Tait all set to defend his Suffolk Amateur golf title at Diss on Sunday
- Credit: Archant
Diss hosts the Suffolk Amateur Championship on Sunday where the field includes 17 players with handicaps of scratch or better. There are another seven off one.
Those who hold handicaps of two cannot be ruled out.
Gregor Tait defends the Todd Cup which he won on his home course at Aldeburgh last year. He goes into the event having had rounds of 79 and 74 in the Scottish Men’s Open Championship at Western Gailes.
County captain Jack Cardy, who plays off plus three, was Suffolk champion 2014.
Then followed a brief spell as a tournament professional winning on the Jamega Tour. He regained his amateur status last year.
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His confidence will have been boosted by a one-hole win over leading Norfolk player Jack Yule in the Anglian League match at Sheringham on Sunday.
Course knowledge can play a key role. Chris Bartrum, runner-up last year, will hope to go one better in front of his home followers but is suffering from a current dip in form. James Biggs won the Suffolk boys’ title at Diss in 2013 while Josh Driver is capable of low scores.
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Sam Byford, winner at Gorleston in 2015, was Suffolk junior champion the following year.
His demeanour on the course gives little indication as to how he is playing but it is never a surprise to see him challenging.
Paul Waring of Felixstowe Ferry was fourth in the Lagonda Trophy at Gog Magog last month.
A repeat of that form could be good enough to claim the Suffolk title.
All four Suffolk players in the Welsh Open Youths’ Championship at Prestatyn made the cut.
It was 16-year-old Habebul Islam of Ipswich who came out on top of the quartet with 295 for his four rounds. Waring had 297 with Ben Sayers of Felixstowe Ferry and Monty Scowsill on 299.
Consistency is essential.
Scowsill was prominent after two rounds but his challenge fell away over the weekend.
Suffolk Open champion Sam Debenham would enjoy adding the amateur title to his list of achievements.
James Reiss, an amateur once again after a lengthy spell as a professional in Spain, can prove himself to be among Suffolk’s top amateurs while James Tyler, Jasper Johnson, Jed Seeley, Jamie Jones and Jack Phillips can impress.
Long hitters like Jack Forgan and Josh Robertson will need to keep the ball in play and putt well.
The main challenge from the north of the county comes from the Rookery Park trio of Calvin Sherwood, Luke Thompson and Guy Mummery together with Danny Western from Gorleston. Chris Duffy, runner-up in last year’s match play, has not entered.
The form of top Suffolk juniors is as good as any.
Islam is maturing into a strong competitor, George Fricker was the success story of Suffolk’s second team match at Woodbridge at the weekend and Max Adams showed impressive form at Diss in last year’s Suffolk schools’ event when losing on count back to Habebul.
Alfie Halil, Liam Hansey and Louis Martin still play off four. They will soon be better than that.
It is a pity that Harvey Watts of Newton Green has not entered.
John Whitby (Ipswich) was champion in 1988 when he was a Rushmere member.
He and Stephen Duffety wave the flag for the seniors.
Nathan Overton, winner in 2011 and Will Wright are leading players not in the field.
Meanwhile Suffolk boys’ under 12 and under 14 squads had skill tests at Ufford Park. Overall winner was 11-year-old Dominic Rudd of Thorpeness. Under 12 winner Henry Meadows, runner-up Josh Hemblin. Under 14: Ben Newman, runner-up Tyler Weaver. Stuart Robertson was the successful professional beating his colleagues, Ben Kerr, Kelvin Vince and Simon Byford.
Sam Teer (Clacton), Ben Kerr (Bourn) and Ian Ellis (Great Yarmouth) all won though to the Titleist Footjoy PGA Professional Championship to be played at Luttrellstown Castle in Ireland between June 13 and 16. They progressed through the East qualifier at Gog Magog Golf Club. They will join Jason Levermore (Channels) who was already qualified.
Ken Wright, three days after his 85th birthday, had a hole in one at the 18th at St Clements Golf Club. The feat was witnessed by John Sheron and Bruce Wade.