Chris Boughton's Golf Column: Stowmarket have run of successes
Stowmarket Ladies have recently had a busy time on the competition front both at home and in Suffolk County Ladies’ Golf Association events.
The stand-out performance came from Liz Laflin and Fiona Ferrie in the prestigious Suffolk Foursomes Coronation Trophy at Halesworth GC last week.
In a competition played over 18 holes in the morning and nine in the afternoon, Liz and Fiona, representing Stowmarket, returning a total nett score of 106.25 (73.5+32.75) to win the trophy.
Stow’s Suffolk County Stearn Trophy (12-20 handicappers) Ladies’ team pulled off an impressive win against Bury St Edmunds GC at Worlington in the competition’s second round.
Annie Tyler reported: “With the score at one match each, the last pair (Wendy Wilderspin and Joanne Finter) were all square on the 35th hole. There was great excitement when Jo holed an eight-foot putt at the 36th hole to win the match for Stow 2-1”.
Stow will face another tough match in their quarter-final at Haverhill on Monday, August 5.
The Stow Ladies’ latest club competition was for the Grandmothers’ Trophy which was won by Jenny Godfrey with a score of nett 72 followed closely by runner-up Jan Sheridan on nett 73.
The Stowmarket Seniors are doing very well in Suffolk County team events too this year. They are through to the Beaumont quarter-final against Haverhill and the Parks quarter-final against Ufford.
Bury GC are also in the Parks quarters and they face Rushmere.
Meanwhile, Stowmarket’s men are also on top form in Suffolk County team events, reaching the semi-finals of both the Tolly and Hambro Cups.
Their opponents are Woodbridge and Rushmere respectively at Brett Vale on Sunday, July 21.
Thetford Golf Club
Thetford GC has also been in full swing on the competition front in the last couple of weeks.
The club’s Champagne Breakfast competition is one of the most popular of the year. The winning score was a spectacular 55.2 after a Texas Scramble round that included 10 birdies and two eagles.
Mark Henfield, Paul Pearce, Kevin Cooke and clubhouse manager Phil Beer combined to trim six strokes off par for the front nine and a further eight strokes off par for the back nine, when they had eagles at the 13th and 17th.
Runners-up were another team of single-figure players; Ian Farnham, Matt Harben, Gareth Mills and Ross Sanford with 60-2.1=57.9. They also had an eagle, at the par-5 sixth.
Third place went to an all-ladies team of Dawn Dixon, Jess Dixon, Kath Malvern and Wendy Puttock with 64-5.6=58.4.
There was a shotgun start at 7am and after the round there was a breakfast along with fizz for all the players.
Another favourite at Thetford is the club summer meeting; a thank-you to all those players who support competitions throughout the year.
For one event a year there is no entry fee – all the prize money is taken from the club’s prize fund.
This year’s winner was Graham Sloan with an impressive 41pts. He also won the PGA Staysure qualifying competition for over-50s, which gives him a place as professional Stuart Smith’s partner in the regional final at Orsett GS on July 22.
Graham, who plays off 12, started steadily with an eagle-three at the 6th, the highlight of a front nine worth 21pts. A rock-solid finish with six pars in a row gave him 20 on the back nine.
Ashley Forbes finished second with 37pts off a handicap of 11. He pipped Shaun Burton (17hcp) on count-back.
Richard Alger is Thetford’s senior champion after winning the Seniors’ Medal Championship with a nett 68. Alger, who plays off a handicap of nine, went round in gross 77 including birdies at the 6th and 11th.
Ken Kirwan was runner-up with 92-22-70, winning a three-way tie on count-back.
Paul Huggins (84-14-70) and John Barto (81-11-70) were third and fourth.
The Suffolk Golf Club
The Suffolk GC’s Ladies’ Weston team are currently on a winning streak. Following their impressive 4-1 win over Rushmere a couple of weeks ago they followed up with another fine win by the same score last week, this time over Diss GC.
The Suffolk have now won three of their four matches played so far this year.
James Edgar scored 38 Stableford points to win the latest Midweek qualifier at The Suffolk and close the gap to just three points behind Jim Chapman in the Midweek Order of Merit league.
Brian Wiltorn took second place on the day on count-back from Tony Hurst and Gary Last.
Stowmarket GC hosted the fourth round of the Ipswich Division of The Golf Foundation GolfSixes tournament last week.
The home team (Joshua O’Donnell, Ben Rudland, Finlay Edwards, Toby Markham, Recce Edwards and William Rosten) finished in third place.
After four rounds Ipswich lead the competition overall, followed by Felixstowe, Stowmarket and Stonham.
Meanwhile, there was a very close finish in the fourth round of the West Suffolk Division. Home club Bury St Edmunds just pipped The Suffolk by one point 123-122 with Newton Green third and Haverhill fourth.