Bury St Edmunds Golf Club member Alice Barlow returns to Great Cornard with two Suffolk County Championship titles for the first time after thrilling end to Matchplay at Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club
Great Cornard’s Alice Barlow came through a deciding play-off to win her fifth straight Suffolk County Championships Matchplay title at Felixstowe Ferry Golf on Sunday - making it a double celebration for the Bury St Edmunds Golf Club member.
Although the ex-Newton Green Golf Club member and Thomas Gainsborough pupil had triumphed in the Matchplay on each occasion it was held since 2016, the preceding day’s Stokeplay title had eluded her.
But the 22-year-old, who had to settle for three second-place finishes previously in the curtain-raiser to the three-day event, came out on top in Friday’s 36-hole championship.
In the cold windy drizzle the -3 handicapper set the standard with a great two-under-par 71, including three birdies. The afternoon round was nearly matched with a one-under-par 72 to have a total score of 143 – some 14 shots ahead of her nearest competitor, Suffolk Ladies’ caption Amanda Norman of hosting club Felixstowe Ferry.
Barlow then went up against the top 16 from the Strokeplay in the Suffolk Ladies’ County Golf Association showpiece.
Having come through her semi-final on Sunday morning in difficult conditions against fellow Bury St Edmunds member Sophie Kubitzek, 14, 7&6, she began what proved to be a great nip-and-tuck final with county captain Norman.
Barlow went 2 up after seven holes. Mistakes on eight and 12 let Norman back in to level the match and she won the 13th when Barlow missed a putt.
But Norman made a mistake on the 16th to let Barlow level the match.
Both ladies birdied the 17th for a halve and Barlow sunk a four foot pressure put on the18th to take it to sudden death play off.
A par from each at the 19th led to the 20th tee where Norman found the left hand rough and Barlow the fairway. The green was missed left by Norman and found by Barlow 20 foot from the pin.
An errant chip from Norman was not good enough to stop Barlow having two putts for the Championship.
She only needed a lag to the hole to win it, though it was a shame Covid rules meant a presentation had to be delayed.
Barlow’s coach and caddie, father Mark Barlow, said she is planning to play on the amateur circuit next year ahead of her ultimate dream of eventually going professional.