The Felixstowe partnership of Jo Woodward and Amanda Norman (the Hockley girls) finally got the better of Aldeburgh’s Lotti Edmunds and Blaize Esmond on the 35 th hole of the 36-hole match played at Ufford Park today (15 th August).   The aim, of course, was to find the winners of the 2014 Haskell Trophy tournament which Felixstowe have won many times, though not with this team, and Aldeburgh has contested for the last five years, winning twice.

The first eighteen holes was an up and down affair with never more than one hole in it either way.   Lunchtime intervened with the match at all square.  There was a wind rather than a breeze blowing across Ufford Park’s exposed fairways and several shots from either side finished well off course.  There was no repeat of the exploits at the fifth in the morning when a well struck shot hit a large tree and dropped down into a hole in the trunk, but there was one neat birdie, at the 324-yard seventh. Jo holed a decent putt to put her team two ahead when Aldeburgh’s putt for a half failed to drop.

Up to that point the score had once again dodged between all square and one up to Felixstowe.  Aldeburgh messed up on eight, losing another hole, but they pulled one back at the next with a regulation four which Felixstowe couldn’t match.   The tenth hole (103 yards) was pivotal.   Felixstowe hit the better tee shot onto the green, but Aldeburgh’s little chip was nearer the hole than the Felixstowe putt which took a considerable and obviously unexpected borrow.  They hadn’t lost their turn, but their ball failed to drop for the par three, leaving Aldeburgh with a shorter uphill putt for the win.   Unluckily for them, It pulled up too soon resulting in a half and no reduction of their deficit which might have made all the difference.   At the next they required a provisional tee shot and the hole turned into a mini disaster, so adding to Felixstowe’s advantage.

Felixstowe won eleven as well and the writing looked to be on the wall.   However, Aldeburgh seized thirteen with a regulation four and they had another chance at fourteen when they made much the better approach to the green but in the end could only manage a half in six.   They did win the 181-yard fifteenth taking their score to two down with three to play.

It was a tall order but when they halved sixteen and also seventeen, it was too late and Felixstowe took the match by 2/1.

It was good to see Jo Woodward back on the golf course.   As Jo Hockley, she won the British Strokeplay Championship and the English and was one of Suffolk’s most illustrious golfers.  Despite a long absence, she has not forgotten how to play the game.  Her sister paid tribute:  ‘She got me round, Bless her!’, she said.   It was probably true!   She was certainly the most influential player in the later stages of the match.

Julie Latimer-Jones

Final Result:  Felixstowe bt Aldeburgh 2/1.

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