Garnett on Golf: Oakey wins scratch prize at Rushmere
Russell Oakey of Newton Green won the scratch prize at the Rushmere Vase competition, the first of the year’s Suffolk Golf Union order of merit events.
He has gone close in the past but this time he ended three shots clear of Sam Byford (Ipswich).
Oakey laid the foundation for his success by being four under par for his first nine holes. He started on the 10th and had birdies on the 11th, 15th, 16th and 18th. As Oakey has yet to enter this year’s Race to Aldeburgh his order of merit points do not count.
Byford’s second round of 69 put him two ahead of Danny Western of Gorleston who has plans to play in the Logan Trophy and Mid-Amateur events this year.
Jed Seeley of Newton Green, who eagled the 11th in the morning, and Adam Sheldrake of Felixstowe Ferry were handily placed at lunch but fell away in the afternoon.
Spare a thought for Bury St Edmunds junior Teddy Hall. He was going well until an eight at his last hole of the day, the par five ninth. He was just short of the green in two. His chip hit the bank of a greenside bunker and rolled back. From there he went out of bounds. He finished one shot ahead of the consistent Bury junior Tyler Weaver.
The Rushmere Vase is presented to the handicap winner. This was 12-handicap George Noble of the host club.
The longest driving on the day came from Connor James (Rushmere) and Sam Renville (Bury St Edmunds).
After an overcast morning with an occasional shower, it became more pleasant in the afternoon. The fast and true Rushmere greens earned praise.
Leading scratch scores: 141: R Oakey (Newton Green) 72 69, 144: S Byford (Ipswich) 75 69, 146: D Western (Gorleston) 76 70, 150: J Seeley (Newton Green) 72 78, A Sheldrake (Felixstowe Ferry) 72 78, T Hall (Bury St Edmunds) 73 77, 151: T Weaver (Bury St Edmunds) 76 75, 152: C James (Rushmere) 75 77, 153: S Renville (Bury St Edmunds) 73 80, 154: C Vince (Haverhill) 78 76, 155: J Tyler (Ipswich) 73 82, 157: R Dzierozynski (Woodbridge) 77 80, 159: G Hills (Felixstowe Ferry) 78 81, B Sayers Felixstowe Ferry) 81 78, 160: T Piddington 80 80, 161: S Bearman 79 82, D Reid 82 79, 162: C Sadler 83 79, 163: P Ogden 84 79, G Noble 83 80, 167: B Whittaker 86 81, 168: I Pope 84 84, 169: S Coonan 83 86, 170: T Hedin 86 84.
THE all-conquering Diss partnership of James Biggs and Chris Bartrum have won the Suffolk Amateur Foursomes Macleod Cup for a record four successive years.
They will not be defending their crown at Halesworth on Sunday. Biggs is playing in the Selborne Salver and Hampshire Hog over the weekend.
These events can earn World Amateur ranking points and Biggs, has given priority to his ambitious programme of national events. Suffolk’s Monty Scowsill (Aldeburgh) is also also playing in the Salver and Hog.
Bartrum teams up with Chris Vince who has returned to Haverhill after a spell as member of Gog Magog when he played for Cambridgeshire. There are some interesting pairings.
Juniors Max Weaver and Alfie Halil were runners-up last year. This time Max plays with his younger brother Tyler as one of the junior pairings that could spring a surprise. The others to catch the eye are Teddy Hall (Bury St Edmunds) and Ben Newman (Rookery Park and St Felix School).
The pair with the lowest handicaps, both plus one, are Aldeburgh’s James Reiss and John Wybar.
Others likely to be well up the leaderboard, and anxious to impress county captain Joe Cardy, are Jed Seeley (Newton Green) and Sam Byford (Ipswich).
George Fricker (Ufford Park) and Adam Sheldrake (Felixstowe Ferry) looked good in the Suffolk team that overcame a team of professionals at Hintlesham last month.
Rushmere’s Josh Cottrell and the long-hitting Connor James are capable of spring a surprise. The same can be said of Josh Robertson (Ufford Park) and Suffolk second team captain Ben Sayers (Felixstowe Ferry).
Russell Oakey (Newton Green) and Greg Hills (Felixstowe) is an interesting pairing while Gorleston go for experience with Danny Western and Steve Crosby.
Bury St Edmunds field two strong pairings, Max Adams and Ben Aves, as well as Michael Gee and Andy Cunningham.
Ipswich will hope for a good day from Chris Fleming and James Tyler.
Home advantage is always a factor so don’t rule out Halesworth’s Wayne Jacques and Paul Sherwood.
The Coby brothers, of the Halesworth greens staff, have different partners. Paul plays with Will McIntosh and Mark with Suffolk senior Graham Shillings who won his match against Kent seniors at Ipswich last week.
Seniors pairs will be out to impress Suffolk captain Kevin Brooks (Hintlesham) who partners Simon Bearman of Newton Green. Brooks, though, may be a doubtful starter because of a back strain.
Roger Taylor and Stephen Whymark have loads of experience while Woodbridge will look to Mark Jackson and Andy Whittaker, Steve Mann and Adrian Studd. Aldeburgh’s Nigel Robson and Mike Olding look competitive as do Paul Buckle and Ron Spore (Stowmarket).
Plays starts at 8am on what must rank as the most improved course in the region. Halesworth is a fitting venue for a Suffolk championship. The event was over-subscribed so there was a reserve list.
Kent Seniors, always one of the most powerful counties at this level, showed no mercy to Suffolk in their friendly match at Purdis Heath.
Fielding two players with plus handicaps and all the others with a handicap of two or better, Kent won by nine matches to one.
The only Suffolk winner was Graham Shillings of Halesworth one up against Gary Croucher.
Nigel Robson lost on the last green while Paul Buckle, Stephen Whymark, Steve Crosby and Steve Mann all took their matches to the 17th green.
Suffolk captain Kevin Brooks retired with a back injury when one down on the 12th hole.
Scores (Suffolk names first): Paul Buckle (Stowmarket) lost to Phil Bramhall 2 and 1; Roger Taylor (Aldeburgh) lost to John Coupe 4 and 3; Stephen Whymark (Woodbridge) lost to Scott Davies 2 and 1, Steve Crosby (Gorleston) lost to Jeno Kurentas 2 and 1; Trevor Hellyer (Hintlesham) lost to Phil Judge 4 and 3; Steve Mann (Woodbridge) lost to Richard Punyan 2 and 1; Graham Shillings (Halesworth) beat Gary Croucher one up; Kevin Brooks (Hintlesham) retired against David Weighton; Adrian Studd (Woodbridge) lost to Martin Warren 5 and 4; Nigel Robson (Aldeburgh) lost to Bill Phelps one down.
Three Suffolk players took part in last week’s Berkhamsted Trophy. Monty Scowsill and James Biggs ended joint 14th with a four-round total of 292.
Biggs had three rounds of 74 followed 70. Scowsill started with 71, slipped down the leader board with 77 and 75 but finished on a high with 69.
Jed Seeley of Newton Green missed the cut with rounds of 75 and 77. Warren Bates of Heacham Manor was joint 10th with 72 76 72 69. The winner was Joss Gosling of Harpenden with 283 (71 67 75 70).
Chris Oldrey, secretary-manager at Diss, will start a new job as secretary at Seaford Golf Club near Brighton on May 13. The club was founded in 1887 but moved to their present course, designed by J H Taylor, at Blatchington in 1907.
Meanwhile, four handicap Teddy Hall of Bury St Edmunds had a round of 73 at Maylands Golf Club to win the boys’ 15 18 division of the IMG Junior World Championship qualifier. Former Haverhill junior, Josh Hulyer now of Gog Magog, had a round of 79.
The annual East Region pro-am in Vilamoura on The Algarve was won by Jason Levermore (Little Channels). He had rounds of 68 on the Old Course, 74 over Pinhal and 72 in his final round at the Millennium.