Felixstowe Ferry’s Paul Waring wins golf silver in Deaflympics
- Credit: Archant
Paul Waring of Felixstowe Ferry came away from the Deaflympics at Samsun in Turkey with a silver medal for Great Britain.
He was involved in a classic final against former German professional Allen John who has dominated deaf golf for a while. It ended at the first extra hole after 16 birdies had been shared.
Waring had been boosted by messages from his coach Graham Walker and namesake Paul Waring, the PGA European Tour professional with whom he has become friends.
With his father Steve as caddy, it was decided that the best chance of winning was to attack the course to secure as many birdies as possible. Earlier in the tournament he had been playing more cautiously.
The plan worked at the first hole. Waring explained: “I had hit a three-iron off the tee all week as the fairways narrows at 250 yards. This time I hit a three-wood into the narrow part of the fairway. He missed the green and I won the hole.”
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The second was halved with birdies and the third halved in par. John was level after the fourth.
“I had been laying up short of bunkers at 275 and 287 yards. I hit the ball well but it did not move back in the wind. It plugged three inches from the top of the right-hand bunker and I could only play out sideways” said Waring. John took advantage and it was all square again.
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The German went one up at the sixth. Waring had a 25-foot downhill putt which missed. John sunk his 15-foot uphill putt.
The 314-yard par-four dogleg over water was halved. Waring found the front fringe of the green with his driver. The putt, held up by the fringe grass, was 10-foot short and the hole was halved with birdies.
Waring was level after eight thanks to firing a seven-iron from 181-feet to leave a 13-foot putt which he sank.
On the par five ninth Waring missed the fairway by a couple of feet and had to take a penalty drop. He was one down at the turn.
Three-putting the 10th saw Waring two down but the margin was pulled back to one at the 12th thanks to sinking an uphill birdie putt from 20 feet.
At the par five 13th Waring hit a splendid drive only to find that John was only two yards behind with his hybrid. Waring hit a poor six-iron and found himself two down with five to play.
John missed a five-foot putt which would have put him three up at the 14th. Successive birdies by Waring at the 15th and 16th brought it back to all square.
The 181-yard 17th was wind-assisted. John sunk a difficult 15-foot downhill putt. Waring sunk his uphill putt from 12-foot to stay level.
On the 18th Waring outdrove John but both players had no difficulty in reaching the par-five green in two. The hole was halved with birdies.
The play-off hole saw Waring’s tee shot on the fairway but with the ball on a slope above his feet. His six-iron missed the green pin-high down a slope. The chip landed a foot short of the putting surface and kicked off to the right. Had it reached the green it would have been close. Waring had an 18-foot putt to save the match. It missed.
“I was disappointed not to win the Gold Medal but was really pleased with the way I played. Making eight birdies in a final, including four in a row when two down, is something I am proud of. The medal ceremony was special as well standing on the podium receiving the medal and watching the flags go up. It was a great experience.”
Allen John, 29, progressed through the German national squads. In 2008 he attended Georgia State University in Atlanta. He turned professional in 2011 and played on the Challenge Tour in 2012.
He regained his amateur status and was joint seventh in last year’s Dutch Men’s Amateur Championship in which Suffolk’s Gregor Tait missed the cut and was placed 65th.
- The Ipswich Junior Open was a success story for 11-year-old Natasha Gregory who had 37 Stableford points off her handicap of 30. She won the Charles Gadd Putter on count back from Declan Condon who plays off 12 at Seckford. Natasha, a junior member of the host club, won the Daily Telegraph qualifier.
The three best gross scores by Suffolk players were: 80: Dominic Rudd (Thorpeness) 81: Tyler Weaver (Bury St Edmunds). 82: Declan Condon.
Other leading Stableford scores: 36: D Rudd, T Weaver. Georgia Parker (Bury St Edmunds). 35: Guy Maynard (Southwold). 34: Danny Howe (Bury St Edmunds). 33: Alex Watkins (Hintlesham), Luke Green (Ipswich), Jonathan Tait (Playgolf Colchester).