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Simon Byford’s golf column: Bury St Edmunds Golf Club’s Jacob Severn wins fourth straight Calvert Cup and action from Stowmarket Golf Club and Thetford Golf Club

To win the Calvert Cup, one of Bury St Edmunds Golf Club’s junior majors, once during your childhood is impressive. Especially in 1998 – it was a tough competition that year, I’ve heard! But to win it four times before the age of 14 is just wild.

That is the accomplishment of Jacob Severn, definitely a name to keep an eye on.

Just to confirm this is a Stableford competition, open to anyone aged 18 and under, and there has always been much older and lower-handicapped juniors across the four years.

Jacob Severn has won four Calvert Cups Pictures: Paul Severn/Simon Byford
Jacob Severn has won four Calvert Cups Pictures: Paul Severn/Simon Byford

When Jacob won the cup in 2021, as a tiny 10-year-old, the trophy was nearly as big as him. Four years on he is a single-figure county representative, but still with many more years to win more of these.

I think that’s the most impressive element. To win a junior competition at 16,17 or 18-years-old is great, but to win it four times before your GCSEs, well played Jacob.

On the day, Jacob shot a gross 77, five-over-par and without a single birdie, his play was very consistent. This equated to 42 points and a five-shot margin of victory. William Cobbald came in second on 38 ahead of Ethan McCleary on 36 points. With Edward Cobbald fourth and Lucas Bond fifth, the tope five are all members of the Suffolk Under-14 squad. Bury and Suffolk junior golf are in good hands.

Stowmarket GC

The Stowmarket members partook in a Texas Scramble Social event to tie in with the US Open. With a remarkable return of nett 50, the winners on the day were the team of Leon Moore, Tom Hollis, Michael Hill and Craig Lockwood.

The seniors also held a foursomes competition. First place went to the pairing of Phil Rudland & Stuart Pearce on 36 points. The Count swung by to determine that Ian Hay & Michael Farrow’s 35 points held more sway than that of Steve Blowers & Des Planner.

Thetford GC

Thetford’s men’s teams in all the various county competitions suffered their first loss of the season, however there was a good victory for their Myhill team.

Thetford Golf Club's Men's team. Picture: Peter Allott
Thetford Golf Club's Men's team. Picture: Peter Allott

Thetford’s handicap league team had their first defeat this year, losing 3.5 to 0.5 away at Swaffham. Always a robust encounter, the team were neck and neck after nine holes, however the Swaffham team pulled away on the back nine. Team captain Mark Twogood, while clearly frustrated, is looking forward to the next tough outing – away at Royal Norwich.

The club’s Cullington team, the event for higher handicaps, crashed to a home defeat that saw them eliminated from this year’s competition. Playing Mattishall, the team were three holes up after the first round. However, the position was reversed in the afternoon as the Thetford team leaked holes over the final five, and were eventually defeated 5-down on the day.

There was success for Thetford’s Myhill team, the event for lower handicaps. Following a fine away win at Hunstanton in their first match, they delivered a six-hole victory over a strong Mundesley team. The Thetford team were always in control of the tie and now face Dereham in another home match.

Bury St Edmunds GC

The Bury men’s seniors section hosted the first round of their club championship. A competition played over 36 holes on consecutive Mondays, which prizes for gross, nett and age categories – there is plenty to play for.

It was a tough day of scoring with the greens rolling fast and the rough still remaining thick after all the wet and warm weather. Despite over a dozen single figure players in the field, only one broke 80. Garry Clark holding the 18-hole lead in the gross with a 79, but with nine players within five shots next Monday should prove very interesting.

In the handicap event, Kevin Froud produced the round of the day, shooting a nett 66 to lead by two from Richard Hope. Only five players in the field of 65 broke their handicap, which is testament to the difficulty of the conditions and the accuracy of the new handicap system.

The John Farrow Trophy will always be one of my favourite events in the BSE calendar. Firstly, as I remember the man very well, and secondly for the format. It is a 4BBB competition with any combination of men, ladies or mixed partnerships. It really is open to everyone in the club.

The winners on the day were Peter & Lisa Niemy, with a fantastic 44 points. Second place went to Matt Simpson & Adam Hooper-Greehill one shot adrift on 43, with Cameron MacDonald & Glenn Knott third on 41.

There was also a nine-hole course mixed Stableford which was won by Yvonne Horne with the help of The Count ahead of Caroline Ferber who both scored 11 points. Yvonne is the driving force behind encouraging more competitive opportunities for the nine-hole course members, and her enthusiasm is rubbing off with higher entries.

Finally, if you or someone or someone you know misses too many short putts, try this starting line drill. Place two tee pegs (or two golf balls if you are inside) two feet in front of a golf ball, just wider than the ball. Then practice putting your ball through the space between the two tees. If you can control your starting line then you will have much more chance of holing those tricky, and costly, short putts.

As ever, I hope you have a great golfing week.