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Chris Boughton's Golf Column: New captains hit off the tee for 2019

By Sport Bury

Thetford Golf Club’s new captains drove into office on New Year’s Day – club captain Mike Horley, ladies’ captain Mary Neal and seniors’ captain Dave Smith.

The club’s general manager, Malcolm Grubb said: “They all hit good drives, much to the delight of the large number of members who were there to witness their nerve-racking ordeal!”

The winner of the Captain’s Mashie, the traditional New Year’s Day competition, was Frank Knight with 23 points –which was a good effort for 13 holes with only one club and a putter.

He played the four holes from 10 to13 in three-over-par to collect 10 points, which meant he pipped Graham Sloane on countback with Tim Warner in third place on 20.

Thetford Captain Mike Horley, President Richard Goodenough, Ladies' Captain Mary Neil, Senior Captain David Smith (6428414)
Thetford Captain Mike Horley, President Richard Goodenough, Ladies' Captain Mary Neil, Senior Captain David Smith (6428414)

The previous Saturday, the club held its last event of 2018, the Captain/Pro Challenge where new captain Mike Horley and Club Pro Stuart Smith were first out and set a target of 37 points.

Thirty-five pairs took part but only two pairs managed to beat the target. Runners-up were Chris White and Terry Young with 39 points but the winners of the top prize of a Ping putter each way were Andy Beard and the in-form David Sutton with 40 points.

The Suffolk Golf Club

James Edgar did not feature in the leading positions in the latest Midweek Qualifier at the Suffolk Golf Club, but he cannot be caught at the top of the 13-week Order of Merit league table.

With just two competitions remaining Edgar has 67 points and is 22 points ahead of Ron Hazell in second place.

But the runners-up slot is still wide open with Hazell (45pts), Dave King (42pts), Mick Davey (41pts) and Ivan Snelling (39pts) the leading contenders.

King climbed up into third place after winning last week’s Midweek Stableford with 35 points from his 18 handicap.

Five handicapper Chris Tate, who has been in good form in recent weeks, was the runner-up on the day but this was only his second competition in the current Order of Merit Midweek series, so he does not feature in the leading positions. However, he does currently lead both the Saturday and Sunday Order of Merit tables.

On Saturday, Tate increased his lead in the club’s Weekend Order of Merit league table with another fine win.

His medal score of 70-5=65 was two shots better than second placed James Laflin who carded net 67 from his handicap of 12.

Paul Hawkins (net 68) came third.

Three golfers finished with net 70 in the Suffolk’s Sunday Medal - in handicap order: Duane Towns, Paul Dufosee & Pete Cocksedge.

Bury St Edmunds Golf Club

It was a bitterly cold Saturday for the first Qualifier competition of 2019, but the adverse weather did not impact negatively on the leading Stableford scores.

Sixty-two members braved the elements and eight golfers scored 40 points or more spread across all three divisions.

Top score came from Richard Fuller in Division 3 who carded an impressive 43 points from his handicap of 22 (19 next time out).

Runner-up David Mackie finished one point back on 42pts and topped Division 1, with his handicap now down to 10.

In Division 2, Ben Johnson scored 41pts to beat Gary Sillett on countback followed by Mel Leaman and Sean Frost-Palmer who both finished with 40pts as did David Matter in Division 1.

Theatre Royal Golf Day

The popular Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds Annual Golf Day will again be held at Stowmarket Golf Club in 2019.

The event, which in previous years has raised thousands of pounds for the Theatre, a registered charity, attracts support from across the eastern region and beyond.

It’s an important year for the famous Georgian Theatre as it celebrates its 200-year anniversary.

The Golf Day will take place on Thursday, April 4, and will be the same format as the past eight years with teams of four playing 18 holes Stableford, best three out of four scores to count.

As always there will be a generous prize table, coffee and bacon roll on arrival followed by fish and chips after your round.

The cost is £125 per team, but you need to get your entry forms in quickly to avoid disappointment.

If you go to www.theatreroyalgolfday.co.uk you will be able to read a report on the 2018 event and at the bottom of the page you will see a downloadable entry form.

For further information call Ian Duncan on 01359 244537 or 07850 244537, email: ian@club-noticeboard.co.uk

Suffolk Winter Alliance

On an overcast day, 104 golfers, including three professionals, took part in the first alliance meeting of the year at Bungay & Waveney Valley Golf Club.

Alliance Secretary Doug Reynard said: “Almost all the players commented on the fine condition of the greens as they were running quite fast for the time of year.”

The Professional prize was won by Sam Forgan of Stowmarket with a three under par score of 66, followed by Adam Trett from the Suffolk.

The team prize (any two from four scores) was won by the Stoke-by-Nayland’s Dean Brace, Ian Smith, Richard Bland and Brian Long with 86 points.

The next meeting is a Fourball Betterball competition at Flempton on Sunday, January 20.

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