Chris Boughton's Golf Column: Runners-up spot enough to take title
Brian Wiltorn & Gordon Markham won the last round of the Winter League at the Suffolk last Sunday with 43 points – but it was runners-up Paul Delaney & Pete Cocksedge who were crowned champions for 2018/19.
On an unseasonably mild and sunny day they carded 40 points to end up overall league winners with 158pts. League runners-up were Simon Hodson & Paul Dufosee with 156 followed by Billy & Danny Hawkins who pipped John Mealey & Perry Gorrod for third spot on count-back.
Both totalled 153 points (best four rounds from six to count).
Alf Jackson found his form again after 18 months in the doldrums on Wednesday at the Suffolk, with a stunning score of 43 Stableford points to win the Midweek Qualifier.
His card included nine pars plus birdies on the 5th and 9th holes and next time out he will play off 12.
Ashley Lewis was four points adrift in second place followed by Ron Hazell who edged James Edgar on count-back for third spot. Both scored 38 points.
Thetford Golf Club
Glenn Beardsall & Graham Sloan hung on to win Thetford Golf Club’s Winter League by a single point. The pair had hit the front after the fifth round and nobody could overhaul them when the final round of the four-ball better-ball was played on Sunday, February 17.
The format is for two out of three rounds of both 4BBB and foursomes over the winter months.
Beardsall/Sloan reached 150pts and could not improve on that with a final round of 40pts – they had earlier returned two rounds of 43.
That meant they were looking over their shoulders as rivals tried to improve their own scores.
Ian Farnham & Andrew Horsburgh and Neil Elers & Ashley Forbes – joint second overall on 147 with one round to go – both returned 37pts which did not improve their totals. Ross Sanford & Rob Taylor came in with 42, an improvement of four points, but that left them one short on149.
Matt Wabe & Matt West improved by one with 39 for a total of 148 and third place overall. The winners in the final round were Bryan Muggeridge & Jon Olpin with 43 for a 10-point improvement, giving them a total of 145.
Sanford & Taylor were runners-up on the day with 42, followed by Steve Burridge & Mike Smith with 41.
Bury St Edmunds Golf Club
Eight handicapper Graham Smith had a roller-coaster ride in the club’s midweek Stableford last week.
Level par gross after 13 holes, a double bogey seven on the par five 14th looked like spoiling a superb round but he finished in style with an eagle on the par five 18th hole to win Division 1 of the competition by three points.
Smith’s round included one eagle, three birdies, eight pars, five bogeys and a double bogey to finish with 42 Stableford points (2 over gross).
Steve McClellan (10hcp) had a birdie on the third hole and finished the front nine just one over gross but three pars and six bogeys on the back resulted in 39 points and second place also in Division 1. Ian Whittaker took third place with 38 points on count-back.
The leading scores were even better in Division 2 with Stephen Clarke carding 44 points followed closely by Paul Elstone (43pts) and Monte Delaney (40pts). Forty-two golfers took part, a good turnout for a Monday in mid-February.
On Saturday the spring-like weather attracted a field of 101 members for the weekend Stableford at Bury and the ideal conditions resulted in some impressive leading scores.
In Division 1, Josh Nichols framed again, this time finishing in first place with 42 points from his 5-handicap (now 4).
His round included an eagle on the third hole and two birdies in a superb return of one under gross.
In Division 2, John Plumb also scored 42pts for top spot and in all, nine players scored 40pts or more in the top two divisions.
In Division 3, big-hitting Lee Reynolds carded 39pts to continue his recent rapid improvement.
Liz Bezance also enjoyed the favourable golfing conditions last week finishing first in Division 1 of the Ladies’ Thursday Stableford (39pts) and runner-up on Saturday (37pts).
Next time out she will play off a handicap of 11.
Terry-Jo Ponsford was the winner of Division 1 on Saturday with 38pts and Mandy Smith topped Division 2.
Clare Charlwood was runner-up on Thursday in Division 1 only losing out on count-back.
Heather Chandler led Division 2 and Daune Spraggins won Division 3.
On Sunday the Juniors concluded a busy week of competitions at Bury with their own Stableford qualifier.
Harry Mckeown returned the best score (39pts) followed by Georgia Parker (37pts) and Ben Eaden (36pts).
Flempton Golf Club
The early spring weather brought out 24 players in the Mixed Stableford at Flempton Golf Club last Sunday.
James Hurst won on count-back with 38 points. There were 22 birdies through the day with Hurst (5hcp) and Mark Rea (0hcp) making four birdies each.