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Simon Byford’s golf column: Alfie Halil earns sponsorship deal with AJN Steelstock

The phrase ‘role model’ is often misapplied to sports people, but Alfie Halil is definitely someone who fits the bill.

In 2017, Alfie won the Suffolk Open at just 16 years old, but then faced a huge challenge as he battled Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.

After an uncertain and often difficult period, Alfie has come through the treatment and has recently been given the two-year all clear.

Alfie Halil has been sponsored by AJN Steelstock for the next two years
Alfie Halil has been sponsored by AJN Steelstock for the next two years

During his remediation, Alfie didn’t just convalesce. He was actively using his time to raise money for his Teenage Cancer Charity. The ‘tee it up for teenage cancer’ Pro-Am raised more than £12,000 in its inaugural year, and this time around looks to be even bigger and better.

For information and to enter, just search ‘tee it up for teenage cancer’ to find out more about the event on March 20 at Thetford Golf Club.

The Pro-Am aside, Alfie is looking to inspire with his play on the course as well.

This has been given a huge boost with the announcement of a two-year sponsorship deal with AJN Steelstock. The Newmarket-based company, who also have sites in Somerset, are one of the fastest growing companies according to the Sunday Times listings and are buoyed by the new relationship.

Neil Boyden, joint managing director for AJN, said: “Alfie is an incredibly talented golfer and we are delighted to support him as he starts his professional journey.

“He is full of confidence and we have no doubt he is set to achieve great things.”

Alfie said: “I am incredibly grateful for AJN Steelstock’s support, and making it possible to chase my dreams. I am looking forward to the challenges ahead.”

Alfie will begin his season on the Clutch Pro Tour, and hope to progress onto the PGA Challenge and the DP World Tour. The next event is at Drayton Park on April 9 as part of the Spring Series.

Alfie has identified putting as his major strength, along with a rock-solid mental attitude which are his key factors to achieving success.

Alfie, we all wish you the best for the season and will be following your progress with great interest. As for the role model status, even with all the health, charity work and personal determination aside, thanks for the reminder to us all that practicing our putting and mental fortitude are vitally important to achieving success.

Thetford GC

February saw the conclusion of the Winter League at Thetford Golf Club - an extremely popular pairs competition run across three winter months. There are six rounds in total, three played as fourball betterball and three under the foursomes format.

The players then choose their two best fourball and foursomes scores to determine the overall winners. The competition provides an opportunity for many to enjoy competitive golf at a time when winter weather is at its most fickle.

This year saw another exciting finish, a host of teams were in the hunt with the final round of fourballs to play. In the end it was the front runners, Tristan Adams and Chris Oxborough, who clinched the title.

Their golf and scores across the season were outstanding. Hot on their heels, in a tie for second place, were Andrew Bloom and Mark Heffer, who caught Peter Allott and Gary Robinson in the final round.

Thetford course manager, Ellie Walton, said: “The Winter League is such a popular event for members.

“No matter what the weather each round can be played at Thetford because it is dry underfoot. Added to this the course condition, particularly the greens, has been sensational.”

Bury St Edmunds GC

The Bury men competed in a Stableford event, and it would seem that the number 37 was in great demand.

Three players returned 37 points in Division One, with Steve Beahan cajoling The Count into awarding him first place.

Second on the maths was Stuart Honeybell, and Rob Wisker was unfortunate to be placed third.

Division Two only had the two players returning 37 points, and this time it was Tim Holder who secured first place courtesy of The Count ahead of Mick Pearce. Clive Malpass was third on 36 points.

The Bury ladies also held a Stableford on the same day, and it was Amanda Watson who continued her early-season form to finish top of the leaderboard this time, with Claire Sykes in second and Joan Garrett third.

There was also a mixed Stableford to be played.

Unfortunately, Kingsley Young’s 37 points was not good enough this time, as he was pipped by a brace of 38 points.

Clive Wilson was also unlucky when it came to the calculations, after it was determined that Club Captain Paul Glasswell had correctly furnished The Count’s reckoning and saw his 38 points atop the standings.

The Suffolk GC

The Suffolk Seniors started their Dudley Potter campaign with round one of the Stableford formatted competition.

Eric Gray was the winner on the day with 36 points, ahead of Richard Edmondson in second on 32 and Rob Kennedy in third on 31. The rest of the players (including Mr Haseltt Schofield who finished fourth in round one) will be hoping for improved scores in the coming rounds to move them up the leaderboard.

There was also a Saturday Stableford played. Gavin Hogg had a fantastic round of 40 points to sail to victory ahead of Richard Tungate in second on 38 points. Len Hopkinson finished third on 37 points and Richard Budgen fourth on 36.

Have a great golfing week.