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Chris Boughton's golf column: Perfect conditions for The Suffolk's Club Championships

The Suffolk GC held their annual Club Championships last weekend in what was perfect summer weather.

The course was in superb condition but as you would expect, the flags were in tricky spots on the greens and the white tees right back.

In the Men’s competition, Gary Last led the way on day one with a gross 74.

The Suffolk Golf Club Men's Champion Rhys Nightingale putts out on the 9th green watched on by Gary Last. Picture: Chris Boughton (38578564)
The Suffolk Golf Club Men's Champion Rhys Nightingale putts out on the 9th green watched on by Gary Last. Picture: Chris Boughton (38578564)

However, it was a superb 73 to add to his first day 78 that gave Rhys Nightingale the accolade of club champion for 2020.

His combined two-day score was two shots better than in-form runner-up Lenny Hopkinson 75+78=153. Both golfers have handicaps of 2.

Ben Moyes, meanwhile, took third spot with 76+82=158.

The Suffolk GC Ladies' Champion Rio Everitt. Picture: Chris Boughton (38578568)
The Suffolk GC Ladies' Champion Rio Everitt. Picture: Chris Boughton (38578568)

In the Men’s nett competition, Clayton Dyer came out on top with 65+70=135, followed by Alex Earle 71+67=138 on countback from Alastair Reid in third position and Ben Moyes in fourth place.

The Ladies’ champion was Rio Everitt for the second year running.

The 16-year-old was way ahead of the rest of the field with a gross score of 161. Andrea Leigh came second, and Jackie Thomas was third.

Avril Chapman scored 144 to be this year’s nett Ladies club champion at The Suffolk.

The Suffolk GC Ladies nett Champion Avril Chapman. Picture: Chris Boughton (38578566)
The Suffolk GC Ladies nett Champion Avril Chapman. Picture: Chris Boughton (38578566)

The Sturgeon family took the top two places in the Midweek Stableford at the Suffolk last Wednesday. Michael (father) came out on top with 40 points and James (son) was runner-up with 38.

Russell Green came third with 37, pushing Tony Hurst into fourth on countback.

In the Midweek Order of Merit table, Championship runner-up Lenny Hopkinson leads after six of the 13 rounds with 32 points.

James Sturgeon lies second on 24 after his second place last Wednesday and James Edgar occupies third spot with 22.

Thetford Golf Club

Golf is back and things are booming at Thetford. General manager, Malcolm Grubb, reported: “Since the course re-opened tee times have been snapped up by members who were desperate to get back into the swing of things – light exercise, fresh air, lovely scenery, good company, and competitive sport.”

There has also been a spike in new members at the club who want to join in and there have not been too many gaps in tee bookings.

Currently, visitors can only play after 1pm, subject to availability 48 hours in advance.

Club competitions returned after three months, with the major events re-arranged and proving to be very popular.

This ensures there will not be a blank next to the year 2020 on the Honours Boards.

The Norfolk CGU Amateur Championships, due to be held at Thetford, have been rearranged for Sunday, August 2 with a 36-hole format on one day.

The Club Championships for the Neville Bishop Trophies are set for Sunday, August 30 with a similar format.

The Three Captains’ Charity Day is traditionally held in early July but has had to be rearranged to Saturday, September 5. This year the Captain’s Charity is the Colman Centre in Norwich.

Bury St Edmunds Golf Club

The course is also very busy in Bury St Edmunds.

It was early March that a competition was last held there and a huge demand for entries was anticipated for the first competition since lockdown.

The club therefore decided to make both weekend days available for entry and Jeremy Tattersall, chair of competitions, reported: “What has been clear is the success of having competitions over the whole weekend. The support has been overwhelming with nearly 300 members taking part (226 men, 58 women and 13 juniors).”

In the competitions the Men’s Division 1 (Whitbread Trophy) was won by Adrian Leggett with 47.

Richard Fuller topped Division 2 (Dunget Salver) with 48 and the Ladies’ Juby Cup winner was Amanda Watson. The Junior Calvert Cup winner was Emilie Thomas.

The next competition will be the annual Club Championships on July 25/26 and another big entry is expected.

Stowmarket Golf Club

Stowmarket GC have announced that the Ladies Club Championship will now be on Wednesday, September 9, the Seniors on Friday, September 11 and the Men’s championship on September 12/13.

General manager, Trevor Golton, said: “As our junior membership has grown so dramatically over the last couple of years, we are also hopeful of holding a Junior Club Champs in August but haven’t fixed a date yet.”

Competitions at the club re-commenced last weekend.


This week it is the Memorial Tournament, hosted by Jack Nicklaus.

Tiger Woods makes his first start since the PGA Tour re-commenced and he has won this event five times previously.

Predictions this week – Adam Trett has gone for Hawaiian Tony Finau, his prestigious length and laid-back approach will make him well suited to this course.

Simon Byford,meanwhile, is plumping for Rory McIlroy, who has shown sparks of form in recent weeks and is looking for a win going into the upcoming Major tournament run.

Simon and Adam’s Preview Show goes out live on Wednesday night 8pm on the PGALife365 YouTube channel.

Covid-19 Support Fund

England Golf has invited applications from all affiliated clubs and facilities to The R&A’s Covid-19 Support Fund.

In agreement with the R&A, a sum of £2,555,000 has been made available to clubs in England hit hard by the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Golf clubs and facilities can now register their interest in the fund and begin the application process.

Each club/facility may apply for a grant of up to £10,000.

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