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Alice Barlow among the winners at Bury St Edmunds Golf Club's annual club championships

More than 180 members took part in the Bury St Edmunds annual club championships recently and after the heavy rain showers of the preceding days, the weather was kind to those taking part.

Alice Barlow, a member of the Suffolk County team, put together rounds of 80 and 71 to return a gross two-day total of 151, a long way ahead of the rest of the other lady competitors, to be crowned Ladies’ Club Champion for the third consecutive time. Mariette Robertse took the runner-up slot with Jasmine Points in third place.

In the Ladies’ Millennium Plate handicap competition, Heather Chandler came out on top with a two-day combined nett score of 150. Jamine points came second and Bianca Theeruth was third.

Bury GC ladies champion Alice Barlow. Picture: Matt Alderton
Bury GC ladies champion Alice Barlow. Picture: Matt Alderton

This year’s Junior Bone Trophy winner was Charlie Goodridge with a gross two-day 166. Sophie and Sebastian Kubitek came second and third respectively.

Russell Oakey only joined the Bury club in April from Newton Green but is clearly very comfortable with the layout, returning a winning two-day gross score of 73+72=145 to become this year’s Men’s club champion.

Russell was five shots better than runner-up Ben Coleman, who took second spot on countback from Ben Aves. Russell said: “I had a good couple of steady rounds over the weekend. I have really enjoyed being at Bury this year, the clubhouse and course are lovely, and the members have been very welcoming." Russell plays, at the Bury course, off a handicap of plus one.

Bury GC men's club champion Russell Oakey
Bury GC men's club champion Russell Oakey

The Bobby Jones Handicap competition winner was Jonathan Bunn with Gareth Douglas second and Andrew Moss in third place.

Club manager Mike Verhelst said after the event: “A big thank you to all the greenkeeping team for an excellent course, the bar and catering staff for feeding many hungry mouths and the Pro shop team making sure every competitor was looked after. Finally, a special word for our president David Kerswell, who started all competitors on both days (day one started 6.30am).”

Stowmarket Golf Club

The ladies’ section held their Summer Meeting on July 14, when 72 ladies played an 18-hole Medal round, followed by 11 holes of Stableford Foursomes.

Bury GC junior champion Charlie Goodridge. Picture: Matt Alderton
Bury GC junior champion Charlie Goodridge. Picture: Matt Alderton

The President’s Prize, presented by Mo Lloyd for the best overall nett score, was won by Melody Aung with 94-26-68.

The Silver Lady, for the best scratch score in Division One, went to 13-handicapper Yvonne Hollis on countback from Liz Laflin, playing off 5. Both ladies recorded a gross 82. The scratch prize for Divisions 2 and 3, the Joan Pattle Cup, was won by Jude Brown (24hcp) with a gross score of 97.

There was also handicap prizes in all three divisions: Division 1: Linda Gilham 92-19-73, Tracey Delaney 94-21-73, Bev Gray 95-21-74. Division 2: Linda Whipp 98-27-21, Julie Jones 98-25-73, Yvette Youngs 100-27-73. Division 3: Jackie Crame 110-40-70, Gill Freeman 106-35-71, Barbara Millier 111-36-75.

Judith von Isenburg, with just 28 putts, won the overall putting prize, while Tracey Delaney and Linda Whipp continued their morning form by combining to win the Foursomes with 26 points.

Fiona Ferrie is the new Stowmarket Ladies’ club champion. Playing off a handicap of 10, Fiona took the Jenny Seeley Shield, which was played over two days, with a gross total of 160 for the 36 holes.

Her two rounds of 82 and 78, which included 16 pars and one birdie, gave her a three-shot victory over the holder Sammy Annis, whose first round of 79 was followed by an 84 on day two.

Fiona also finished first in the Phyl Morris Cup for the handicap title, but as the club rules state that no player can win both trophies, the award went, for the second successive year, to Dawn Flood with a nett 143, two shots clear of Jo Finter.

Twenty-nine ladies competed for the Senior Championship, for ladies aged 65 and over, which was played over 18 holes.

The Sue Knights Shield for the best gross total went to 19-handicapper Jenny Buckle, who recorded three pars in her score of 90. Runner-up was Carolyn Heywood on 93, on countback from Linda Gilham.

The ‘one trophy’ rule also applied to this competition, so as Jenny was not eligible to win the handicap prize, the Joy Wood Shield went to the Ladies’ section secretary Gill Freeman, 107-35-72.

Congratulations to Stowmarket golfer Sam Forgan, who took part in the Open Championship at Royal St George’s GC last weekend having secured one of the three qualifying slots at the adjacent Princes course at Sandwich at the end of June.

After the disappointment of previous unsuccessful attempts to qualify, Sam had an extra bonus when the draw, for the first two rounds of The Open, placed him in a three ball with multi major winner and this year’s Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington.

Sam is an assistant PGA Pro at Felixstowe Ferry GC so is used to Links golf but, unfortunately, he did not make the cut for the final two days. However, I am sure that he will have savoured every moment of what he said was a dream come true.

Culford School

Golf professional Lawrence Dodd gave a polished display in finishing tied-third to Rob Coles in the Three Rivers Golf and Country Club order of merit tournament.

He fired rounds of 70 and 72 to finish two-under-par, four shots back from ex-European Tour pro Coles. Dodd actually led by a shot after a birdie at the par-4 11th took him to five-under. But he ran into trouble at the 14th and recorded a triple bogey eight, which killed his chances.

At the same time as Dodd’s mishap at the par-5, Coles was in the middle of a birdie onslaught in which he made gains at three straight holes down the stretch.

Coles could even afford the luxury of a dropped shot at the tricky final hole, on route to landing the East region’s first order of merit tournament of 2021.

Essex’s Andrew Pestell fizzed a fine iron into the final green to set up a birdie that would lift him into second spot on his own. Norfolk golfer Giles Evans impressed in his first order of merit tournament, taking a share of third spot alongside Dodd.

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