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Thetford Golf Club's main prize goes the way of Dan Traher




Dan Traher, club champion at Thetford in 2011 and 2014, secured his third title on Sunday with a three-stroke win over defending champion Owen Mills and Dean Scott.

The 26-year-old had steady rounds of 75 and 73 to finish ahead of Mills (76-75) and Scott (74-77), who had the consolation of winning the Handicap Trophy with one-under-par 143.

In the morning round Roger Nicholson, the 1994-95 and 2000-01 champion, rolled back the years to lead the way with a gross 71, the lowest round of the day. Birdies came at the 5th, 8th, 10th and 16th but two dropped shots at the 18th spoiled his card. And his hopes of regaining the trophy after 19 years faded as he collected 10 bogeys in the afternoon. However, it was a great effort by the 56-year-old, who finished fourth overall and second on handicap.

Dan Traher is Thetford Golf Club Champion for the third time after his success on SundayPicture: Malcolm Grubb (42095558)
Dan Traher is Thetford Golf Club Champion for the third time after his success on SundayPicture: Malcolm Grubb (42095558)

Dean Scott was Nicholson’s nearest challenger in the morning, the 21-year-old left-hander returning a 74. Dan Smailes and Dan Traher both had 75s with Owen Mills next on 76. John Hopkins had a fine round of 78-11=67 and then Matt Wabe, Ian Ramsay and Andy Cunningham were on 79.

Plus-one handicap Chris Robson left himself a lot to do with an opening round of 80, the same as Jack Nicholson (Roger’s son), Gareth Mills, Ross Sanford, Josh Driver and Matt West.

As Roger Nicholson dropped back in the afternoon Traher secured birdies at the 3rd, 8th and 15th against two bogeys and a double-bogey at the 18th in his decisive round of 73. Chris Robson moved up the field with a 74 while Owen Mills could not make much progress with his 75.

Three handicapper Ben Aves - runner-up at Bury St Edmunds Golf Club mIdweek competitionPicture: Chris Boughton (42095564)
Three handicapper Ben Aves - runner-up at Bury St Edmunds Golf Club mIdweek competitionPicture: Chris Boughton (42095564)

The Suffolk Golf Club

Alf Sandford has been on good form recently at the Suffolk Golf Club and last Wednesday won the mid-week Stableford competition with 39 points from his 12- handicap (now down to 11).

James Sturgeon, who has also enjoyed a good run of results throughout the summer, took 2nd spot, on count-back, with 37 points off his12-handicap pushing Scott Rutterford and Russell Green into 4th and 5th places with both also returning sores of 37. Jim Chapman and Joe Symonds finished 5th and 6th.

Sandford now leads the men’s midweek Order of Merit with 24 points after six of the 12 rounds.Symonds lies 2nd with 21 points and Chris Tate slipped to third on 20 points but did not play last week.Rutterford is just one point back in 4th spot with 19.

Twenty-six members took part last Wednesday. It is looking like it is going to be a close race to the mid-week Order of Merit league title this quarter with just six points separating the top five places at the halfway stage.

Mid-week winner and Order of Merit leader Alf Sandford at the Suffolk GCPicture: Chris Boughton (42095562)
Mid-week winner and Order of Merit leader Alf Sandford at the Suffolk GCPicture: Chris Boughton (42095562)

In the Saturday Medal at the club scores were unexpectedly high with only Simon Hodson’s return of 79-11=68 beating nett par. Stephen Searle and Richard Clegg came second and third, only separated by count-back, with nett 72s. Hodson now lies third in the Saturday Order of Merit table with 19 points.Joint leaders are Tate and Len Hopkinson.

Steve Cable still leads the Sunday Order of Merit with 28 points after seven matches followed by a chasing pack of three golfers with 26pts each (Len Hopkinson, Gordon Markham & Christopher Smith).

Since the return of golf competitions, from the Covid lockdown, Cable has had a superb run of results and seen his handicap tumble, but the wheels came off on Sunday with a nett 88. But the way he has been playing he will be back!

On Thursday, the seniors at the Suffolk held a pairs competition with the victors Michael Christopher and Brian Newell, winning on count-back from Michael Field and Norman Hartley. Both pairs scored 42 points.

Doug Coe and Stephen Christopher were one point further back in 3rd spot. David Trett and Philip Braun came 4th.

Bury St Edmunds Golf Club

Some 38 members took part in the mid-week Stableford competition last Tuesday (mid-week competitions at Bury now alternate between Tuesdays and Fridays) in much cooler conditions than of late but at least it was dry. Glen Knott made the best of the conditions to win with 39 points from his handicap of 5. Ben Aves (3hcp) squeezed home in second place on count-back from Nicholas Lane (12hcp) – both scoring 38 points. Guy Lesser (9hcp) took 4th place with 37 and Cameron Macdonald (5hcp) came 5th with 36.

The Bury Ladies also held their first Stableford competition, in September, on Tuesday where Jo Beresford led the way with 38 points, one ahead of runner-up Christine Tilbrook. Carol Nicholson took third place on count-back from Angela Alais. Both scored 34.

Flempton Golf Club

The Flempton GC seniors (men and ladies) held their annual Steve Edwards Trophy Stableford competition recently in ideal golfing weather and this was reflected by some good scores. Andrew Conquest led the field home with an excellent 42 points followed by Omar James Johnson with 39 and Bob Beckett and Colin Hawes with 38 points. Leading score from the ladies was club president Pippa Beak With 33points.

Last Sunday the club held their Smiley Cup Day where competition secretary Chris Springthorpe said the course was in excellent condition with the fast-tricky greens catching quite a few out.

New member Chris Busby, however, managed to master the greens to win his second competition since joining the club, shooting a net 66.Runner-up was Robbie Beecroft finished with a net 69 and 3rd was Colin Campbell with a nett 70.