Chris Boughton's Golf Column: Barlow crowned Suffolk champion
Bury St Edmunds Golf Club member Alice Barlow has secured her fourth successive Suffolk Matchplay title to become County Champion, after defeating her Suffolk County team-mate Lottie Whyman in the final at Ipswich Golf Club.
Barlow said: “I was over the moon to win the Suffolk Ladies’ Matchplay Championship for the fourth year running.
“I thought I was going home in the quarter-final on Saturday afternoon against Abbie Symonds where I was two down with two to play and somehow found an eagle on 18 with a 35 foot putt to take it to extra holes and won with a birdie on the 21st hole.”
In the Matchplay final Barlow beat Whyman 6 & 4.
The Championship also has a 36-hole Strokeplay element starting on the Friday which acts as a qualifier for the Matchplay over the weekend, but this year it was cut down to 18 holes because of torrential rain which turned the course into a boating lake.
Barlow was well placed with a level par round of 73 but Whyman secured the Strokeplay championship with a three under par 70.
Stowmarket Golf Club
Almost 100 golfers turned up at Stowmarket Golf Shop to look at their new Indoor Swing Studio on its opening day last week and according to Head Pro Jon Markham the word of the day was ‘wow’.
Markham said: “We were very pleased that everyone was as impressed as we are with our new studio which is a joint venture between the Golf Shop and the Golf Club.”
The new facility is available to Stowmarket members and visitors and includes a GC Quad launch monitor which measures the ball and club position at impact to give data on club speed, ball speed, spin rate, launch angle, club position, strike and face position.
Markham said: “This allows us to offer the very best for golf lessons in any weather throughout the whole year.”
He added: “It also enables us to offer an exceptional custom fitting experience for clubs and balls and we have teamed up with top manufacturers Mizuno, Ping and Titleist to offer a huge variety of club heads and shafts to try.”
The studio also boasts a state-of-the-art golf simulator.
This can be hired to either practise or play one of seven courses including Wentworth and Royal Birkdale.
Thetford Golf Club
Jason Huggins carried off the scratch and handicap prizes when Thetford Golf Club’s Steve Juster Cup was held over the weekend.
The competition is a 36-hole Strokeplay event with the top 30 scores on Saturday qualifying for the final round on Sunday.
Four-handicapper Huggins returned a 78 on Saturday, two behind the overnight leader Jake Barker. His excellent second round of 73-4-69 pushed him well clear of his rivals to win by five strokes with a gross total of 151 and he also won the handicap prize with nett 143.
If trophies are won over the final nine holes then he was certainly a worthy winner, playing them in level par with birdies at the 11th, 13th and 17th holes.
Matt Harben was runner-up in both competitions with a total of 156 off a handicap of six, which gave him a nett total of 144 which left him one stroke shy of Huggin’s tally.
In the scratch competition Josh Chamberlain was third with 77-79-156, one better than Dean Scott (78-79-156).
Suffolk Inter-Club Competitions
There were mixed fortunes for our local golf clubs in the first round of the Suffolk County Seniors’ Beaumont Trophy last week.
Bury suffered a surprise defeat to Brett Vale but only on the extra hole. It was sweet revenge for Brett Vale who lost to Bury 11 down in the first-round last year when Bury went on to reach the final.
Stowmarket golf course is a very tough challenge for away teams and Thorpeness were beaten 9 down. Ken Stuart & Clive George were the top performers for Stow finishing 8 holes up.
The Suffolk were also at home and took full advantage to record a big win of 18 up over opponents Bramford. Richard Grove & Stephen Christopher led the way for the Suffolk team with an impressive score of 12 up.
Flempton lost at Kingfishers 16 down.
Bury fared much better in the first round of the Suffolk County Parks Trophy (for low handicap Seniors), last week, with a fine 11 up away win at Hintlesham, and face another tough away trip to Felixstowe in round two. Stowmarket had a bye and The Suffolk and Flempton did not enter a team this year.
It was also the first round of 2019 Suffolk County Stenson Shield team knockout competition last week.
Bury are the reigning champions but had a bye in the first round and will play Flempton away in a local derby in round two.
Stowmarket hosted Halesworth and were 2 ½ to 1 ½ ahead at lunch following the morning foursomes. In the afternoon singles Stow’s Kevin Earp was 5 under par when he finished his match on the 13th winning 7 & 5.
The other two notable home performances were by Alex Bligh, who was 4 down after 4 but came soaring back to win 3 & 2 and Owen Clouting, who continued his good form to thrash his opponent 7 & 6.
Kieran Issit and Andy Grogan came in as reserves to play the singles and both had comfortable wins by 4 & 3.
Overall, Stowmarket dominated the singles 7-1 with no match going beyond the 16th hole and finished winners by 9 ½ to 2 ½. Stow will host Aldeburgh in the next round.
The Suffolk did not enter a team.