Teenager wins Silver Barrel

JACK Jowers won the Silver Barrel, a handicap event, on his home course of Purdis Heath on Sunday. He also produced the best gross score over 36 holes to earn him points in the Suffolk Golf Union order of merit.

By Tony Garnett

JACK Jowers won the Silver Barrel, a handicap event, on his home course of Purdis Heath on Sunday.

He also produced the best gross score over 36 holes to earn him points in the Suffolk Golf Union order of merit.

Sixteen-year-old Jowers, the club junior captain, started the day with a handicap of four. His two rounds of 68, six under par for the day, left him with a handicap of two.

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Jowers, grandson of former Ipswich Town football star John Elsworthy, could have been better still in his second round had he not missed a four foot par putt on the 18th green.

His net total of 128 is the lowest in the history of the competition. He beat one-handicap Paul Barnard, his regular foursomes partner in Hambro Cup and Stenson Shield matches, by eight shots.

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Jon Marks of Woodbridge held the amateur course record of 64 set in the Silver Barrel in 1988, but his second round was 72 so he was level overall with Jowers for his gross score. As Marks played off one at the time his handicap score was 134.

The previous lowest Silver Barrel winning score of 131 was set by eight-handicap Ian Whinney in 1989. Jowers is the first player in the history of the competition, which started with victory for Harry Head with 140 in 1964, to break the 130 barrier.

Since the recent alterations to the course the amateur record of 67 is held jointly by Neil Meadows and Rob Pritchard. Jowers would have equalled the record had he sunk that final putt.

Barnard, with two rounds of 69, was gross runner-up ahead of Kevin Eagle of Rushmere, the leader in the SGU order of merit so far this season.

Eagle took third place on count back from Adrian Meredith of Hintlesham who now plays off scratch. Both finished on 141.

Matt Stockdale of Felixstowe Ferry, off five these days, beat eight-handicap Tony Green for third place in the handicap section.

A highlight of the day was provided by Chris Mutton, an Ipswich member who plays off six. A no-return in the morning and five over par after eight holes in the afternoon was hardly auspicious.

Then he took out his driver on the 304 yard par four ninth hole. His ball flew like an arrow straight towards the pin.

“At first I thought it must have gone through the green,” said Mutton, “but then I looked in the hole and there it was.”

An albatross is a rarity in golf and officials at Ipswich Golf Club have no record of a hole in one at the ninth, and certainly not in a major event.

Mutton, a former member at Ufford Park, said: “I have only been a member at Ipswich for 20 months and this is my second hole in one in that time. The other came at the par three 10th.”

An ace on such a busy day is a costly business but Mutton fulfilled the tradition of buying drinks for all and sundry in the club house.

The Ipswich course is in magnificent condition with the greens in excellent order. This was a major factor in the impressive scoring.

Silver Barrel gross scores

136: J Jowers (Ipswich) 68 68.

138: P Barnard (Ipswich) 69 69.

141: K Eagle (Rushmere) 71 70, A Meredith (Hintlesham) 69 72.

142: D Quinney (Haverhill) 70 72.

145: R Harston (Felixstowe Ferry) 71 74.

146: C Gooding (Ipswich) 71 75.

147: G Wardley (Ipswich) 76 71, N Fosker (Felixstowe Ferry) 75 72, M Stockdale (Felixstowe Ferry) 74 73.

149: Daniel Bryett (Ipswich) 79 70, W Goddard (Fynn Valley) 75 74, M Jackaman (Ipswich) 75 74.

150: J Maddock (Gorleston) 73 77.

151: P Westley (Hintlesham) 80 71, D Cockburn (Rushmere) 80 71, A Whittaker (Woodbridge) 76 75, A Holmes (Gorleston) 74 77, D James (Gorleston) 73 78.

153: T Green (Ipswich) 75 78, J Dymond (Fynn Valley) 74 79.

155: T Wright (Rushmere) 79 76, J Whitby (Fynn Valley) 75 80, A Gillan (Ipswich) 72 83.

156: A Smith (Stoke by Nayland) 81 75, M Lewis (Ipswich) 79 77.

157: C Ginn (Woodbridge) 81 76, D Housman (Bungay) 78 79.

159: G Courtney (Woodbridge) 81 78.

160: A Middle (Rushmere) 81 79.

162: J Day (Stoke by Nayland) 82 80, B Tawell (Rushmere) 81 81, David Bryett (Ipswich) 80 82, D Elliott (Woodbridge) 77 85.

165: M Ginn (Woodbridge) 81 84, G Robinson (Woodbridge) 81 84, C Eales (Ipswich) 78 87.

166:A Studd (Woodbridge) 87 79.

167: R Castro (Rookery Park) 80 87.

169: R Rayner (Seckford) 86 83, J Fairbrother (Woodbridge) 84 85.

171: J Arthur (Ipswich) 88 83.

173: D Inglis (Woodbridge) 87 86.

176: D Marshall (Felixstowe Ferry) 92 84.

181: J Cunnell (Seckford) 89 92.

No returns: C Mutton (Ipswich) nr 79, R Beecroft (Ipswich) 81 nr, T Fairbrother (Woodbridge) 81 nr, R Thomson (Gorleston) nr 82, M Jackson (Brett Vale) nr 85, D Markham (Rushmere) 85 nr, K Ferguson (Ipswich) 86 nr, R Barnes (Gorleston) 92 nr, R Middleton (Rookery Park) 93 nr.

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