Day to remember for Spurr at Woodbridge

JASON Spurr of Woolston Manor, the Essex club which hosted the first PGA East Region Order of Merit event of the season, was the star of the show in the Eastern Counties Cup played at Woodbridge on Sunday.

By Tony Garnett

JASON Spurr of Woolston Manor, the Essex club which hosted the first PGA East Region Order of Merit event of the season, was the star of the show in the Eastern Counties Cup played at Woodbridge on Sunday.

Spurr, who plays off a handicap of four, had an impressive gross 66 (net 62) in his first round. He kept steady on his second round to win the cup by two shots from five-handicap Woodbridge member Joe Fairbrother.

The net 131 score was second-best in the history of the event which was first played 110 years ago. Spurr enjoyed a day he will never forget. He started at the 10th hole in the morning and lost a ball on the 11th to record a bogey.

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It was an inauspicious start but his performance on the first nine holes (his last nine) was sensational. He took 31 shots with birdies at the third, fourth and ninth with an eagle at the par five eighth. It was estimated that his handicap will now be reduced to three.

Third place went to Gary Seaman, another Woodbridge member, whose net 135 off a handicap of seven would have been good enough to win on many occasions in the past. He had the consolation of winning the afternoon net prize.

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The Woodbridge course was in good condition. The dry fairways meant that preferred lies were still in operation but the greens were true and this was reflected in the scoring. Chris Gooding of Ipswich said they were the best greens he had putted on so far this year.

The salver for the best gross score went to Liam Brace of Stoke by Nayland, the England under-18 squad member who plays off plus one. Liam had just missed qualifying for the final stages of the Brabazon Trophy at Forest of Arden by one shot.

Suffolk Golf Union Order of Merit points are awarded on the gross scores. This means that Rushmere's Kevin Eagle, who had the best gross score in the Rushmere Vase, has consolidated his lead being the second-best Suffolk player.

Arron Parkes of Stoke by Nayland, a member of the Sports Academy, finished in fifth place with a gross score of 147 which included a nine at the 10th hole in his morning round. It was a well-run event with play maintaining a brisk pace.

It was sad that Jon Marks, the Suffolk Seniors captain, had to retire with sore ribs. He thinks the injury was sustained when moving a refrigerator.

He has withdrawn from the Scottish Seniors Championship but hopes to be fit for the English Seniors next month.

Last year's Eastern Counties Cup winner Adrian Studd had an opening round of 81 which gave him too much of a mountain to climb in the afternoon.

No player could win more than one prize but brothers Joe and Tom Fairbrother, Matt Ginn, Nigel Redding, John Blome and John Whitby were among those winning vouchers.

Gross scores

138: L Brace ( Nayland) 69 69.

139: J Spurr (Woolston Manor) 66 73.

143: K Eagle (Rushmere) 71 72; J P Fairbrother (Woodbridge) 70 73.

147: A Parkes (Stoke by Nayland) 75 72.

149: G J Seaman (Woodbridge) 74 75, S A Mann (Woodbridge) 74 75.

150: R Weidner 72 78.

151: M Rodgers 77 74, T Buta 76 75, S Weidner 73 78, J Whitby 73 78.

152: P Westley 75 77.

153: J Blome 79 74, S Shulver 75 78, R J Powney 75 78.

154: W Goddard 79 75, N Meadows 74 80.

155: N Redding 74 81.

156: D Cockburn 76 80.

157: D Taverner 80 77, J Moore 76 81.

158: D Bryett 81 77, A H Studd 81 77, J Smith 78 80.

159: T Hellyer 81 78, G Robinson 80 79, R Murray 77 82.

160: I Kitson 80 80, N Denny 75 85.

161: R Baker 82 79.

162: D Elliott 85 77, B Rose 85 77, R Long 85 77, G Wood 83 79.

163: P Plentice 86 77, M J Ginn 83 80, T Bailey 81 82, C Monk 80 83, A B Scovell 80 83, C Gooding 78 85.

164: T Fairbrother 82 82.

165: A Woods 82 83, B Tawell 77 88.

166: A Whittaker 83 83, S Hann 82 84.

167: C Little 81 86.

168: G Courtney 84 84, K Burns 82 86, S Rodgers 78 90.

169: P Spraggs 90 79.

172: T Green 79 93.

173: J M Warren 82 91, B Buckerfield 81 92.

182: J Maloney 95 87.

183: D Abrahams 93 90, M Hunter 87 96.

186: I T McCaw 92 94.

188: C Wash 92 96.

191: G Marshall 94 97.

No returns: I Sperring 80 nr, D Housman 91 nr, D G Inglis 84 nr, D Keogh nr nr, C Mann 83 nr, C Ginn 78 nr, J V T Marks 80 nr, B Rule nr nr.

Disqualified: T Killingback.

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