Chris Bougton's Golf Column: Stenson Shield champions march on
Last year’s Stenson Shield champions, Bury St Edmunds GC, march on into the quarter finals after an 8-4 win over hosts Flempton last Saturday.
The holders dominated the local derby, winning three of the four morning Foursomes and four of the afternoon singles, with two games halved.
The Stenson is played off scratch and Bury captain Phil Smailes has a very strong squad of low handicap players to select from.
Max Adams and Sam Renville were the stars of the of the foursomes with a 7&6 win over former Suffolk champion Alfie Halil and Sam Yenson.
In the singles Craig Nurse led the way with a 6&4 victory again Murray Rose. However, it was a fine all-round team performance by the Bury golfers with everyone contributing to the victory.
After successfully navigating a tricky away win at Flempton, Bury are back on their home course for a quarter final against Gorleston in the next round.
Stowmarket just missed out on a quarter final spot, losing a very close match to a strong Aldeburgh team, on the play-off hole, after finishing the 36 holes 6-all.
It also needed a play-off to decide the winner of this year’s Suffolk Amateur championship at Stowmarket.
Habebul Islam (Ipswich) was at a slight disadvantage as his playoff opponent Sam Debenham was a former Stow member, but Habebul came out on top to win the Todd Cup on the first extra hole.
Former Suffolk Amateur champion James Biggs (Diss) finished in third place, and Bury’s Andy Cunningham fourth.
Bury St Edmunds Golf Club
Ben Aves is in a rich vein of form recently, his latest win coming in Bury’s Friday Mixed Freeplay Stableford competition. His 41-point winning score, off a three handicap, included three birdies and an eagle on the par five third hole.
In second place fellow Stenson teammate Ben Coleman posted four birdies in his return of 40 points, and his handicap is now down to one. Eamon Benjamin took third spot with 37 on count-back from Cameron McDonald.
The Bury St Edmunds GC Captains’ Charity Day (Gateway) will be held on Friday, August 16, with registration at 9am and a shotgun start at 10.30am. The format is teams of four with best three scores to count (Stableford).
The Suffolk Golf Club
Ron Hazell was three points clear of the pack last Wednesday in the Suffolk GC Midweek qualifier with 40 Stableford points.
The in-form Peter Plumb took second spot on count-back from James Edgar; both carding 37.
After six of the 13 rounds Plumb leads the Midweek Order of Merit with 39 points, followed by Jim Chapman and Brian Wiltorn who both have 34.
Brian Hay also led by three points in winning the Saturday qualifier at the club with a very good score of 42 points.
Roy Buckle came second with 39 and Chris Tate was third on count-back from Peter Thomas; both scored 37. Tate has a big 10-point lead at the top of the Saturday Order of Merit, but Hay is now in second spot with 18.
Mark Stratton needed just 18 points to win Division 1 of last week’s 9-hole Tuesday Night Stableford Social competition at The Suffolk, but Toby Wood returned an impressive 25 points in Division 2 despite the persistent wind and rain.
This was week eight of 22, and Perry Garod currently leads the Division 1 table with 101 points (best five scores count). Dave Wilbrahams is two points back in second spot and Stratton is now in third place with 97.
In Division 2 Steve Moye leads with 109pts on count-back from Lee Sylvester. Peter Thomas lies third with 108.
Joan Kiel is the leader in the Ladies table, followed by Jackie Thomas and June Smart.
On Sunday The Suffolk held the third round of their Major Mayhem series of four Open competitions, this time to coincide with the US Open.
Despite a three-shot handicap cut the previous week Brian Wiltorn recorded another top spot, beating Simon Bilton on count-back; both scored 39 points.
James Laflin, another local golfer in good form, took third place on count-back from Mark Rothon.
With just one match remaining Rhys Nightingale tops the leader board with a best two results total of 79, followed by Wiltorn with 77, Laflin with 74 and Rothon 72.
The Suffolk have a Mixed Open competition scheduled for Sunday, July 28. The format is Four Ball Better Ball, and to enter email firstname.lastname@example.org by the closing date of Sunday, July 7.
A Sport for all Seasons
Looking at the competition results at The Suffolk and Bury Golf Clubs over the past couple of weeks there have been three winners in their teens, 3 in their 20’s, 2 in their 30’s, 3 in their 40’s, 2 in their 50’s, 1 in his 60’s, 3 in their 70’s and 1 in his 80’s.
Locally, at least, golf appears to be not only a sport for all seasons but a sport for all ages too.