Simon Byford’s Golf Column: King Edward VI School wins Suffolk Schools Golf Association Team Championships at Rushmere Golf Club
There were 29 players representing nine different schools taking part for the right to be crowned county champions. The winning school would also progress to the National Final which is to be held at Woodhall Spa next June.
The format is individual Stableford, in teams of three, with the best two scores to count. Each team is selected prior to play, and schools can select multiple teams to represent them.
Rushmere was in excellent condition with the greens running fast and the gorse as prickly as ever!
It was a great showing from the schools in the west of the county, despite it still being half-term for many of the pupils.
Culford sent two teams, which finished in second and third respectively.
Oliver Ouzman (Culford) scored the highest points of the day, with a return of 39, and along with Edward Cobbald (22) they finished third.
Culford’s other team of Alex Sparrow (33), Jack Sparrow (32) and William Cobbald (23) finished second with a combined score of 65.
The winning team were King Edward VI School, Bury St Edmunds.
In an unfortunate turn of events they were only able to send two players, but Jacob Severn (38) and Rhys Whiting (28) combined to secure the 66 points needed for a one point victory.
King Edward VI School will now go automatically through to the national final, with Culford’s team going into the ballot for an additional place if they are lucky.
Both Jacob and Rhys are Juniors members at Bury St Edmunds, having progressed through the Golf Sixes programme, represented their county at their age group and continue to flourish - well done guys.
The first of the Thetford Men’s Winter League was held on Sunday. The Winter League is played over six rounds with three rounds of foursomes and three rounds of fourball better ball. The two best foursomes scores and the two best fourball scores count towards the final league position, although each round is also a standalone competition.
Round one was the alternate shot foursomes format with Maurice Anderson (13) and Steve Campbell (19) getting off to a stunning start to notch up a staggering 41 points. Joe du Feu (1) and James Whiting (4) also had a good round coming in on 40 points. Ian Brown (8) and Luc Scotts (10) came home in third place on 38 closely followed by Bryan and Nathan Muggeridge on 37 points.
This will place them all in good stead for the winter of competition to come.
The ladies held the annual Halloween Greensomes yesterday when the ladies are really encouraged to get into the spirit of the day.
Many of the ladies happily obliged with vice captain Janet Dixon and playing partner Maggie Reid making wonderful pumpkin costumes alongside other players dressed as skeletons and witches.
Clear winners on the day with a massive 40 points were Sheena Perry (22) and Chris Edgar (21) followed by Avril Chapman (16) and Andrea Leigh (14) on 35 points and third place on count back were Maggie (22) and Janet (26) on 34 points.
This event reminds me that although golf is often required to be serious, having events like this one at Thetford can really inject some joy into the club atmosphere. Long may they continue and thrive across all our clubs.
Bury St Edmunds GC
The Bury Juniors returned from their schools tour to Rushmere to compete in the November Stableford at the club. On a tough windy and wet day the scoring was difficult and the course played long.
This did not deter 11-year-old Edward Cobbald from returning a great 33 points.
Playing from the full men’s tees he is a model of consistent ball striking, and a fantastic example of how keeping the ball straight can lead to good scoring.
He was only 11 last month, just wait until he grows!
Jacob Severn, another deadly straight golfer, followed up his win at the Schools Championship with 31 points from his ever tumbling handicap, now 12.
Ethan McCleary rounded out the top three with 29 points from his 10 handicap.
There was a Men’s Stableford held across the weekend, in three divisions. Ben Whittaker continued his excellent autumn of golf, returning 39 points to capture Division 1 ahead of Chris Eyre in second with 36.
In Division 2, Count Back was required. In The Count’s first and only appearance of the week (a well deserved rest after the Halloween exertions) four players topped the Division with 35 points. Jarrod Barton proved the victor over Philip Ayres, Gary Sillett and Gary Ross.
Division 3 was much easier with Toby Whiting prevailing by three shots with his 34 points.
The Ladies also held a Stableford across the weekend. Louise Andrews returned the highest score with 29, ahead of Kirstene Baillie in second with 27 points.
The final competition for this week produced easily the lowest gross score. In the Mixed Mid-Week Stableford, Paul Collington scored 37 points from his +2 handicap. His gross 69 contained five birdies, and if it wasn’t for a frustrating bogey on the par five 18th (a hole he would usually look to birdie) it could have been a lot better. Second was Denis O’Connell with 36 points and third was Carol Nicholson with 35 points.
Another fantastic set of results this week, and congratulations to all the courses that managed to stay open during what was a terribly difficult week weather-wise.
We really are now into the winter golf season, which is going to signal less golf results and more opportunity for me to test some other ideas for this column.
As always, thank you so much to everyone who sends me golfing news, and who gives me feedback on the column. It is much appreciated. Have a great golfing week.