Ipswich win the Stenson
GOLFTHE balance of power in Suffolk club golf may be changing. Ipswich won the Stenson Shield, the inter-club scratch knock-out, for the first time against Stoke by Nayland, who have been the dominant force in recent years.
By Tony Garnett
THE balance of power in Suffolk club golf may be changing. Ipswich won the Stenson Shield, the inter-club scratch knock-out, for the first time against Stoke by Nayland, who have been the dominant force in recent years.
It was an exciting final at Fynn Valley on Saturday with the cool head of 16-year-old Chris Gooding steering his team home on the 17th green in what turned out to be a vital singles against Paul Pengelly.
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The match hung in the balance when Gooding, having just lost the 16th to have his lead reduced to one, needed to win one of the final two holes to steer his team to victory.
Pengelly's tee shot at the long par-three 17th ended in semi-rough to the right of the green. Gooding finished just through the green some 22 feet from the pin but on a lie that demanded a chip rather than a putt.
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Pengelly's wedge left him some 15 feet from the pin. Gooding, watched by a large crowd, knocked his ball stone dead. There was one last chance for Stoke as Pengelly had a long and tricky putt to stay in the game. It was woefully short.
Ipswich established a lead of three-and-a-half to a half in the foursomes. Stoke fought back tenaciously to win five of the eight singles. It was not quite enough. Stoke must have expected their foursomes pairing of Michael Swan and Liam Brace to provide a point, but they went down to Kristian Day and Neil Meadows.
In the singles Day, the former Suffolk county champion when at Hintlesham, beat Ian McKay in the top game. Then Stoke won the next four singles with Owen Pearl beating Meadows, Swan winning a splendid match against Paul Barnard and Brace never in trouble against Jack Jowers. Aaron Parkes, back from his Faldo Series commitment in Wales the previous day, arrived in time to play in the singles. He closed out his match against Daniel Bryett on the 17th green.
Ben Farthing, in the second from last game, maintained a proud record of not having lost a Stenson singles in two years. He proved too consistent for Carl Jarrett. That left Ipswich needing one more point with Gooding having a slight advantage but Graham Wardley close to defeat against Greg Hills. The pressure was on Gooding. He kept his nerve.
Stoke were without Scott Brace and Rob Murray, both of whom are at college in the United States. Ipswich missed Ian Brown who was on holiday.
STOKE BY NAYLAND 5.5
Foursomes (Ipswich names first):
Kristian Day and Neil Meadows beat Michael Swan and Liam Bace two up.
Paul Barnard and Jack Jowers halved with Owen Pearl and Greg Hills.
Daniel Bryett and Chris Gooding beat Ian Carter and Ian McKay 7 and 6.
Ben Farthing and Graham Wardley beat Paul Whittle and Paul Pengelly 2 and 1.
Day beat McKay 3 and 2, Meadows lost to Pearl 3 and 2, Barnard lost to Swan 3 and 1, Jowers lost to Brace 6 and 5, Bryett lost to Parkes 2 and 1, Gooding beat Pengelly 2 and 1, Farthing beat Jarrett 6 and 5, Wardley lost to Hills 3 and 2.