Garnett on Golf: A super Spring for Suffolk golf

The Suffolk Senior team which beat Norfolk by 10 matches to five at Halesworth. Back (from left): Ke

The Suffolk Senior team which beat Norfolk by 10 matches to five at Halesworth. Back (from left): Kevin Brooks (captain), Trevor Golton, Trevor Hellyer, Steve Mann and Stephen Duffety, Front: Mark Jackson, Steve Whymark, Nigel Fosker, Roger Taylor and Andy Whittaker. Photograph: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

Golf writer Tony Garnett reflects on a fantastic Spring for the sport in Suffolk, capped with the county seniors’ win over Anglian rivals Norfolk at Halesworth.

It has been a notable Spring for Suffolk golf.

Fiona Edmund (Ipswich) becoming England Senior Leagues’ champion, Jamie Abbott (Ipswich) finishing tied 15th in the Portuguese Open at Morgado and Hugo Dobson (Woodbridge) winning the PGA Europro event at Frilford Heath are all brilliant feats.

Abbott continued his good work last week by winning the Jamega Tour event at Magnolia Park with rounds of 69 and 70. Jamie Moul (Stoke by Nayland) had 72 and 77.

Abbott, who has been helped by coach Michael Welch, said: “We have worked really hard with a lot of swing changes.”


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Suffolk players cannot be expected to win everything. The quartet who did so well to qualify for the Brabazon Trophy found life tough on the Hotchkin course at Woodhall Spa. Paul Waring, James Biggs, Josh Driver and Chris Bartrum all missed the cut.

It was the Seniors who brought a smile back to Suffolk Golf Union officials with their East Anglian League 10-5 victory over Norfolk at Halesworth.

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The outcome was closer than the scoreline might suggest. Seven of the 10 singles were decided on the 18th green.

Halesworth Golf Club, owned by Jon Hunt of Heveningham Hall, is now established in my top six Suffolk courses. In 20 years many of the 22,500 trees which have been planted will have matured. Seven thousand trees have been planted this year.

Suffolk senior captain Kevin Brooks was delighted with the outcome when keeps interest in the League alive despite the narrow defeat against Northants in the opening match at Kettering.

Brooks, once on the books of Derbyshire County Cricket Club, was up against another former Derbyshire cricketer, Roger Finney, in the foursomes.

Finney and Ian Hogg won two up against Brooks and Nigel Fosker. They went down the par-three 11th with Suffolk needing to win to halve the match. Brooks’ tee-shot hit the down slope behind the green and left Fosker with a chip from some 28 yards. Norfolk secured the par they needed for victory. Stephen Whymark is still a class player despite back problems which force him to play with pain killers. He had two convincing wins.

In the foursomes their 5 and 3 win was helped by Taylor holing out for eagle from 200 yards with a five-wood at the 417-yard seventh hole. It was a blind shot over the brow of a hill. The foursomes was played over 11 holes. Suffolk led 3-2 at lunch.

Trevor Golton, who has been named as the new secretary-manager at Stowmarket Golf Club, teamed up with Stephen Duffety to win their foursomes against John Taverner and former Norfolk Golf Union president Doug Gilchrist.

Andy Whittaker of Woodbridge will be joined by Stephen Crosby (Gorleston) and John Whitby (Ipswich) in the England Seniors’ Championship at Saunton between June 7 and 9.

Scores: Suffolk names first

Foursomes (over 11 holes): Stephen Whymark and Roger Taylor beat Mark Skipper and Adrian Myhill 5 and 3, Trevor Hellyer and Steve Mann beat Tony Ralton and Mike Horley 3 and 2, Andy Whittaker and Mark Jackson lost to Tony Richards and David Pattrick 3 and 2, Stephen Duffety and Trevor Golton beat John Taverner and Doug Gilchrist 2 and 1, Nigel Fosker and Kevin Brooks lost to Roger Finney and Ian Hogg two down.

Singles: Whymark beat Skipper 6 and 4, Taylor lost to Ralton one down, Hellyer beat Myhill one up, Mann beat Taverner two up, Fosker beat Richards one up, Whittaker beat Pattrick 5 and 3, Brooks beat Gilchrist one up, Duffety beat Finney one up, Jackson beat Horley one up, Golton lost to Hogg 4 and 3.

- Edwina Hughes of Stowmarket scored 40 points to win the Suffolk Ladies’ Division Three Silver Quaich at Gorleston where heavy overnight rain delayed the start. Waterlogged bunkers were ground under repair. Vonnie Thornton of the host club was runner-up with 39. Pam Willshere (Stowmarket) beat Maureen Duckett (Gorleston) on count back for third place with 37 points.

The Belstead Team Shield went to Gorleston (Thornton, Duckett and Marieta Holmes) with 108 points. Fynn Valley (Valerie Dadge, Sally Crosbie and Jean Emmerson) were runners-up with 97.

Beryl Dewhurst of Fynn Valley won the Olive Carruthers Cup with 34 Stableford points in the Suffolk Ladies’ Division Four meeting on a beautiful spring day at Cretingham. Forty-two ladies represented 12 clubs. Dewhurst won on count back from Joan Hogarth Bury St Edmunds and Monica Begg from Woodbridge. Gillian Freeman of Stowmarket was fourth with 32 points. Fynn Valley won the Division Four Shield, Dewhurst, Coral George and Judith Cole-Jones totalling 95 points.

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