Dropped Sudbury golfer wins second place

GolfTIM Cooper of Newton Green took an exceptional second place at the Millenium Trophy with two tremendous sub-par rounds of 71 on a course he had never seen before.


TIM Cooper of Newton Green took an exceptional second place at the Millenium Trophy with two tremendous sub-par rounds of 71 on a course he had never seen before. His consistency was excellent and his most spectacular hole was the 495 yard 18th on his opening round.

He drove down to left to open up the green. He planted a three-wood 20 feet from the pin and sunk the putt for an eagle three. It was a hole he will never forget.

Cooper has been playing well all winter and his two rounds left Suffolk PGA wondering why his name did not figure in the team of 12 that took on Norfolk PGA in a match settled on the 36-hole medal score of the players drawn together.

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The scenic parkland course looked a picture with so many mature trees but only those able to adapt to slow greens managed to score well.

Neil Mitchell, who left the West Suffolk Driving Range at Mildenhall at the end of last month, became the first Suffolk PGA member to win the Millennium Trophy and the £1000 first prize that goes with it.

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Mitchell's rounds of 72 and three under par 69 at Weston Park, near Norwich were outstanding. There was a tricky wind in the morning. It was calmer in the afternoon and, amazingly in view of the forecast, it was sunny all day.

Suffolk PGA, however, managed a victory by seven and a half matches to four and a half to collect the champagne for the second successive time in this biennial event.

Norfolk PGA started favourites. They included past Millennium Trophy winners Tony Varney (The Norfolk Golf and CC) and Michael Few (Weston Park) as well as Ian Ellis (Royal Norwich) who will represent the PGA East Region in the BMW Championship at Wentworth between May 25 and 28.

Robin Mann (Felixstowe Golf Range) was paired with Ellis. The Suffolk player never held the honour all morning when trailing 71 to 73. Ellis was joint leader at lunch with Cooper and Andrew Collison (Bungay).

Ellis slipped in his second round which culminated with a terrible 10 on the last which saw him plummet down the leader board. Let's hope he escapes any similar disaster at Wentworth.

Norfolk PGA led by six matches to four with two level after 18 holes. Suffolk PGA staged a brave recovery to turn the tables under the captaincy of their chairman, Frank Hill (Thorpeness), who was standing in as captain in place of Paul Wilby (Fynn Valley) who was unwell.

Millennium Trophy

Leading scores

141: N Mitchell (unattached) 72 69 (£1,000).

142: T Cooper (Newton Green) 71 71 (£500).

143: N Lythgoe (Royal Norwich) 73 70.

146: K Earp (Bury Golf Range) 75 71, M Allen (Eaton) 72 74.

147: L Patterson (Royal Cromer) 72 75, A Cotton (Ufford Park) 75 72, A Collison (Bungay) 71 76.

148: S Harrison (Thorpness) 74 74.

149: M Few (Weston Park) 74 75, A Tokley (Stoke by Nayland) 76 73, A Robinson (Felixstowe Ferry) 76 73.

150: S Dainty (Fynn Valley) 78 72, K Preston (Aldeburgh) 74 76, R Mann (Felixstowe Golf Range) 73 77.

151: P Mayoh (King's Lynn) 75 76, T Varney (The Norfolk) 73 78.

152: I Ellis (Royal Norwich) 71 81, K Vince (Rushmere) 78 74.

153: P Bate Fynn Valley) 77 76, J Peasey (Woodbridge) 78 75, T Johnson (Cretingham) 78 75, K Canham (Bury St Edmunds) 79 74, A Lucas (Fynn Valley) 81 72.

154: S Robertson (Ufford Park) 79 75.

155: Caroline Grady (Dunston Hall) 77 78, Dean Futter (Wensum Valley) 78 77, Ryan Pudney (Royal Cromer) 76 79, Ian Rollett (Barnham Broom) 79 76, Martin Elsworthy (Rookery Park) 77 78

156: J Markham (Stowmarket) 78 78, R Tidy (Dunston Hall) 82 74, T Dobson (Stonham Barns) 75 81.

There were 11 other players.

Norfolk PGA 4.5

Suffolk PGA 7.5

Inter-county match (medal score after 36 holes). Norfolk names first:

Futter 155 lost to Dainty 150, Cubitt lost to Earp 157 146, Hemsley 160 lost to Mitchell 141, Pudney 155 lost to Tokley 149, Allen 146 beat Dobson 156, Mayoh 151 beat Lucas 153, Lythgoe 243 beat Harrison 148, Patterson 147 halved with Cotton 147, Varney 151 lost to Collison 147, Ellis 152 lost Mann 150, Duncan Abbott (unattached) no return lost Frank Hill (Thorpeness) 162, Few 149 beat Vince 152.

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