Bartrum and Biggs retain Macleod Cup at Stowmarket for a third successive year

Winners again: From left: Chris Bartrum, SGU president Colin Firmin and James Biggs.

Winners again: From left: Chris Bartrum, SGU president Colin Firmin and James Biggs. - Credit: Archant

Chris Bartrum and James Biggs of Diss became the first pair to win the Suffolk Amateur Foursomes Championship for a third successive year.

They retained the Macleod Cup with rounds of level par 69 and 73 at Stowmarket finishing three shots ahead of Ben Sayers (Felixstowe Ferry) and Josh Robertson (Ufford Park) who had rounds of 76 and 69 to take the Watts Salvers.

Third place went to Suffolk Open champion Sam Debenham, playing this year with Andy Cunningham (Stowmarket) in place of regular partner Jason Finch who was unfit. They were consistent with rounds of 72 and 74.

Bartrum and Biggs, winners at Felixstowe Ferry in 2015 and at Ipswich last year, made a slow start when three over par after the first four holes in the morning. Eagles at the 543-yard 13th hole both in the morning and the afternoon were the key to their success. Biggs drove on both occasions, Bartrum found the green and Biggs holed putts from 15 feet and 25 feet.

The only other pair to have their name on the cup three times have been Richard Long and Gordon Gibbs of Aldeburgh who won in 1964, 1966 and 1967.

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Winning in two successive years is not unusual.

This has been achieved by D H Duffell and I P Whinney (1979 and 1980), Stuart Goodman and Nick Owles (1981 and 1982), Neil Meadows and Steven Macpherson 1991 and 1992), Jon Markham and Danny Barton (2000 and 2001) and more recently by Nathan Overton and Alastair Hall (2013 and 2014).

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The course was in splendid condition with the greens true but still a bit slow. Most pairs scored better on the back nine. The exception was James Reiss and Monty Scowsill of Aldeburgh.

Reiss, an amateur again after professional life in Spain, and Scowsill from Exeter University were out in 34 in the morning which was the best front nine of the day. They were looking dangerous but their back nine of 41 derailed their challenge.

Paul Barnard and Graham Wardley of Ipswich, winners in 2008, were rusty in the morning probably because Barnard does not play as often as he might like. They warmed to their task in the afternoon with a round of 70 which included four birdies. Stowmarket players have a good record on their home course. At lunch James O’Doherty and Owen Clouting were only two shots off the pace. O’Doherty, playing with Kieran Issitt, finished third at Ipswich last year.

The partnership broke up because of doubts about Issitt’s availability. As it turned out he played with Matt Lockwood. They finished fourth on count back with rounds of 75 and 73. It was also good to see Paul Buckle, a Suffolk stalwart in the past, and Ron Spore beating many of the younger players with rounds of 73 and 78 of their handicaps of three and six.

The Suffolk Senior Foursomes was being played for the second year. Winners of the Jon Marks Cup were Mark Jackson and Andy Whittaker from Woodbridge was had lost in a play-off a year ago. Runners-up, and leaders in the club house for some time, were Tom Collett (Stowmarket) and Trevor Hellyer who has returned to Hintlesham.

There was drama on the eve of the event. Bees became attracted to the yellow flag on the 18th green and had to be moved. On the 172-yard ninth new Suffolk Golf Union president Colin Firmin had the second hole in one of his career sinking his five wood.

Leading results from Stowmarket

142: C Bartrum and J Biggs (Diss) 69 73.

145: B Sayers (Felixstowe Ferry) and J Robertson (Ufford Park) 76 69.

146: S Debenham (Hintlesham) and A Cunningham (Stowmarket) 72 74.

148: M Lockwood and K Issitt (Stowmarket) 75 73; L Thompson and G Mummery (Rookery Park) 74 74.

149: I Kitson (Aldeburgh) and C Bye (Ipswich) 76 73; J Reiss and M Scowsill (Aldeburgh) 75 74.

150: P Barnard and G Wardley (Ipswich) 80 70; N Meadows and A Sheldrake (Felixstowe Ferry) 76 74; G Auchterlonie (Woodbridge) and G Fricker (Ufford Park) 75 75; J O’Doherty and O Clouting (Stowmarket) 71 79.

151: D Smailes and T Titcombe (Bury St Edmunds) 76 75; P Buckle and R Spore (Stowmarket) 73 78.

152: J Tyler (Ipswich) and N Overton (Woodbridge) 79 73.

153: O Heath and T Piddington (Woodbridge)78 75; J Whitby and F Knights (Ipswich) 77 76.

154: G Tait (Aldeburgh) and J Driver (Diss) 77 77; J Cottrell (Ipswich) and C Mann (Rushmere) 77 77.

155: C Nurse and S Lankester (Bury St Edmunds) 79 76; S Byford and J Nelli (Ipswich) 79 76; P Smailes and G Sykes (Bury St Edmunds) 78 77; A Forgan and G Knowles (Stowmarket) 78 77.

157: W Wright (Aldeburgh) and T Wright (Ipswich) 75 82.

158: A Whittaker and M Jackson (Woodbridge) 78 80; T Fowler (Ipswich) and T Ayles (Woodbridge) 77 81.

159: T Collett (Stowmarket) and T Hellyer (Hintlesham) 83 76; G Shillings (Rookery Park) and S Mann (Woodbridge) 82 77; S Duffety and G Ward (Bury St Edmunds) 78 81.

160: S Gordon and D Hedges (Ipswich) 82 78; A Meredith (Hintlesham) and M Fordham (Bury St Edmunds) 78 82; J Cuthbert and L Staff (Thorpeness) 77 83.

161: T Golton and G Oates (Stowmarket) 81 80.

162: R Oakey and M Hemson (Newton Green) 84 78; S Whymark and A Scovell (Woodbridge) 79 83.

163: J Draycott and S Richal (Woodbridge) 83 80; R Barton and C Ginn (Woodbridge) 82 81; M Verhelst and G Day (Bury St Edmunds) 78 85.

164: J Barham and D Hughes (Aldeburgh) 80 84.

167: P Ashenden and C Robinson (Woodbridge) 88 79; K McCredie and P Fairbrother (Stowmarket) 85 82; H Cutting and A Bligh (Stowmarket) 82 85; J Fisher and S Pike (Rookery Park) 81 86.

168: N Fosker (Felixstowe Ferry) and R Taylor (Aldeburgh) 82 86.

169: C Duffy and R Thomson (Gorleston) 82 87.

170: B Coleman and J Scott (Bury St Edmunds) 89 81; J Harrison and J West (Woodbridge) 88 82; D Rosser and S Coonan (Woodbridge) 84 86; B Stammers and R Clemson (Hintlesham) 83 87; A Coleman and D Barber (Rookery Park) 81 89.

171: M Gee and J Millard (Bury St Edmunds) 89 82; G Seaman and I McCaw (Woodbridge) 84 87.

173: R Nicholson and N Redding (Bury St Edmunds) 86 87.

174: D Matter and C Whyatt (Bury St Edmunds) 79 95.

178: R Rush and K Tarrant (Hintlesham) 87 91.

180: P Cooke and M Stockdale (Felixstowe Ferry) 89 91.

No return: J King and J Hellyer (Hintlesham).

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