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Chris Boughton's Golf Column: Simon Hodson clinches the Order of Merit at the Suffolk Golf Club




Simon Hodson is the Saturday Order of Merit Champion at the Suffolk GC, writes Chris Boughton.

His second-placed finish last Saturday, with 36 Stableford Points, saw him leapfrog Lennie Hopkinson at the top of the table to win the latest 13-week competition series.

Conditions were tough in the final round with rain – heavy at times – to contend with all morning and Paul Dufosee, in first place with 38pts, was the only golfer to beat his handicap. Rhys Nightingale finished in third spot on the day.

Simon Hudson is the Saturday Order of Merit champion at The Suffolk. Picture: Chris Boughton (42657758)
Simon Hudson is the Saturday Order of Merit champion at The Suffolk. Picture: Chris Boughton (42657758)

In the Order of Merit table, Chris Tate was third, Dufosee finished in fourth spot and Nightingale was fifth.

Christopher Smith is the Sunday Order of Merit Champion at the Suffolk GC.

Despite not finishing in the points, the 20 he had already accumulated were enough to see him top the table.

Julie Arthur NLCGA winner with runnner-up Siam MillerPicture: Thetford GC (42727741)
Julie Arthur NLCGA winner with runnner-up Siam MillerPicture: Thetford GC (42727741)

Club captain Gordan Markham did not take part on Sunday but retained his runner-up position with 15 points.

Lee Reynolds was third overall and Lenny Hopkinson came fourth after finishing third on the day.

With just two rounds remaining in the Suffolk Golf Club’s Midweek Order of Merit series, 11 handicapper Jim Chapman (38pts) is now the leader of the league standings after his sixth place last Wednesday.

Joe Symonds (35pts) has slipped down to second place whilst Chris Tate (31pts) is still third.

Thetford Golf Club PGA Professional Stuart SmithPicture: Stuart Smith (42727739)
Thetford Golf Club PGA Professional Stuart SmithPicture: Stuart Smith (42727739)

Ivan Snelling is now in fourth position after finishing third with 37pts from his 11 handicap on Wednesday and Lee Reynolds (18hcp) kept up his recent good form by coming second and sits in fifth position in the league.

The winner on the day was Richard Clegg (12hcp) with 38 Stableford points, just pushing Reynolds into second place on count-back.

Clegg had a terrible start to his round with a nine on the first hole but recovered well with a birdie on the 8th, plus eight pars and nothing worse than a bogey.

Thetford Golf Club

Rob Mills’ Captain’s Day on Saturday saw plenty of players (67 pairs) and an exciting finish.

The best score in the competition came from club professional Stuart Smith and his partner Sian Miller.

After a steady front nine their better-ball score was 18pts.

With the format Guildford Greensomes, they took full advantage of Stuart playing two shots followed by 36-handicap Sian to play the nine holes in 38 strokes, one over par, for 25pts and a total of 43.

They were not eligible for the prizes, so the top prize was decided on count-back after six pairs finished with 40pts.

It could not have been much closer with Matt Harben & Rob Taylor pipping James Buhleman and his guest Tony Thaxton from Middleton Park over the last three holes.

Robert Setchell & Terry Ryan (Ely City) were third, followed by Barry Brackenborough & Ged Davey, Rob Mill & Neil Smits (Gog Magog) and Tristan Adams & Nittaya Adams.

On Sunday, the first of the Winter Medals were played with Peter Allott taking the Division One win with a nett 72, beating 11-handicap Rafe Ashby on count-back.

Allott (9hcp) was announced as Jon Congdon’s vice-captain for 2021 earlier in the week.

Jack Nicholson (4hcp) was third with 74.

Other scores: 75 Nick Hill (10hcp); 77 Andrew Bremner (11hcp), Sam Sheppard (11hcp), Steve Duncan (9hcp) and David Robinson (12hcp).

Division Two: 71 Malcolm Fleet (18hcp); 72 Mick Gooch (19hcp) and Tom Price (15); 73 Adrian Sheppard (17) and Robert McMeekin (13); 75 Simon Moore (15) and Scott Marketis (17hcp); 76 Doug Bedford (21hcp).

The Anniversary Cup is a summer eclectic competition for seniors.

This year’s winner is Martin Jackson, playing off 15, who had a nett total of 59.5.

Other leading scores: 62 Steve Campbell (16hcp) and Steve Cobb (12hcp); 62.5 Terry Blacktopp (7hcp), David Sutton (11) and Mark Heffer (11); 64 Steve McIlroy (20hcp); 64.5 John Clark (13hcp).

Meanwhile, Thetford’s Julie Arthur was the winner of the Norfolk Ladies’ County Golf Association (NLCGA) Lockdown Stableford with Sian Miller the runner-up.

Bury St Edmunds Golf Club

With all the recent rain the course is playing long at Bury and Clare Charlwood (14hcp) needed only 35 points to win Division 1 of the ladies’ midweek Stableford last Tuesday.

Sue Russell (20hcp) was runner-up with 33 and Carol Nicholson (19hcp) carded 31 for 3rd place. Louise Crouch topped Division 2 with 36 points.

The Men’s senior section also played a Stableford (yellow tees) last Tuesday afternoon where Barry Storey (13hcp) played steady golf, including 10 pars, to come out on top with 40 points.

Jon Warboys was the runner-up with 38pts and Adrian Pitts took third place with 37.