Chris Boughton's Golf Column: Bury book their place in Stenson final
Bury St Edmunds Golf Club are through to this year’s final of the Suffolk County Golf Union Stenson Trophy.
They beat a strong Woodbridge side, who were runners-up last year, in a play-off. The Stenson is the premier team event in the Suffolk golfing calendar.
Just before they teed off at Felixstowe Ferry, captain Phil Smailes said: “Our minimum objective for the morning foursomes was to achieve at worst a 2-2 result at lunch.
“Happily, this objective was achieved with a strong performance from Ben Coleman and Trevor Titcombe only exceeded by Michael Gee and Andy Cunningham, who beat ex-Suffolk first-team captain Nathan Overton and the young plus-1 handicapper George Fricker.”
Fricker had won the Suffolk County Junior Championship earlier in the week.
In the afternoon Smailes made one change to the team for the singles, bringing in Ben Aves for his Stenson debut in place of Stephen Lankester.
Aves achieved an astounding result, beating Tom Fowler 7&5 to gain his first Stenson point.
Other notable performances came from the experienced Ben Coleman, Titcombe and Jordan Nelli (previously of Purdis Heath).
The match was close all day and, in the play-off, Woodbridge opted for the experience of Nathan Overton, while Smailes selected Bury’s youngest player Max Adams.
Woodbridge had the honour and found the bunker on the first extra hole, while Adams penetrated the first fairway with a strong and long drive.
Overton struggled to get out of the bunker taking two shots to leave his ball short of the green and showing no signs of nerves, Adams hit a delightful shot to within 18 inches of the hole.
After chipping his ball to approximately 12-foot Overton conceded the hole to birdie. Bury have never been in a Stenson final and will face Hintlesham on September 15, at Aldeburgh.
Felixstowe Ferry was also the venue for the final of the Suffolk PGA Chauffeur Services KO Cup, where Bury Driving Range owner Andy Goodridge faced a tough match against Andrew Robinson from Southwold GC.
Goodridge has played exceptionally well to reach this year’s final, beating a string of top Suffolk professionals along the way. Unfortunately, he started badly, losing the first two holes in persistent rain and strong wind.
However, he rallied for the remaining holes, but Robinson won 3 & 2.
Titcombe, who won both his matches in the Stenson Cup semi-final, also triumphed in the President’s Putter last week, beating his Stenson partner Ben Coleman in a play-off after both returned gross scores of 74.
On the same day Clare Charlwood took the President’s Ladies Mashie with a score of 39.
Titcombe had a superb week of golf, also winning the Friday Freeplay Medal at Bury with a round of gross 72, nett 70, off his 2 handicap. Malcolm Parkinson took second place.
Bury Ladies Weston team won their final match in Division Two, against Rookery Park, on one of the hottest days this year, to make it five wins out of five matches. As winners they will be promoted to Division One.
My sincere apologies to Linda Challenor for the surname spelling mistake in last week’s Golf Round-up. Andy Ball was the winner of what should have been reported as the Geoff Challenor Trophy.
The Suffolk Golf Club
The Suffolk held the final round of their Major Mayhem series of four Open matches to coincide with the PGA Championship last weekend.
Host club competitor Mick Callinan took top spot on the day with 36 points, followed by fellow members Duane Towns and Dave King who scored 35.
However, Dan Martin (SBN) finished with the best two scores from the series to win overall with 80 points. Rhys Nightingale (West Suffolk GC) was runner-up with 78 and Iain Stark (The Suffolk) third with 77.
Suffolk Golf Union
Max Adams has had a week to remember. As well as helping to take his club, Bury St Edmunds, into the final of the Stenson Shield with his playoff victory, he also finished runner-up in the Suffolk County Junior Championship.
The winner was George Fricker from Ufford Park, with Flempton’s young star, Alfie Halil, third. Bury also did well in the team Shield with Teddy Hall and Tyler Weaver finishing on top.
West Suffolk Golf Centre
Ten-year-old Thomas Nixon, along with fellow West Suffolk GC members Barry Freear and Steve Brown, battled through a hot day to complete the 72-Hole Longest Day Challenge, for Macmillan Cancer Care.
Members, family and friends welcomed them back to the clubhouse after 13 hours of golf, raising an amazing £733.
Lark Valley Golf Society
The society held the penultimate match of their 2018 calendar at Dereham GC last week, competing for the Challenge Shield.
The winner was Colin Sillettt with 39 points. Bob Shea was the top scorer in the Men’s Division with 37 points, while Joan Keel was the leading Lady with 34.
The best guest score came courtesy of Ivor Evans with a return of 41.