Thetford Ladies among latest finalists
September is traditionally the month that hosts the Suffolk and Norfolk county team finals and, as with last year, our local golf clubs are well represented.
Thetford are through to the final of Norfolk County Ladies’ Golf Association’s Carrick Cup (scratch, fourball betterball). Despite being four down early on, Jess Dixon and Shelley Pleasance, went on to win 3&1 in their semi-final against Ryston on Sunday.
In the final, scheduled for Sunday, September 30, they will play Royal Cromer who beat Dunston Hall in the other semi-final.
Bury St Edmunds Golf Club travel to Aldeburgh on Saturday, September 15, where they will face Hintlesham in this year’s final of the Suffolk County Golf Union Stenson Shield.
This knockout competition is played off scratch and is the premier team event in the Suffolk golfing calendar.
In the semi-final Bury beat a strong Woodbridge team in a play-off when Max Adams triumphed over Nathan Overton on the first extra hole.
Hintlesham have won the Stenson once before, in 2012, but Bury have never taken the trophy, although they were losing finalists in 1995.
Bury member Martin Byford, who took part in the ‘95 final recalls: “We lost to Stoke-by-Nayland on a very wet Sunday.”
Stoke are no longer affiliated to the Suffolk Golf Union but dominated the Stenson Shield between 1991 and 2006, winning it a remarkable nine times. Bury must start favourites this time as Hambro Cup champions in 2016 and 2017.
Captain Phil Smailes has a difficult task in selecting his team from a squad that have all performed well in competitions this year, although Trevor Titcombe will be unavailable for the final.
Bury GC are also through to the final of the Beaumont Trophy. This is a team knockout for Senior golfers (13-20hcp) and Bury are the reigning champions. They face Haverhill at Stowmarket on Wednesday, September 19.
Haverhill have also made it to the final of the Tolly Cup (10-18hcp) after storming through the knockout rounds with a series of convincing victories. In round one they beat Bramford 41up, overcame West Suffolk Golf Centre 48up in round two, in the quarter-finals beat St Clements19up and in the semis they dispatched Rushmere 17up.
Their confidence will be sky-high, but Ipswich will be formidable opponents on Sunday, September 9, at Ufford Park.
Stowmarket will face Aldeburgh on Sunday (September 9), at Bury GC in the final of the Hambro Cup (under 10 handicap), with the weather forecast looking good.
Stow reached the final after beating Fynn Valley in the semis in what team captain Henry Cutting described as ‘appalling weather conditions’. It promises to be a highly competitive final.
Stow last won the cup in 2009, but it is 25 years since Aldeburgh were Hambro champions. Since the competition began in 1931, Stow have won the cup three times and Aldeburgh four.
The Suffolk Golf Club
Ivan Snelling leads the midweek order of merit with 44 points following his win in the latest midweek medal. Dave King, who was second on the day, lies second with 42pts. Michael Callinan came third.
The weather was atrocious and scoring was difficult with no-one under par.
John Mealey took full advantage of the ideal conditions on Sunday to score an impressive 42 points and win the latest weekend Stableford competition. Five handicapper Gary Last came 2nd with 39pts followed by Tony Hurst with 38.
Bury St Edmunds GC
There was a huge entry of 116 members for the prestigious Nunn Vase last Saturday. The weather was sunny and warm, with a golf course that is rapidly recovering from the July/August heatwave.
Last year’s club captain Nick Bonney topped Division One with 40 Stableford points from his 11-handicap followed by three handicapper James Scott with 39.
Richard Tindall had the best score of the day, his 41 points winning Division Two, followed by Fred Bennett and Andrew Pearce who both carded 40. John Bloomfield led Division Three with 35.
Cameron Macdonald followed up his recent midweek win with another top spot in last week’s mixed Freeplay Stableford. His winning score of 40 points included birdies on the par five 3rd and 18th holes and his handicap is down to 4. Shaun Talbot was a shot back in second place.
Thetford Golf Club
There were two terrific scores in the Needham Davis Cup, with Peter Webster coming out on top, on count-back, from Rob Johnson. Both had nett 66s, with 14-handicap Webster pipping his 13-handicap rival over the last nine holes. There were 76 entrants.
Moira Morgan won the Ladies’ Lloyd Cup with 94-19-75 finishing one stroke ahead of Jan Bone (88-12-76) and Julie Arthur (83-7-76).
Pam Ellis & Vicki Smith will represent the club in next year’s Daily Mail Foursomes after winning the qualifying round with 37pts. They beat Barbara Bailey & Jan Herrington on countback. Third place went to Dawn Dixon & Alison Jones on 35.
Owen Mills is the 2018 Thetford Club Champion after winning a four-hole playoff against Jason Huggins (full report next week).