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Simon Byford’s golf column: Bury St Edmunds Golf Club member Alice Barlow retains Hampshire Rose trophy at North Hants Golf Club, Hampshire

Alice Barlow, a member at Bury St Edmunds Golf Club and a Suffolk representative, took home the coveted Hampshire Rose trophy. The tournament, which is played over 36 holes, was contested in tough conditions at North Hants Golf Club in Hampshire.

With rounds of level-par 73 in the morning, and a two-over 75 in the afternoon, Alice sealed the title and retained the trophy that she won 12 months earlier in a play-off.

The whole field shot over par in the windy conditions, including Alice – who started off the afternoon round and struggled from hole one. In the increasingly worse conditions, she found herself at four over par by the 10th hole.

Bury St Edmunds GC member Alice Barlow retained the Hampshire Rose trophy Picture: Alex Hill / North Hants GC
Bury St Edmunds GC member Alice Barlow retained the Hampshire Rose trophy Picture: Alex Hill / North Hants GC

Worse was to come on 11, which ended in a triple bogey and languishing in 22nd place with eight over par. This seemed to kick her into gear and birdies came at 12 and 13. A sublime 167-yard approach to five feet at the par-five 16th was holed for eagle, to share the lead at four over.

She then birdied 17 and 18 to secure a second win at North Hants, and finish two over par to win by two shots. To finish the last seven holes in six under par in such difficult conditions, under the most immense pressure, must be applauded. This will set Alice in good stead for the season ahead. Also, no-one has ever won the Hampshire Rose three years in a row and Alice has confirmed she will be back next season to give it a go.

Nellie Ong

Hot on the heels of her strong showing in the French Under-21 Championship, Thetford member Nellie Ong was runner-up in the Scottish Girls’ Championship.

The Culford pupil and England squad member played in the Championship at Powfoot, Dumfries. In the wind and rain, Nellie put together three impressive scores to finish at +5. She was pipped to the title by one shot by fellow Norfolk and England player Chloe Tarbard when Chloe holed a 12-footer on the last.

Thetford GC

The Thetford young duo of Josh Chamberlin and Sullivan Goddard enjoyed success this weekend, claiming the 36-hole Norfolk County Foursomes Scratch Championship. Held at Swaffam Golf Club, the course was played in very challenging conditions making scoring especially difficult. The two Norfolk representatives proved too strong for the field to win the first county title of the year.

Thetford Golf Club's Josh Chamberlain, Sullivan Goddard, Kevin Cooke (captain) and Gary Robinson. Picture: Peter Allot
Thetford Golf Club's Josh Chamberlain, Sullivan Goddard, Kevin Cooke (captain) and Gary Robinson. Picture: Peter Allot

In the nett competition, held over two days, Chamberlin and Goddard qualified for the second flight (places fifth to eighth) along with Thetford’s Gary Robinson. Unfortunately, the first day’s success was not repeated, with the Thetford players contesting the seventh-eighth-place play-off on the Sunday afternoon with the young pair pipping Gary and his son on the first extra hole.

The Thetford Golf Club Ladies held their annual Closed Spring meeting on April 9. This prestigious event, second only to the Club Championship, saw 35 ladies brave the fury of storm Kathleen.

Sue Saunders took the Woodland Trophy, awarded for the best gross score. Her 87 was deemed better by The Count than Kath Malvern on the same score. Rosemary Bloom was a clear winner to claim the Highfield Trophy for the best nett score of 74.

There were also divisional prizes awarded, Silver Division Ruby Reeve on 75, Wendy Puttock on 77 and Sue Pitcher on 78, and Bronze Division Janice Fossey on 76, June Stocker on 77 and Sheena Perry on 78.

There was also a 13-hole competition run alongside the main event which Shirley Spreadbury won with 19 points.

The final of the Mary Laing Winter Foursomes was contested between Sue Pitcher & Helen Price versus Kath Malvern & Carmen Batty. This popular competition is run across the winter from October to March. In a keenly-fought contest, Kath Malvern and Carmen Batty claimed the title, winning the match on the 15th.

Stowmarket GC

The Stowmarket Ladies held the April Stableford. Only one Division this time, and it was Dawn Flood who broke the barriers and finished top with a fantastic 38 points in tough conditions. Amanda Rush was second on 36 points and George Anderson third on 34.

There was a Masters Texas Scramble which was enjoyed by the competitors. Once again, Dawn brought her team home to victory, ably supported by Jim Flood, Dave Withers and Nigel Burch with a superb nett 52.

The men also held a weekend of Stableford competition. On Saturday, in Division One, Chris Collyer was the victor on 41 points, with Ray Nicholls winning The Count’s favour ahead of Andy Grogan, after the pair both scored 40 points. In Division Two, The Count was needed to separate the first two players, both on 39 points. Colin Waggott was awarded first ahead of Paul Geary and Nobby Clark was third on 38.

On Sunday, John Allen won Division One with 39 points, Liam Double second on 37 and Elliot Pizzey on 36. Division Two meant no day of rest for The Count, being called into action to deduce that Peter Kerridge’s 39 points was greater than George Prentice’s. Paul Deeves was third on 38.

Bury St Edmunds GC

Just as The Masters unofficially opens the professional golfing season, The Juby Cup opens up the Ladies’ major calendar at Bury St Edmunds. A big field, shotgun start and meal afterwards, it is always an event the players look forward to.

It was no rest for The Count however, as six players were separated by only one shot. Two players were tied at the top on 39 points, and it was Cherry Eales with the better back nine over Lisa Niemy. Julie Byford had the round of the day, scoring a gross 83, which was good enough to overcome the other three players on 38 points, but was only rewarded with third place.

There was also a competition for the nine-hole course members, which was won by Yvonne Horne on 16 points ahead of Janice Clarke on 13.

Have a great golfing week.