Bartrum and Biggs aim for a record fourth victory at Bury St Edmunds
- Credit: Archant
Chris Bartrum and James Biggs of Diss are aiming for a record fourth successive victory in the Suffolk Amateur Foursomes Championship at Bury St Edmunds on Sunday.
They retained the Macleod Cup at Stowmarket last year having previously won at Felixstowe Ferry and Ipswich.
So dominant have they been that one might expect them to pick up plenty of points for Suffolk in the Anglian League. That has not happened so they could be vulnerable.
Ben Sayers (Felixstowe Ferry) and Josh Robertson (Ufford Park and Aldeburgh) collected the Watts Salvers as runners-up last year. They team up again.
Sayers is in good form having won the East Anglian Spring Foursomes with John Blackmore at Hunstanton on Sunday.
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Suffolk captain Jack Cardy (Hintlesham) plays with James Tyler (Ipswich). They should pose a threat as could juniors George Fricker (Ufford Park), now plus one, and Tom Auchterlonie (Woodbridge) off one.
Suffolk junior champion Conal Downing (Rookery Park) and Suffolk men’s match play champion Louis Martin (Haverhill) have the talent to make an impact.
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Home advantage often plays a part. It would be unwise to rule out Dan Smailes and Trevor Titcombe of the host club who have several other pairings with chances.
Sam Byford, recent winner of the Rushmere Vase scratch prize, and Jasper Johnson both of Ipswich could be challengers.
Will Wright and Ian Kitson, of Aldeburgh should enjoy a return to Bury St Edmunds where they beat Woodbridge in the Stenson Shield final. Wright held the Macleod Cup with David Quinney (now Cambridgeshire) in 2009.
Nathan Overton and Josh Driver provide a blend of experience and youthful enthusiasm.
Newton Green have two good prospects. Russell Oakey plays with Suffolk junior match play champion Harvey Watts while Jed Seeley and Simon Bearman could spring a surprise.
Stowmarket’s James O’Doherty and Kieran Issitt, who did well two years ago, will look for a repeat.
Suffolk Open champion Alfie Halil partners Max Weaver. Danny Western of Gorleston takes junior Jack Butcher under his wing as does Neil Meadows with his nephew Henry.
The only past champions in the field are Sam Debenham (Hintlesham) and Jason Finch (Woodbridge) but that was 20 years ago.
Mark Jackson and Andy Whittaker of Woodbridge will battle to retain the Jon Marks Cup for the Suffolk Senior Foursomes.
There could be keen competition from the likes of Stephen Whymark and Nigel Robson.
Suffolk Seniors meet Hertfordshire at Moor Park on Thursday.
The Suffolk team is: Stephen Whymark, Paul Buckle, Roger Taylor, Steve Crosby, Trevor Hellyer, Kevin Brooks (captain), Stephen Duffety, Graham Shillings, Steve Mann and Dick Barton.
Meanwhile, Habebul Islam of Ipswich and Max Adams of Bury St Edmunds and the Culford Academy, played in the Peter McEvoy Trophy (English Boys’ Open) at Copt Heath last week,
Only those with a handicap of 0.3 of better survived the ballot. A field of 72 included boys’ squad members representing England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.
Heavy rain meant that the event was decided over 36 holes.
Habebul had rounds of 72 and 73 to end three over par in joint 19th place (23rd after count back). Essex men’s champion Curtis Knipes of Abridge also ended with 145 (76 69).
Max had rounds of 73 and 76 to take joint 36th place (43rd on count back).
Habebul and Max beat all five members of the Scottish Academy squad and four of the seven members of the England squad.
The winner was Harrison Arnold of Castle Royle GC near Reading with rounds of 72 and 67. This 18-year-old has been overlooked by England.
Past winners have included Lee Westwood and Justin Rose.
Ben Newman (St Felix School and Rookery Park) won all his matches to help England Independent Schools’ under-15 team beat Scotland by 11 matches to six at Collingtree Park.
Newman won both his foursomes matches on the first day when England took command of the match.
In the singles he beat Lyle Murdoch 3 and 2, one of four England winners on the second day.