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2017 County Handicap Foursomes

 The 2017 Championships was hosted by Hunstanton Golf Club. Perfection, if you had to pick a week-end to play a Championship Tournament, this was it….. a spectacular golf course combined with fantastic weather conditions and arguably the best golfing talent in Norfolk on show.    And so it proved to be.

On the Saturday 84 pairs set off in pursuit of the Carrick & Thompson Bowls (The Championship), awarded to the victors at the end of 36 holes of Stableford followed by the best 4 pairs going forward to the knock-out stages on the Sunday. In addition, the next four best scores go forward to the 2nd flight knock-out stages in the same way.

Round one leaders Andrew Horsburgh and Ian Farnham of Thetford returned 40 points followed by Giles Evans and Toby and of Thetford and Dunston Hall respectively scoring 38 points with a whole bunch of pairs handing in scores of 37 points which included Shaun Larkins and Paul Hunter of Costessey Park, James Ong and Trevor Cave of Eaton and Tim Hoare and Mark Butt of Heacham Manor and King’s Lynn. Round two delivered the usual surprises with Stuart Ballingall and Ross Ballingall both of Dunston Hall leading the pack with 40 points followed closely by a plethora of good scores all vying for the coveted places in the knock-out stages on day two.

In the end the teams going forward to the second day semi-finals were:

The Championship: 

Julian Ellis & Stuart Hudson (Bawburgh / Dereham)  v  Anthony Stannard &  Warren Bates  (Heacham Manor)

Matthew Craske & Tyler Crosby (Mundesley)  v Shaun Larkins & Paul Hunter (Costessey Park)

The games were all that could be wished for with good quality golf on display throughout. In the end the pairings of Stannard & Bates and Larkins & Hunter won through and would go on to contest the final in the afternoon.

The Championship Final was as entertaining a match as could be hoped for. Played in the best spirit of the game, with good golf and good humour the order of the day.  Stannard & Bates took an early lead and held on from that point onwards until holes ran out for Larkins & Hunter to redress the balance. The match finished on the 15th green with Stannard & Bates, having played two quality shots, were faced with a birdie putt from the fringe leaving Larkins & Hunter no manoeuvring room from such an approach. A wonderful Final, worthy of any Championship.

And so the, County Handicap Foursomes Champions for 2017 are Anthony Stannard & Warren Bates. 

                                                                                                                                                            

       Hunstanton Captain William Coker ,Warren Bates - Anthony Stannard,  County President Graham Turner  

 

                                                                                                      

                                                                        Warren Bates & Anthony Stannard

 

Matthew Craske & Tyler Crosby finished 3rd and Julian Ellis & Stuart Hudson finished 4th.

 

 

The 2nd Flight

Giles Evans & Toby Lane (Thetford / Dunston Hall)  v  Tim Hoare & Mark Butt (Heacham Manor / King’s Lynn)

Stuart Ballingall & Ross Ballingall (Dunston Hall)  v  John Shapland & Roger Garrod (Swaffham)

As one would expect, these semi-finals were also close run affairs with Evans & Lane and Ballingall & Ballingall taking the honours to go through to the 2nd Flight finals. This again proved a great match with the young guns, Evans & Lane taking a strong grip early on but with quality golf and greater experience Ballingall & Ballingall ate into the lead and slowly but surely brought the match back. Finally the match came to the last green, Evans & Lane needed to get up and down from a very tricky spot just off the green to secure the win. Evans played a delightful chip just checking on the fringe of the green and releasing down to the hole side leaving just a tap in, a fitting way to  take the 2nd Flight title.

 

In the 3rd/4th play-off John Shapland & Roger Garrod took the honours from Tim Hoare & Mark Butt.

 

All in all a great start to the golfing calendar and we can look forward to some terrific Championships this year.

 

 

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