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Here we are at the beginning of the big golfing season once again and this time the County Championships are being played over the rolling holes of Stowmarket Golf Club. Lottie Whyman defends her title and, although it is not as large a field as we might hope, there are some good golfers who will be in the hunt for the trophies.
Last year’s County team appears in force except for Sarah Saggers, the County Captain, who has decided not to play. It is a lot to do when you are responsible for the whole thing. However we can look forward to seeing Sharon Luckman, Vanessa Bell, Abbie Symonds, Eloise Aldous, Vick Inglis, Lils James, Sarah Howe, Tanya McGregor and Lily Kent. We can add Alice Barlow into the mix, too, though she didn’t play with the team last year. Fiona Edmond will almost certainly make her presence felt and doubtless there will be one or two surprises along the way.
We start with the Strokeplay Championship. Thirty-six holes of scratch golf tends to sort out those who are playing well. The top sixteen will qualify for the Matchplay Championship to follow over the next two days. The remaining eight will play off in the Plate Handicap Knockout competition, a new venture which it was hoped, would entice more players into the list. It hasn’t worked but perhaps it needs another year for everyone to become accustomed to the idea.
At the back of the field, four of the contenders for the Seniors Championship will qualify over eighteen holes which will be followed by two rounds of match play golf to find the Champion.
We must pray for some fine, dry and slightly warmer weather so that everyone has an enjoyable time. Scoring updates will appear regularly on the websites and spectators will be most welcome.
For the full start sheet follow the link in Downloads.
PS: late changes to the start sheet mean that Pippa Neall, Anja Soby and Lily Kent will not be playing in the Championship, though Mary Jane Barker will make a welcome appearance. In the Seniors event, Jo Moore has withdrawn and Sally Cade will now play with Vicki Hunt. JLJ
Cynthia Stewart has been a hard-working member of the County Association’s Governing Body for nine years but is leaving us for the best of reasons. She is moving to Dornoch in Scotland to enjoy more leisure time with her husband, playing all the beautiful golf courses in the vicinity. We hope they will both have a great time.
A determined and straightforward personality, Cynthia has endeared herself to the many who have appreciated her admirable qualities. In recent years she has put in much time and effort securing courses for the multitude of fixtures throughout the year. It is not the easiest task and we are aware how much thought and energy she has put into it. We are most grateful to her and wish her all the very best.
Playing off scratch on the men's card and receiving two courtesy shots, the ladies were doing very well until they hit the long par fours, which are par fives on the ladies' card. However, despite their difficulties, they persevered and achieved admirable results against a strong Home side.
Sharon Luckman and Lils James had a great game against Graham Tatt and Alan Scovell, made even more amazing because Lils mistook the start time and joined Sharon on the fourth tee! Maybe it disjointed Graham and Alan a little but the five and four scoreline was very pleasing for the ladies.
Abby Symonds and Vicki Inglis also brought in a one hole advantage for the ladies, playing against Toby Ayles and Steve Coonan.
The other two points went to Woodbridge: Ollie Heath and Nathan Overton were just too good for Lottie Whyman and Vanessa Bell, winning by two holes, while Dom Rosser and John West finished one up against Sarah Saggers and Sarah Howe.
Picture the Captains’ Drive-In at Diss and a mixed Stableford competition attracting 90+ entrants! Then think of 23-handicapper Becky Rolingson taking part in the foursomes. In the other half of the four was her husband Greg. Come the 148-yard fifteenth, the hole chosen for the Nearest-the-pin challenge. Becky drew out her eight iron, neatly popped the ball on the green and watched in amazement as it rolled comfortably into the hole.
There were four other names on the record card but no one else found the bottom of the cup . With congratulations ringing in her ears, Becky won the prize bottle of champagne and everyone enjoyed a drink at the bar. How nice that Greg was there to see her first hole-in-one, too.
Thanks to Philippa Bridges
Scratch: Winners Fiona Edmond & Lottie Whyman (Ipswich; 2nd Harriet Lynch & Lilly Humphries (Thorndon Park & Channels; 3rd Jo Ashmore & Ellie Brown (Barnham Broome); 4th Sharon Luckman & Vanessa Bell (Ipswich)
Nett: 1st Vanessa Mann & Megan Mann (Barnham Broome) 2nd Sarah Gotts & Kerry Enever Diss); 3rd Marcella Tuttle & Sarah Greenall (Links) 4th Marie Bayes & Tabitha Brain (John O’Gaunt)
Best AM Sally Shayler & Bridie Quinn (South Beds)
Best PM Cassandra Cunningham & Louisa Storey (Colchester)
It is with regret that the County Association has decided that it will not be continuing with plans for a trip to the Ladies Open at Woburn this year. Sadly, the costs of insurance were too prohibitive. If ladies would like to visit this important fixture independently, tickets can be purchased from:
Please accept our apologies for any disappointment caused.