Alfie Halil wins Suffolk junior match play
Alfie Halil of Flempton won the Suffolk Junior match play final with a 3 and 2 victory over George Fricker of Ufford Park at Felixstowe Ferry.
Halil, the 2017 Suffolk Open champion, was three up after eight holes and never looked likely to let Fricker back into the match.
Felixstowe conditions were benign and the greens, ironed that morning, were excellent. That meant that two classy players, both off scratch, were claiming birdies at par fives and only dropping shots as a result of errors.
It was Fricker who made the first mistake when his tee shot at the third found long grass to the left of the fairway. He went two down at the fourth after finding a bunker short of the green.
It was not until the eighth that Halil went three up after Fricker found another bunker and then needed a drop from water.
Halil was four up after the 10th. Then Fricker won his first hole after sinking a long par putt and Halil, perhaps taken by surprise, missed his par putt.
Halil won the par three 12th after an accurate tee shot and was still four up with five to play.
At the 14th Halil found a pot bunker with his drive and then another one just short of the green. He still came away with a par but Fricker sunk a short but teasing downhill birdie putt to keep his slender hopes alive.
The 15th, with a sloping green, was halved in four the match was all over at the par three 16th when Halil was on the green and Fricker found yet more sand.
In the semi-finals Halil had a close tussle with Max Adams of Bury St Edmunds.
Halil was one up on the 18th tee and found the green in two. Adams produced a superb approach shot to within three feet. He had a putt to take the match to extra holes. It was the sort that might have been given earlier in the match. This time Adams missed.
In the other semi-final Tyler Weaver, a member of the Suffolk Under 14 squad, put up a brave fight against Fricker who played far better than he did in the afternoon.
Tyler, with his older brother Max as his caddy, has plenty of time on his side. On the 12th his tee shot was about 10 feet away but Fricker had an uphill birdie putt from five which he sunk to go three up.
Semi-finals: Alfie Halil (Flempton) beat Max Adams (Bury St Edmunds) one up, George Fricker (Ufford Park) beat Tyler Weaver (Bury St Edmunds) 4 and 3, Final: Halil beat Fricker 3 and 2.
SUFFOLK Under 16 boys are the county team of the season. They proved too good for Essex and Norfolk at Fynn Valley in the final match of the South East Group U16 triangular league.
With Essex and Suffolk jointly at the top of the table this was another must win match for Suffolk.
Home advantage proved crucial. Norfolk and Essex struggled to cope with the Fynn Valley layout where strategic play is rewarded.
Captain Max Weaver led out the team and duly delivered a maximum two points early on. Despite teeing off in the last group George Fricker was next to finish having won both of his matches by the time he had completed the 12th hole. Then the points poured in with wins for Taylor Crisp, George Austin, Ryan Turnbull and Ben Newman.
Final match score: Suffolk beat Norfolk by seven points to one, Suffolk beat Essex by seven and a half to a half. Essex beat Norfolk four and a half to three and a half.
Suffolk qualify for the U16 South East Group League Final on September 30 at the The Dyke Golf Club near Brighton.
Hertfordshire are favourites to win the Central Group while the Southern Group (Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex and Kent) have yet to play their qualifiers.
This completes a memorable regular season for Suffolk with a win in the Skevington Trophy, the Tom Finn Trophy and the Triangular League.
Hugo Dobson of Woodbridge had his best event of the season when he won £6000 as runner-up in the PGA Europro tournament at East Sussex National. His rounds of 67 70 and 69 left him one shot behind Tim Rice of Limerick. Dobson is now 21st in the Europro order of merit.
Sam Forgan (Stowmarket) has continued his good form on the PGA Europro Tour with rounds of 69 and 68 at Mannings Heath to win £1050. He picked up 420 at East Sussex with rounds of 67 72 and 74.
Forgan is tied 35th in the order of merit despite having played in only seven events. Others in the top 60, who qualify for the Tour Championship at Almeria in Spain between October 24 and 26, include Miles Collins (Stoke by Nayland) and Jack Yule (King’s Lynn).