Newton Green win Suffolk Junior Team Golf Championship in a thriller against Ipswich

Newton Green (left) Oli Page, Ben Tatum and Harvey Watts on the first tee at Bury St Edmunds before

Newton Green (left) Oli Page, Ben Tatum and Harvey Watts on the first tee at Bury St Edmunds before their match against Ipswich (Will Garland, Ryan Goodarzi and Habebul Islam). Referee and chairman of Suffolk junior golf is in the centre. Picture: TONY GARNETT - Credit: Archant

Newton Green won the Suffolk Junior Team Championship for the third successive year by one Stableford point in a dramatic final against Ipswich at Bury St Edmunds.

Ben Tatum, Harvey Watts and Oli Page will represent Suffolk in the English Junior Champion Club tournament at Woodhall Spa on August 14 and 15.

It was a gripping finale on the 18th watched from the club balcony by supporters of both clubs.

In the top match, of excellent quality, Habebul Islam of Ipswich off scratch collected 38 Stableford points against 36 by four-handicap Harvey Watts, the reigning Suffolk junior match-play champion who has played for the Suffolk second team in the Anglian League in the past.

Habebul, who plays in the McGregor Championship at Burnham and Berrow this week, chipped in for eagle at the par-five 14th while Watts had a birdie.

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In the second match four-handicap Ben Tatum proved too strong for 11-handicap Will Garland by 38 points to 28.

In the final match 11-handicap Ryan Goodarzi was keeping Ipswich in the game thanks to being long and straight off the tee. His opponent was Suffolk under-16 captain Oli Page playing off seven.

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On the last tee Newton Green were eight points ahead with two matches played but Goodarzi led Page by seven.

Goodarzi’s drive was down the middle while Page was in trees on the right. Goodarzi found a greenside bunker in two.

Page needed to clear both a tree and a bunker after his second shot. He played a chip to within five-feet which he may always remember.

Goodarzi was on the green in three but his six-foot birdie putt lipped out. He was down in five for three points. Page, giving a shot, then sunk his five-foot birdie putt for the three points he needed to keep Newton Green ahead by one, 108 points to 107.

Newton Green were without four-handicap James Cooper who will also be unavailable for the final. Last year Newton Green included Suffolk Ladies’ champion Alice Barlow.

Ian Woodhead, who handed the post of junior organizer at Newton Green to club professional Tim Cooper last year, said he feared that the club was short of talented juniors to succeed the present crop. These things tend to go in cycles at clubs.

Scores -

Newton Green 108: Harvey Watts (4) 36, Ben Tatum (5) 38, Oli Page (7) 34.

Ipswich 107: Habebul Islam (0) 38, Will Garland (9) 28, Ryan Goodarzi (11) 41.

- A sixth-place finish by Suffolk boys in the England Golf South Eastern Group team qualifier at Woodbridge, must have delighted team manager Patrick Spraggs.

To complete their 36 holes ahead of Hampshire and Kent and only one shot behind Surrey was a credit to all concerned.

Five of the six scores count in each round. Max Adams (Bury St Edmunds) dropped out after suffering a wrist injury in the practice round the previous day. He was replaced by Woodbridge member Tom Auchterlonie who proved a useful replacement with two rounds of 74.

After a morning with the best score being four over par by three of the team, the boys improved their scores in the second round. George Fricker put in the best performance of the day with a three-under-par 67 in the second round to add to his 75 in the morning.

Alfie Halil was one over in the afternoon following a 75 in the morning while Louis Martin had morning and afternoon scores of 74. The other scores to count were Habebul Islam’s 74 and 75.

Liam Hansey did not have the best of days, but improved his score by five shots in the afternoon. Three of the team are in the under-16 age group. All six team members are eligible to play in the event next year in Hampshire.

BB&O won the event and go on to represent the SE Group in the national final. Essex were runners-up one shot behind. The winner of the individual prize was Arron Edwards-Hill of Chelmsford with scores of 69 and 67.

Norfolk took 10th place of the 11 counties leaving Middlesex with the wooden spoon.

Winners: 713: BB&O. Runners-up: 712: Essex: 136: A Edwards-Hill 69 67 (best individual). 143: J Read 72 71. 144: C Knipes 71 73. L Francis 71 73. 145: M Gilbert 74 71. 154: R Tattan 75 79. Five to count in each round.

725: Sussex. 726: Hertfordshire. 732: Surrey. 733: Suffolk: 142: G Fricker 75 67. 146: A Halil 75 71. 148: T Auchterlonie 74 74. L Martin 74 74. 149: Habebul Islam 74 75. 159: L Hansey 82 77.

734: Hampshire, Kent. 751: Bedfordshire. 757: Norfolk: 144: W Bates 70 74. 151: J Emery 70 81, L Cossey 74 77. 152: K Heath 77 75. 153: J Cullington 75 78. M Jacobs withdrawn. 84. 805: Middlesex.

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