Super Essex retain their Inter-County title at The Belfry
Essex have retained the PGA England and Wales Inter-County Championship over the PGA National course at The Belfry becoming only the second county to win the trophy twice.
Jason Levermore, James Scade and Brett Taylor beat off the challenge of teams from Nottinghamshire, Surrey, Devon and Lancashire.
Levermore, who lives at Capel St Mary, was joint best player at five under par for his two rounds.
Essex dominated the first day and established enough of a lead to take the title by five shots.
Any thoughts of a close finish ended when Taylor of Rivenhall Oaks sunk his seven-iron for the 16th ace of his career on the second day.
Teams should field the top three players in their order of merit but Rob Coles and Lloyd Kennedy were unavailable so Taylor and Scade, a former Braintree junior, took their places.
That meant that the same trio who won last year represented the county again.
Suffolk won the inaugural inter-county event in 2013 when represented by Kevin Earp, Lawrence Dodd and Peter Latimer.
n Richard Beadles of Royal Worlington is the Suffolk PGA champion for the third year in succession. He won the Mallinson Trophy with two rounds of 72 at Ufford Park to beat Bungay’s Andrew Collison (75 72) by three shots.
Third place went to Will Farley of Rushmere (77 and 74) who won the Suffolk Trainees’ title.
Stuart Robertson (Ufford Park) and Daniel Skriabin (Thorpeness) shared fourth place.
Several years ago, when the field was somewhat larger, Collison and Beadles were involved in a play-off for the title at Woodbridge watched by a sizeable gallery.
Eleven extra holes were played with the situation still unresolved. It became too dark to continue so the title was shared.
n The region will have five players competing in stage two of the PGA European Tour qualifying school.
Jamie Abbott (Ipswich), Sam Forgan (Stowmarket), Miles Collins (Stoke by Nayland), Hugo Dobson (Woodbridge) and Dale Whitnell (Forrester Park) will all be in Spain between November 2 and 5. Abbott was the leading qualifier at Stoke by Nayland.
Whitnell set a course record at Aldeburgh in his amateur days when playing for Essex.
Dobson started with two rounds of 73 at Bom Sucesso in Portugal last week. Then he found form in his final two rounds of 70 and 69 to qualify with a shot in hand.
El Encin (Madrid) has taken the place of Panoramica as one of the host courses for stage two.
Forgan hopes that he is drawn to play at Desert Springs which he knows well. The other two venues at Alicante are Alenda and Las Colinas.
The final six-round stage will be at Lumine Golf Club (Tarragona) when the top 25 and ties will earn a Category 16 European Tour card.
Last week Whitnell was runner-up in a Jamega Tour event at the Players Club at Bristol with two rounds of 67. Collins had 69 and 67 while Abbott signed for 71 and 67.
Earlier on the TP Tour Alex Holmes (Great Yarmouth) had a round of 74 over the Brabazon course at The Belfry. Guy Mummery (76) and Chris Soanes (82) both of Rookery Park missed out on the prize money.
n The Suffolk Golf Alliance staged their 60th anniversary meeting, a team event, at Bury St Edmunds.
The winners included two club secretaries, Mike Verhelst of the host club and Scott Ballentine of Royal Worlington. Other team members were Brian Lever and Gareth Davis. The best two scores from four counted on each hole.
Their 85 points beat a trio of Forgans (Sam, Ben and father Andrew) who played with Gus Cutting of Stowmarket.
Third place with 83 points went to Terry Lyons, Peter McClennan, Mark Firman and Scott Turner.
The fourth-placed team was Alex Davey, Mike Toon, Mike Eaton and David Smith with 81 points.
Four professionals took part. Their scores were: 71: Sam Forgan. 74: Alex Davey (both Stowmarket). 76: Paul Wilby (Haverhill). 82: Robin Mann (Bury Driving Range).
It was an ideal day with the greens fast and true and the fairways fully recovered from the summer heatwave.
The next Alliance meeting will be at Newton Green on October 21.
Other leading scores: 82: G Borthwick, R Gardiner, D Simpkin, R Mann. 80: A Fish, L Fish, J Mair, K McCredie; I Benson, T Warren, I Smith, J Sandford.
79: D Matter, N Salmon, A Garrett, C Whyatt. 78: R Green, J Gilham, K Rooney, P Coleman; A Quinn, P Dawson, A Proctor, T Martin; M White, C Bradnam, P Webb, G Markham. 76: P Wilby, R Toone, J Banks, D Smith; J Partridge, R Reid, A Austin, M Baxter. 74: J Williams, G Vandervord, D Yates, R Davies. 72: G Davis, G Howard, A Brown, J Blatchly. 67: C O’Brian, L Turner, M Brooks, M Parkinson. 64: M Milner, B Holmes, L Norman, S Carr. 62: P Samain, R Walters, R Brazier, J Paterson.