Stowmarket won the Stearn Trophy for the first time since 2006…
The final, between Stowmarket and Haverhill was about as close as it could be. The first and third matches went to Stowmarket and Haverhill respectively, leaving the second one out on the course with its outcome deciding the destination of the trophy.
To tell the story in the right order, the first match out featured Haverhill’s Jackie Condon and Anne Reed versus Linda Gilham and Kim Davis for Stowmarket. Things were tight and all square as far as eight, but then Stowmarket got the bit between their teeth, moving quickly ahead to five up though Haverhill, with a pretty forty-yard chip to within two feet of the pin at eighteen, went into lunch at four down. As the second round progressed, Stowmarket held on to their advantage and added another hole at eleven where they sank an impressive twenty footer on the green. It was only a matter of time before they planted the first point on the board.
The third match lay between Haverhill’s Linda Alexander playing with Anna Fairhead and partners Jo Finter and Wendy Cooper for Stowmarket who were in receipt of two shots. Haverhill took an early lead and moved smoothly to six up after eleven holes. This team, too, lunched at four up. Carrying on in much the same way, Haverhill levelled the overall score to one point each, leaving Match Two out on the course to decide who would take the trophy home.
This match was between Stowmarket’s mother and daughter partnership of Lyn Fish and Melissa Wasdell and Haverhill’s Bev Gray and Jenny Buckle. Haverhill were in receipt of the one shot difference between the pairs and they made a good start, reaching 2up after five holes. Stowmarket came back to square the match and finished the first eighteen one hole to the good. When battle resumed, Haverhill pulled back to square after eight holes of the afternoon round and the close tussle continued. On the thirty-sixth Bev, defying any residual jet lag from her very recent journey home from Australia, drove well, missing the cross bunker. Jenny (Stowmarket) was not so lucky, her drive finishing in the sand. At this point, however, Haverhill’s luck ran out. A visit to a greenside bunker and an over-enthusiastic shot out left Stowmarket with two putts for the hole and the match. Haverhill conceded and shook hands on a very good, competitive round of golf. Stowmarket took the overall match by two matches to one.
Results (Haverhill names first)
Jackie Condon & Anne Reed lost to Linda Gilham & Kim Davis
Lyn Fish & Melissa Wasdell lost to Bev Gray & Jenny Buckle
Linda Alexander & Anna Fairhead bt Jo Finter & Wendy Cooper
Final Result: Stowmarket 2, Haverhill 1.
Felixstowe Ferry retained their title after a tremendous battle with Rookery Park…
Amanda Norman and Jo Woodward, playing the sort of golf we are used to, found Rookery Park’s Hannah Rees and Carole Bostock in fine form, too. This was a reprise of the 2018 final and the Felixstowe Ferry pair finally managed to clinch victory on the last green of the thirty-six-hole match, the winning margin just one hole.
The Hintlesham golf course had withstood the torrential rain of the previous day pretty well, the only sign of the deluge the GUR labels on a few bunkers and greens that were rather slower than might normally be expected. Over the day, birdies were scattered like confetti, five for the Norman/Woodward partnership and six for Rees/Bostock and the gross scores were quite remarkable. Against the par of 72, Felixstowe were round in 74 in the morning and Rookery Park in 76. Both completed the afternoon eighteen holes in 73.
Perhaps the standout shot of the day came at the par 4, 364-yard eleventh, second time round. From amongst the trees, Amanda boosted a five iron which finished on the fringe of the green. The team made par while Rookery dropped a shot. Having won the previous three holes, Felixstowe lost the eighteenth before lunch to another birdie from Rookery but they were still sitting on a two-hole cushion to start the second round.
Rookery Park won the first hole before Felixstowe got back to winning ways, taking the next two which included a birdie, halving the short fourth and winning the fifth for four up. Two more holes went Rookery’s way but the ninth (411 yards) was halved in birdie. Felixstowe back to 2 up. Good scoring all round was noticeable on the next six holes but Rookery made yet another birdie on seventeen reducing their deficit to one hole.
The final hole on the golf course is a par 5 415 yards long, involving water. Here both teams stepped up to the plate. Rookery hit their approach to four feet, leaving themselves a putt for birdie. Felixstowe, however, also had a birdie putt which they made for the half, the match and the beautiful Haskell trophy by the most slender margin possible The game could not have been closer and the happy band of supporters were fortunate to enjoy a good spectacle. The foursomes game is alive and well!
With thanks to Di Hegarty, the Caddies and the Pro at Rookery Park.
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Photo: Stowmarket Captain, Joan Hunter, holding the Stearn Trophy. The final, between Stowmarket and Haverhill was about as close as it could be. The first and third matches went to Stowmarket and Haverhill respectively, leaving the second one out on the course with...read more
Amanda Norman and Jo Woodward, playing the sort of golf we are used to, found Rookery Park's Hannah Rees and Carole Bostock in fine form, too. This was a reprise of the 2018 final and the Felixstowe Ferry pair finally managed to clinch victory on the last green of the...read more
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