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Simon Byford’s golf column: Bury St Edmunds junior crowned county GolfSixes champions and Nellie Ong competes on world stage

The format is six holes (usually no more than 150 yards) in a two ball Texas Scramble. There is no handicap and it uses a modified Stableford points system.

Each county is split into small local leagues, so that the travel times are as short as possible. We are incredibly lucky in Suffolk to have a grand final that brings together the winners from each league, and we are the only county in the country that funds this.

The Bury Golf Sixes team: William Thomson, Lewis Jones, Cameron Byford, Bobby Lloyd, Buddy Cross & Charlotte Whiting
The Bury Golf Sixes team: William Thomson, Lewis Jones, Cameron Byford, Bobby Lloyd, Buddy Cross & Charlotte Whiting

The final this year was held at The Suffolk Golf Club and saw Bury St Edmunds qualify from West Suffolk along with Bungay, Gorleston, Seckford and Felixstowe Ferry to make up the five finalists.

On a glorious October day the 30 players and many spectators took to the course for some friendly competition.

As is always the case, the scoring was incredibly close, but it was Bury St Edmunds who won in the end with 123 points, five ahead of Bungay in second on 118.

The winning ladies' AmAm team at Thetford Golf Club from Warley Park and Chelmsford Picture: Gill Welham
The winning ladies' AmAm team at Thetford Golf Club from Warley Park and Chelmsford Picture: Gill Welham

Golf Sixes is my personal project at Bury St Edmunds, so to say I’m proud of my team is an understatement. I am also a parent as my nine-year-old son represented Bury on the day.

The winning is of course fantastic, but the life skills these children can learn through this structured but relaxed team competition will set them up for the challenges that lay ahead, both in sport and in life. I highly encourage anybody who is connected with a golf club to make sure their establishment is participating in Golf Sixes in 2024.

The winning team (as pictured) was: William Thomson, Lewis Jones, Cameron Byford, Bobby Lloyd, Buddy Cross and Charlotte Whiting.

World Junior Girls Championship

Nellie Ong (Thetford, Culford) was recently selected to represent England Girls at the World Junior Team Championships at Brampton Golf Club (Canada).

Nellie finished 17th in the individual event after 72 holes. It was a dream start, however, as she was joint 3rd after day one with a two-under-par 70. She followed that up with a pair of 74s and a 76 in the next three rounds.

Nellie was the highest placed of the England representatives, and 7th in the European standings. Her position helped England to finish 10th overall of the 22 teams competing and the fith highest European county. The hosts Canada were the overall winners of the tournament and crowned World Champions.

Thetford GC

Thetford Ladies held their annual Autumn Meeting this week with 31 ladies taking part. The format was Greensomes Stableford with players drawn from high/low handicaps, throwing up some interesting pairings.

In first place were Kath Malvern and Pam Ellis with 36 points, second place went to Gail Hurst and Chris Walker on 35, with Andrea Leigh and June Stocker third on 33 points.

A 13 hole competition was also played for those unable to play 18 holes and Carole Goodenough took the honours for that event.

A ladies AmAm was also held this week with clubs from across the region taking part in this popular event.

Winners with 86 points were Elizabeth Brown and Susan Boom (Warley Park and Chelmsford) with March GC in 2nd place with 85 points.

Stowmarket GC

The Stowmarket Seniors had a two division Stableford. In Division 1 Steven Pasfield topped the leaderboard with 41points. In second was Alan Hull with 38 points and Nobby Clark third with 37.

Division 1 required ‘The Count’ to separate first and second with two players returning 36 points. Phil Rudland came out on top of the calculations, with Chris Pitt finishing second. John Smethem finished third on 35 points.

The Ladies Medal was played for in three divisions. Division 1 was won by Kim Davis on nett 70, with Joan Hunter second on 71. Division 2 was won with the best score on the day from Wendy Cooper on nett 68, with Jane Jewers’ nett 73 second using The Count’s algorithm. Veda Berriman won Division 3 with nett 76 with Dianne Drury second on nett 77.

The Pindar Trophy is a men’s Bogey event, wherby the players compete in a match versus the course. Somehow The Count managed to separate the two players who won +2 against the course. Josh Knights came out on top of the calculation and Mark Tibbenham came second and Dave Munro finished third on +1.

Bury St Edmunds GC

The Bury Senior Men held Round 1 of The Glasswell Cup. It is a best three scores from four Stableford rounds held once a month through the winter.

Graham Staff trimmed up the field with his 41 points, with John Ruston second on 40 points ahead of Mike Brooks in third with 39.

Many players will be hoping to drop their first round, but keep an eye out for these three as the rounds go by.

The Bury Juniors held a Medal, and it was the Junior captain Sam Holland who continued his meteoric progress. Sam has reduced his handicap five shots since the summer holidays started, now down to 3 index, and he shot a level par 72 (nett 68) to win the medal.

There was another remarkable achievement this week from second-placed Charlie Goodridge. His nett 75 might not be his highlight, but he did have an Albatross on the par 5 first hole one evening this week. Playing with his dad he holed his 3 wood from 240 yards, and in doing so achieved something his PGA member father has not yet managed!

Third place in the Medal went to Jacob Severn, with a nett 77, he might not have done anything exciting on the course this week, but fresh off his trip to Rome for The Ryder Cup, I’m sure he will be inspired to better golf again very soon.

Once again another busy round up, and with Tyler Weaver competing in Abu Dhabi next week for England, we will have more to come next time. Have a great golfing week.