mary Neal’s Ladies Captain’s Day at Thetford Golf Club on Saturday was a great success with the weather brilliant and the golf almost as good,” reports Thetford General Manager Malcolm Grubb.
The format for the day was a Stableford Waltz and the winners were Kath Malvern, Moira Morgan and Margy Lingham with 76pts.
The runners-up with 73 were Jan Bone, Gill Welham and Thea Towell and in third place were Carolyn Beaumont, Jenny Rowe and Pam Ellis with 69.
The nearest-the-pin winners were Brenda Potten (bronze) and Carolyn Beaumont (silver).
Lark Valley Golf Society
Lark Valley held the third match of their season recently at Dereham GC where they competed for the Warren Bowl.
Society committee member Joan Keil said: “For a 9-hole course Dereham really does play like an 18-hole course due to the different pin position.
“The course was in good condition and they welcomed us all and we had a lovely meal after the golf. A good day all round.”
Roy Bance was the winner of the Warren Bowl with a Stableford score of 32 points.
Adrian Simons led Division One and Maurice Rose took top spot in Division Two.
The Ladies’ winner was Mary Rose and the best guest score of the day came from Paul King.