Simon Byford’s golf column: Haverhill Golf Club member Pat Kennedy wins One Club Race To The Open at Royal Liverpool Golf Club
Haverhill member Pat Kennedy has triumphed in the prestigious One Club Race To The Open.
The national final was held at Royal Liverpool GC, host for the 2023 Open Championship.
Pat qualified due to her exceptional score of nett 66 (19 hcap) in the Ladies Club Championship at Haverhill. This score placed her amongst the lowest scores recorded in club championships across the country, and entry into the national final.
In the final itself, Pat scored 33 points, which was good enough to take the victory.
Getting close to your handicap on an Open Championship course, under this pressure, is an amazing achievement, and Pat received two hospitality tickets for next year’s Open, a £500 shop voucher and an Open flag signed by Viktor Hovland. Well done Pat.
SGU Gold Medal final
At Aldeburgh GC last week the SGU Gold Medal final was held.
The top eight scores across over 10,000 rounds in qualifying events across the county. The west side of Suffolk was represented by Ian Howell (BSE) and Edward Moore (The Suffolk).
Despite this minority it was Edward Moore who won the day. Using his trusty 4 iron to keep the ball in play, he returned 35 points to win by two shots from Leigh Matthews on 33 points.
Congratulations Edward on your victory, amazing.
The Captain’s Drive in was held by Perry Garrod, who it turns out is now doing another term.
To coincide with this a social Stableford was held. It also signalled the start of what was to be a busy week for Count Back. Three players returned 42 points, Len Hopkinson was first, John Dale was second and Steve Cable third.
The Suffolk Seniors held a Stableford and once again The Count was needed to figure out the winner after two players returned 34 points.
Ian Jonsson was the victor in the formula with Haslett Schofield second.
There was also a Mid-Week Medal which was won by Chris Tate with a nett 73 from his 4 handicap. The Count came in for second place, producing Ivan Snelling ahead of Mark Rothon, who both scored nett 74.
Mark bounced straight back from his encounter with The Count, finishing first in the Masters Medal.
This board event is for anyone who has won a competition during the previous year. Danny Hakins was second with nett 69 and Jim Chapman chipped in for third with a nett 70.
Thetford ladies held the Chisholm Trophy this week, fondly known as the Cup Winners Cup.
To be eligible for entry to the competition players must have either won a Cup or a Division in a monthly medal or Stableford, within the past year.
Some 24 ladies took to the course in the rain, but thankfully as the round progressed the weather improved.
Sue Pitcher (13) had an extremely solid round consisting of 9 pars and a birdie on the 17th to come home with a nett 72 (2 under handicap). This made her the clear winner over Justine Twogood (20) with a nett 77 on countback from Kath Malvern (6) in third place.
There were 86 men taking to the course for the October Stableford.
The weather had improved and the course was playing long following all the rain in recent days.
In Division 1, The Count was called upon to determine the winner. Matthew Harben (4) was the victor from Nicholas Marshall (9) who both returned 38 points. Benjamin Dominey (6) was third on 37 points.
In Division 2, Cameron Tilly (21) was the clear winner, and the best score of the day, with 39 points. Chris Clarke (13) was second with 36 points, and Christopher Hawkins (17) third on 35 points.
The Stowmarket Seniors held a 4BBB competition, and the scoring was hot. Andrew Coxhead & David Robinson finished first with 42 points, and The Count determined that Rick Brothwell & Den Andrews’ 40 points were better than John Roberts & Bob Chatfield on the same score.
There was also a mid-week Stableford which was won by Des Planner with 37 points.
Bury St Edmunds GC
The male competition winners over the past 12 months competed for the Mingay Trophy. Ben Whittaker had a fantastic Gross 71 from his 3 handicap, nett 68 to win the trophy. Gary Ross came second with a nett 69 (19) and David Matter was third with nett 72 (10).
There was a Mediterranean Stableford to coincide with a Mediterranean evening at the club. In the men’s event Mike Brooks was top with 40 points, David Matter again came in the placings with 38 and Tom Brough third with 36 points.
In the Ladies’ event, The Count came by to determine that Bianca Theeruth’s 28 points was ahead of Carol Nicholson who had the same score.
When you can get back on the course following the effects of the wet weather from Storm Ciarán, have a great golfing week.