Chris Boughton's Golf Column: Thetford's Owen Mills impresses in the Welwyn Garden City Commemorative Jug
It was a story of a good hole and a bad hole when Owen Mills represented Thetford in the Welwyn Garden City Commemorative Jug, which is open to all club champions.
In the morning round Owen was going well until a triple bogey at the 18th – his ninth hole – spoiled his card but he got back on track to return a one-over-par 71.
In the afternoon he came unstuck at the same hole – this time he had a quadruple-bogey at what was his last hole of the competition for a round of 74.
This saw him drop back to ninth place overall, which is still a very respectable result.
And Owen had a significant highlight – at the 187-yard 12th he had a hole-in-one, his first in competitive play.
He said: “I hit a five-iron and it never left the flag, pitching about five-yards short and rolling on.
“I didn’t actually see it go it go in, but I always knew it was going to be close.”
Unfortunately for him there was not a new BMW at stake, but he was delighted to receive a Welwyn GC shirt and shook hands with PGA professional Tom Lewis, who is a member of Welwyn.
Owen has previously recorded a hole-in-one at the third hole at Thetford.
The Welwyn tournament is linked to Sir Nick Faldo, who started his golf at the Hertfordshire club.
Josh Chamberlain & Brian How had a terrific finish to snatch the Breckland Cup’s Greensomes event at Thetford on Sunday.
They finished with three pars and birdies at both the 17th and 18th holes to total 43pts, just beating Nolan Guthrie & Andrew Knowles on count-back. Third place went to Mark Henfield & Paul Pearce with 42 while Steve Burridge & Mike Smith were fourth.
Thetford’s bid for glory in the NCGU Scratch Cup ended with a 5-0 defeat away to Bawburgh in the quarter-finals on Saturday.
In the top match, Owen Mills was two up after five but slipped behind and eventually lost 6&4 to county regular Jack Cullington.
Josh Chamberlain, Gareth Thomas, Jason Huggins and Rob Taylor also lost their matches as the home team put in an impressive performance.
Thetford have another chance in a county inter-club knock-out when they go to Sprowston Manor to play Costessey Park in the semi-final of the Myhill Trophy.
Bury St Edmunds Golf Club
Bury were very unlucky in their semi-final match against Aldeburgh in the Suffolk County Stenson Shield last Saturday, only losing in the playoff to a birdie after a 6-6 finish to the two rounds of normal play.
Captain Phil Smailes said: “Aldeburgh are a very strong team to compete against off scratch and it was always going to be a tough match for us, especially as the windy conditions will have favoured them.
“But they played great on the day and deserved their place in the final against Felixstowe at Bury on Saturday,September 7.”
After two Hambro Championship wins, one Stenson title and now a semi-final only lost in a play-off, Smailes has decided to call it a day for the Hambro and Stenson team captaincy.
He will be a hard act to follow.
The Suffolk Golf Club
The competitors for last week’s Wednesday Stableford teed off in the hope that the rain would stay away until they completed their rounds, but the forecast onset time was wrong and it made for unpleasant conditions during the back nine holes.
James Edgar’s handicap has tumbled this year and he coped best with the rain, returning a Stableford score of 38 points.
Ron Hazell was just a point back in second place with Ivan Snelling a further point adrift in third spot.
New member Rhys Nightingale had a stunning start in his first qualifier at The Suffolk on Saturday with 40 Stableford points from his handicap of 4.
Three birdies and a bogey on the front nine and two bogeys on the back, with the rest all pars, gave him a superb round of gross level par.
Tony Hurst was runner-up with 39 points followed by Gary Last with 38.
Stonham Barns Golf Park
Twelve-year-old golfer, Charlie Goodridge, won the East Anglian Under-12 Junior Golf Championship at Stonham Barns for the third time in four years last week.
Charlie, from Bury St Edmunds Golf Club, scored an excellent 66 which included a black nine of 31.
Stonham manager Tony Dobson said: “He has been a regular supporter of the junior tournaments at Stonham Barns and it was fitting he won this event as it was the last time he will be eligible to play.”
In the age categories, Tobias Maynard from Southwold Golf Club won the Under-8s with Will Holmwood in 2nd place.
Imogen Potter from Diss Golf Club won the Under-10s with Michael Kirk 2nd.
Ben Green from Stonham Barns won the Under-15 Trophy with Joshua Newman runner-up.
This was the 19th playing of this event, which was established in 2001 by Dobson, who is also the PGA Professional at Stonham Barns.
Dobson added: “The event, which was featured on a Channel 4 documentary in 2008, has produced some great champions and given many others the chance to enjoy playing some competitive golf at a young age in a relaxed, friendly environment.”
For further information on all of the junior golf tournaments and junior coaching available at Stonham Barns Golf visit their website www.stonhambarnsgolf.co.uk.