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Simon Byford’s golf column: Culford School competes for word ranking points





A 54-hole team tournament took place, with 18 holes on day one and a dramatic 36 holes on day two.

With world-ranking points on offer, it was a great opportunity for the pupils to test their mettle against some very strong opposition. Culford managed fourth place with a team total of +22.

Jimmy, part of the Culford School team, in action on the sixth hole at The Springs Golf Club Picture: Phil Green
Jimmy, part of the Culford School team, in action on the sixth hole at The Springs Golf Club Picture: Phil Green

Individually, Harry finished in ninth place and Jack placed 14th. Special mention this week must also go to Luis for scoring his first hole-in -one this week on the fifth hole at Flempton Golf Club. Well done, Luis.

Suffok PGA

The Suffolk PGA held their latest competition in the Winter Pro Only series. This time the venue was Bungay & Waveney Valley Golf Club.

A breezy-but-bright day faced the competitors, and with the course in good condition the scoring was set to be good.

With only a few events left in the order of merit race, it was a great opportunity for those playing to mount a charge at the summit of the leaderboard.

Sam Forgan (first) and Charlie Sadler (second) were not in the field, leaving Ben Kerr (Worlington) to take full advantage with a 36-point, level-par round.

His birdie on the 17th gave him a one-shot margin of victory over James Cooper (Newton Green). Cooper will be ruing his bogey, bogey finish which put him out of top spot.

The win, and subsequent 50 order of merit points, meant that Kerr overtook Sadler (Culford) into second place in the order of merit. A big thank you to Chris Potter and the team at Bungay for hosting the event.

Stowmarket GC

The Stowmarket members played in a Midweek Stableford. In Division One, Graham Tobin was the winner with 34 points, and on the same score was Dan Allen who topped the Division Two leaderboard.

There was also time for a Saturday and Sunday Stableford.

On the first day, Marcus Smith scored 38 points for the win, two points ahead of Mark Jones in second place, after he scored 36 points.

The round of the day went to Paul Geary with a fantastic 44 points, which is sure to give him a handicap cut. Ian Hurst-Cotton took second place with 37 points.

In the Sunday iteration, Dan Miller topped Division One with 36 points, leaving Mark Turnbull in second, one shot back on 35. Division Two once again produced the top round with Adrian Baker scoring 38 points. Second place went to Declan Smith on 37.

The Suffolk GC

The March Saturday Stableford saw Dave Wilbraham make all the right manoeuvres to pass the test and finish first with 36 points.

In the first outing of the week for The Count, three players returned 32 points. Tom Riethoff was awarded second, with Stephen Woods third and John Dale fourth.

On the Sunday it was Terry Hall who headed the pack, scoring 34 points, one ahead of Gavin Hogg in second on 33 points.

The Seniors held a fourball betterball competition, and it was a good job that The Count stuck around, as two pairs both scored a very healthy 43 points.

Alan Horne & Michael Field were adjudged to be the winners, with Alexander McCormick & Derek Bloomfield settling for second. Third place went to Douglas Coe & Michael Downes on 41 points.

Thetford GC

Thetford Golf Club saw large entries for the last of its winter competitions.

In the March medal, Peter Allott held off six challengers who tied for second place.

This was the first competition of the year to be played from the championship tees, and with a stiff breeze was a test for all.

In the end only one player played or beat their handicap. The Division Two prize was won by Robert Herkes.

Each March a competition is held to support English Blind Golfers. This year’s winner was Anthony Lee, who pipped Gary Robinson and George Winstone into second place. Wet conditions across the day required resilience from all, however this did not dampen a record entry.

Mike Horley, competitions secretary, said: “As we enter spring, the club competition season is about to get into full swing.

“The course is looking amazing, and with possibly the best greens I have seen around the region it’s a very exciting time for all.”

Bury St Edmunds GC

The Bury St Edmunds Junior Stableford was played in torrential rain, so kudos to those who stuck it out.

Alex Sumpter continued his run of early season form, scoring 38 points. His 29 handicap is sure to be coming down again. Louis Sturman was second with 36 points from his nine handicap.

The first round of the Ladies’ Daily Mail Foursomes saw Bury St Edmunds host local rivals Flempton.

The pairs are selected from winning the qualifying events at the respective clubs, and if successful, there is the prospect of a national final to be held at Slaley Hall.

This author can attest for the excellent hospitality laid on at the national final, so it is definitely something worth qualifying for.

Back to the match, the Bury pairing of Bianca Theeruth & Heather Chandler won narrowly on the 18th hole after an epic tussle with Sarah Brownie & Anna Fairhead.

Bury St Edmunds will play Diss Golf Club in the next round.

Have a great golfing week.