Garnett on Golf: Fairbrother and Goodwin win at Southwold

SOUTHWOLD WINNERS: Phil Fairbrother (left) and Andy Goodwin of Stowmarket who won the Suffolk Winter

SOUTHWOLD WINNERS: Phil Fairbrother (left) and Andy Goodwin of Stowmarket who won the Suffolk Winter Alliance prize on count back. Photograph: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

In his latest column, Tony Garnett reports on the Suffolk Winter Alliance event at Southwold, Suffolk’s Men’s teams for the season ahead and the first game of the season for the Suffolk Ladies.

Phil Fairbrother and Andy Goodwin of Stowmarket won the Suffolk Winter Alliance better ball event at Southwold with 42 Stableford points.

They took first prize on count back over the last nine from Dave Simpkin (Haverhill) and Gary Borthwick (Stoke by Nayland).

Third place went to Tony Carman and Terry Mitchell of Stoke by Nayland with 41 points.

Once the early frost had cleared conditions were good on a cold but sunny day.

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There was a field of 42 on the nine-hole course with no professionals. The next meeting will be at Seckford on Wednesday, February 13.

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- It is early days to be thinking of Suffolk men’s teams in the Anglian League and Eastern Counties Foursomes.

County captain Joe Cardy must bite the bullet and accept that some of his lowest-handicap players will often be unavailable because of other golfing commitments.

Players like Paul Waring, Habebul Islam and perhaps Gregor Tait are likely to miss vital games. Tait is currrently playing with his college in Texas to escape the wintry weather round New York.

Unavailability will provide opportunities for other players to break into the first and second teams if they show promising early season form.

There was a second get-together of the winter for the county squad at Hintlesham on Sunday. Weather conditions were far from ideal but it proved to be a worthwhile bonding session.

Monty Scowsill was unavailable, Chris Fleming was unwell but Chris Bartrum returned after a knee injury and Josh Robertson was back after missing the coaching day at Aldeburgh before Christmas.

The plan to play a serious foursomes match between the first and second teams did not really work out because of temporary greens.

The afternoon Texas Scramble, teams of three, worked far better and made for an enjoyable and competitive afternoon.

Jed Seeley (Newton Green) will be knocking hard on the first team door. He won last year’s Road to Aldeburgh event and collected the Dick Berendt Trophy for winning the order of merit.

It could be that Suffolk will promote teenagers George Fricker and Alfie Halil to the county first team in the summer. Maybe they will play together in the Suffolk Amateur Foursomes at Halesworth on April 14 when one hopes that there will be more competitive partnerships rather than players opting to play with their friends.

The venues for the Anglian League matches have been finalised.

Suffolk’s programme:

May 12: v Leicestershire. First team at Market Harborough. Second team at Diss.

June 2: v Lincolnshire. First team at Hintlesham. Second team at Laceby Manor (near Grimsby).

July 7: v Cambridgeshire. First team at Brampton Park. Second team at Haverhill.

August 4: v Norfolk. First team at Royal Norwich. Second team at Diss.

September 1: v Northamptonshire. First team at Hintlesham. Second team at Peterborough Milton.

- Suffolk Ladies started their preparation for the new season with a friendly match against Aldeburgh men. The ladies lost by two and a half matches to one and a half.

In order to play each match off scratch the ladies played off the red tees while the men played off either the white or the yellow tees.

New county captain Vicki Inglis was not playing so vice-captain Amanda Norman led the side.

Suffolk junior captain Georgia Parker (Bury St Edmunds) made a winning debut teaming up with county champion Alice Barlow.

Aldeburgh men’s names first: James Keely and Mike Jones halved with Vanessa Bell and Lottie Whyman; Tom Huggins and Myles Orton beat Lils James and Amanda Norman 2 and 1; John Hickling and Ollie Whiting lost to Alice Barlow and Georgia Parker 4 and 3; Mike Olding and Chris Nall beat Sam Annis and Abbie Symonds 6 and 5.

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