Conal Downing wins Suffolk Junior Golf Championship 2017

Conal Downing receives the F W Mackenzie Cup from Suffolk Golf Union president Colin Firmin after wi

Conal Downing receives the F W Mackenzie Cup from Suffolk Golf Union president Colin Firmin after winning the Suffolk Junior Championship. Picture: TONY GARNETT - Credit: Archant

Teenager Conal Downing of Rookery Park won the F W Mackenzie Cup as the 2017 Suffolk Junior champion.

The 16-year-old produced a sparkling second round of five under par 67 at Felixstowe Ferry. He had four birdies on the wind-assisted front nine.

He then birdied the 441-yard par four 17th, the toughest hole on the course. A driver and three-iron put him on the green. He then sank a 20-foot putt.

His round had no dropped shots and made ample amends for his 78 in the morning when a seven at the par three 10th spoiled the look of his card.

Downing was out for nine months with a badly broken left arm in 2015 after falling off his bicycle. He has made a strong come-back to the game.

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Runner-up, only one shot behind, was Harvey Watts who equalled the course record of 63 at Newton Green last week. Too many of his putts lipped out in his morning round of 76. His usual efficient service was resumed in the afternoon with two under par 70 which made him leader in the club house.

Winner of last year’s Suffolk junior match play, he would have been an asset to Patrick Spraggs’ under-18 squad.

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Alfie Halil of Flempton was third two shots off the pace. His morning round of 78 included an eight at the 11th when his ball went over the road. He hit back with a battling 69 in his second round.

George Fricker of Ufford Park, had a frustrating day. He had an eight at the 11th when his ball went over the road in his morning round of 76.

It was looking promising when he was five under par after 13 holes in the afternoon. Then the wheels came off with a seven at the 15th and dropped shots at holes 17 and 18.

Jack Butcher of Gorleston had steady rounds of 75 and 73. He clearly benefits from being invited to play regularly with the club’s leading players like Danny Western.

One of the shots of the day was Louis Martin’s tee shot at the 12th that hit the wheel of county president Colin Firmin’s car and rebounded back into play from where he secured a par.

Another was Tom Auchterlonie’s second shot at the 17th. He had driven way off line onto the fairway of the second hole. His two-iron from 232 yards found the green.

Newton Green, with Watts, Oli Page and Ben Tatum won the team shield.

Habebul Islam (Ipswich) missed the Suffolk championship. He was playing in the South of England Boys’ Championship at Sherborne, an event with R&A as well as European ranking points.

The Suffolk under-14 title is settled on 18 holes. It was won by Dominic Rudd of Thorpeness with a round of 81.

Because his handicap was nine at the time entries closed he played all 36 holes. It was a pity that Luke Green (Ipswich) and Tyler Weaver (Bury St Edmunds), whose handicaps were reduced to nine after entries closed, were not invited to play all 36 as well.

Scores: Suffolk Junior Championship

145: C Downing (Rookery Park) 78 67.

146: H Watts (Newton Green) 76 70.

147: A Halil (Flempton) 78 69.

148: G Fricker (Ufford Park) 76 72, J Butcher (Gorleston) 75 73.

149: M Adams (Bury St Edmunds) 76 73, L Hansey (Bungay) 76 73, T Crisp (Seckford) 76 73, T Auchterlonie (Woodbridge) 73 76.

151: O Page (Newton Green) 75 76, L Martin (Haverhill) 73 78.

155: G Maynard (Southwold) 80 75.

161: B Tatum (Newton Green) 80 81.

163: T Hall (Bury St Edmunds) 84 79, D Rudd (Thorpeness) 81 82.

165: M Weaver (Bury St Edmunds) 84 81.

166: W Garland (Ipswich) 83 83.

168: J Iron (Haverhill) 85 83.

169: J Everitt (Flempton) 82 87.

171: D Howes (Bury St Edmunds) 88 83.

172: F May (Hintlesham) 90 82, B Hembling (Ipswich) 82 90.

183: J Goulton (Ipswich) 86 97.

No return: J Lansdale (Rookery Park) 102 nr.

Those aged under 14 with a handicap of 10 or higher at the closing date for entries played only 18 holes.

82: L Green (Ipswich). 83: F Johnson (Ufford Park). 84: T Weaver (Bury St Edmunds). 86: J Ford (Southwold). 96: H Meadows (Bury St Edmunds), J Hembling (Ipswich). 98: H Tibble (Ufford Park).

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