Abbott and Meadows retain trophy

JAMIE Abbott of Fynn Valley and Neil Meadows of Ipswich retained the Dick Watson Trophy by winning the second Aldeburgh Open Foursomes over 36 holes after a tense sudden death play-off after three pairs finished on 159.

By Tony Garnett

JAMIE Abbott of Fynn Valley and Neil Meadows of Ipswich retained the Dick Watson Trophy by winning the second Aldeburgh Open Foursomes over 36 holes after a tense sudden death play-off after three pairs finished on 159.

There was a testing breeze for the opening round on Saturday and extremely windy conditions on Sunday. In the play-off down the first hole Alex Stanley (Aldeburgh) and Ivan Fryer (Thorpe-ness) both drove to the left short of the gorse. Abbott split the fairway with a drive of around 270 yards which put his partnership in pole position.

While James Reiss (Aldeburgh) just cleared some gorse on the left with the second shot into rough, John Howard brought the Thorpeness pair back into contention with a superb recovery that flew through the back of the green.

Meadows was also at the back of the green with his approach so, when Stanley's chip was snagged up in grass in the back of the greenside bunker, the challenge of the Aldeburgh pair had just about fallen apart.

This was cruel as they produced an outstanding second round score of 78 on a day when none of their rivals could break 80. A par on the tough 16th against the wind and a birdie on the par three 17th were highlights of a brave attempt to have Aldeburgh names inscribed on the trophy for the first time.

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In the play-off, Fryer's putt ended marginally closer than Abbott's. Once Meadows had held his nerve by sinking a seven foot putt for par, Howard's five-footer started to look much, much further. Maintaining a balance for putting was never easy in such a fierce wind. Howard's effort was just off line.

The Thorpeness pair dropped two shots on the final hole of their second round when a bogey would have been enough to see them to an outright victory. The 18th, though, was against the wind and causing problems for most of the field.

First round leaders Richard Darlington and Tom Bostock of Royal Ashdown Forest were blown away on the second day, an opening round of 76 being followed by a 94 from players with handicaps of two and one respectively.

The best net score over 36 holes came from Ian Kitson of Woodbridge and Andrew Moore of Lamberhurst in Kent.

Both have a handicap of six and were six shots ahead of runners-up Peter Watson, the Aldeburgh club captain, and Will Colman from Eaton. In fact Fryer and Howard were best overall on handicap but were unable to win two prizes.

The best net score on Sunday came from Peter Savage, an Aldeburgh member, and his son Paul who plays at Felixstowe Ferry. Peter will look back with some satisfaction on sinking long putts on the first and second holes (his 10th and 11th) to help reach net 76.

Runners-up were Gordon Gibbs, playing as well as ever off a handicap of eight aged over 80, and Robin Anderton with net 78. Others with a better net return had already won scratch prizes.

The course was in excellent condition, so much so that David Bryett of Ipswich, well out of the prizes, said: “Even in horrendous conditions it is a joy to play on a course like this.”

Gross scores

159: A Stanley and J Reiss (Aldeburgh) 81 78; N Meadows (Ipswich) and J Abbott (Fynn Valley) 79 80; I Fryer and J Howard (Thorpeness) 77 82. (Meadows and Abbott won at first extra hole).

163: I Kitson (Woodbridge) and A Moore (Lamberhurst) 80 83.

167: M Duley and P Duley (Colchester) 80 87.

168: W Wright (Rushmere) and A Holmes (Gorleston) 81 87.

169: P J R Watson (Aldeburgh) and W Colman (Eaton) 85 84.

170: A H Smith and P Crowther (Royal Ashdown Forest) 83 87; M A Jones (Aldeburgh) and O Lindsay (The Berkshire) 80 90; R Darlington and T Bostock (Royal Ashdown Forest) 76 94.

171: P Platten (Woodbridge) and J Doe (Diss) 77 94; S A Long and I Reid (Eaton) 86 85; R Taylor (Aldeburgh) and P Cooney (Thorpeness) 85 86.

172: G D Gilchrist (Aldeburgh) and D Robson (Chigwell) 86 86.

174: M P Wale and R Stoddart (Royal Wimbledon) 87 87.

175: P R E Savage (Aldeburgh) and P W Savage (Felixstowe Ferry) 91 84; M Choong (Royal Wimbledon) and A Smith (The Berkshire) 84 91.

176: S Snelling and D Woodley (Felixstowe Ferry) 83 93, G G Gibbs and J R Anderton (Aldeburgh) 90 86.

177: Daniel Bryett and David Bryett (Ipswich) 84 93.

181: J C Rowley and S Reynolds (Northants County) 95 86.

183: P Bell and J J Hosking (Ipswich) 82 101, N Hilliard (Colchester) and P Godfrey (East Berkshire) 84 99.

184: D Cargill and M T Youngs 91 93.

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