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Simon Byford’s golf column: Bury St Edmunds Golf Club celebrate captains’ weekend as Haverhill Golf Club defeat Ipswich Golf Club

The Bury St Edmunds captains Paul Glasswell and Sandra Reed celebrated their captains’ weekend with a plethora of competitions with nearly 400 players competed across the weekend in various events.

There was particular enjoyment at how well the course was playing, and the excellent hospitality of the well-stocked halfway house. As it is Bury’s centenary year, everything felt just a bit more special.

Before we get into the competition, a special mention for Matt Simpson, who achieved a hole-in-one on the second hole during the Men’s 4BBB event. Matt has represented Bury in the Tolly last year and Hambro this year, with his golf steadily improving (a good coach, I hear!). The ace was a nice reward for all his hard work, and a nice surprise for his partner Sam Holland, who wasn’t even watching, when he realised that he would also receive a double share of the two’s tote.

Prize winners from Bury St Edmunds Golf Club's captain’s weekend Picture: Paul Glasswell
Prize winners from Bury St Edmunds Golf Club's captain’s weekend Picture: Paul Glasswell

The order of the day on Saturday was a Men’s Medal and a Ladies’ Stableford. The Medal was divided into two divisions, with Mel Leaman topping Division Two with a nett 73, second was Nic Hardy on nett 74.

In Division One, Colin Debenham was the victor with a nett 70, and Phil Castle second on nett 71. Another honourable mention must go to Dan Smailes who shot a one-under-par 71, the lowest gross of the day. In the Ladies Stableford, Jackie Over was the winner on 38 points, Sue Russell second on 36 and Bianca Theeruth third on 35.

The Sunday saw a busier itinerary, followed by the presentation evening. There was a Stableford event on the nine-hole course which was won by Janice Clark on 12 points. The juniors also had a Stableford competition which was won by Lucas Bond on 36 points and Louis Sturman second on 35.

There were also Men’s and Ladies’ 4BBB competitions on the Sunday. In the Ladies’ event it was the same top three (in the same order) as Saturday, but this time with their partners along for the ride. First was Jackie Over, partnered by Salome Smith, who returned 38. Second was Sue Russell, with Viv Kemp also on 38, but losing out to The Count’s calculations. Third was Bianca Theeruth with partner Joan Garrett on 37 points.

In the Men’s 4BBB it was a grandfather-and-grandson combination that took top spot. Eric Goodridge proved he is still as fit as a butcher’s dog as he and Charlie Goodridge dovetailed wonderfully to return 44 points. Josh Nichols and Oli Smith were second on 43, with Pete Sandry and Andy Chivers third on 42 points.

The weekend was a great success and is testament to the work that the captains and all the club staff put into ensuring its smooth execution.

The Stearn

The Stearn is a Suffolk inter-counties knockout event played over 36 holes, with three pairs playing foursomes matchplay. The rounds are all played on neutral venues.

Haverhill Golf Club Ladies' Stearn team. Picture: Liz Alaexander
Haverhill Golf Club Ladies' Stearn team. Picture: Liz Alaexander

Haverhill GC Ladies had a 4-2 victory at Ipswich Golf Club in the first round against Newton Green. Jackie Condon and Elaine Ward won 4-3, Linda Alexander and Anne Reed won 3-1 and Pat Kennedy and Lesley McKeane won 2up in the morning foursomes. With a 3-0 lead at lunch time, Haverhill went into the afternoon foursomes in a very strong position. A half point was enough to secure the win, with the final score 4-2. Haverhill will play last year’s winners Halesworth in the next round.

It wasn’t such good news for Bury St Edmunds who travelled to Felixstowe to play Aldeburgh.

It all came down to the final match on the course, but Wendy Flack and Amanda Watson could not manage to win the final hole and force a play-off. This left the result as 3.5 to 2.5. Good luck to Aldeburgh in the next round.

Stowmarket GC

It was another busy time at Stowmarket Golf Club, with three trophy competitions played for this past week.

First up was Ray’s Bowl, which is a mixed medal event. Mark Tibbenham and Di Glasswell were top of the pile with a nett 68. The Count was required to determine second place, with Ann and Paul Botting’s nett 71 adjudged to be superior to Irene and Dave Overman’s identical score.

The juniors played for the Bigmore Trophy, and again it was one of the Edwards boys that triumphed. Finley (the elder) returned 37 points to edge out George Prentice in second, with 35, and Johnathan Points in third with 31. Finley continues to impress both at club level and with the under-14s team who are enjoying great success this season.

The Goatelee Bowl Stableford was also held. Ben Forgan was the winner on 37 points, Paul Johnson second on 36 and Jos Roper third on 34.

Thetford GC

Thetford continued their 100 per cent record in this season’s county club competitions. This time it was in the Norfolk Handicap League.

The team delivered a 3.5 to 0.5 victory over Mattishall, the return leg of this home and away contest. Team captain Mark Twogood was delighted with the performance which saw the team start slowly, but turn the tie around on the second nine.

Lead pair Garry Robinson and Richard Scott got their noses in front on the 17th to close out their match, while Mark Heffer and Ian Harvey had some hot putters to win the second. Paul Waters and James Killa were in control of their match from the start, but it was the match with Andrew Bloom and Martin Brocket that had the most drama. It looked all over on the 15th as they went dormie 3up, however the Matishall captain had other ideas as he won the last three holes to tie the match.

Mark Twogood said: “These games are always alive to the very end and it is rewarding to see how the team stuck to the task even when on the back foot. It was such a pleasure to play on the Thetford course where the condition and challenge are so good, a point reiterated by the Mattishall team.”

Have a great golfing week.