Ferguson rolling out the barrel again

GOLF: Keith Ferguson might have felt that he had a point to prove after being left out of Ipswich Golf Club's Hambro Cup team this season.The son of former Ipswich Town manager Bobby won the prestigious Silver Barrel at Purdis Heath for the third time by one shot from Richard Davies, who works in the club's professional's shop.

GOLF

KEITH Ferguson might have felt that he had a point to prove after being left out of Ipswich Golf Club's Hambro Cup team this season.

The son of former Ipswich Town manager Bobby won the prestigious Silver Barrel at Purdis Heath for the third time by one shot from Richard Davies, who works in the club's professional's shop.

The Silver Barrel, which is a 36-hole strokeplay competition played off handicap, is open to any Suffolk golfer who plays off 12 or better.


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It was first played for in 1964 after the Silver Barrel had been donated by the Tolly Cobbold Brewery and the first winner was Harry Head.

In recent years, however, the entry has been disappointing and only 43 players took part a

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fortnight ago.

Neill Ellice, the Ipswich secretary/manager, said: "I would like to see 70 or 80 players taking part. The Silver Barrel is a Suffolk Order of Merit competition and what some people may not realise is that it is a handicap competition."

Ian Whinney leads the way as far the Silver Barrel is concerned with four victories in 1971, '77, '80 and '82, but Keith Ferguson's latest triumph means that he has now equalled the three wins of

former Suffolk player Peter Haig-Thomas who won in 1975, '83 and '97.

Keith's first success was back in 1991, the first year that he entered the competition and he was a

winner again three years later.

The Silver Barrel is also notable for the fact that Woodbridge's Jon Marks still holds the Purdis Heath amateur course record of 64 when he won it in 1988 for the first time. He was successful again in 1995.

Playing off his six handicap, Keith had rounds of 72 nett 66 and 80 nett 74 for a two-round total of 140.

"I'm playing very well at the moment," he said. "I'm enjoying my golf and there was no pressure on me.

"I played steadily throughout the day, although the wind got up in the afternoon and that made

conditions more difficult."

Jamie Philpot (Aldeburgh Artisans) was beaten by Davies on countback for the runners-up spot, but the former professional won the scratch prize with a gross 145 that was five shots better than the rest of the field.

Keith, who has been a member at Ipswich for 27 years, recalled his first victory in the Silver Barrel when he won by three shots although he wasn't leading at the halfway stage.

"Somebody had gone out in the morning and shot a hell of a score, but in his second round he fell right away. In 1994 I was playing off four when I won for a second time by a couple of shots."

Now Keith will be looking to emulate Ian Whinney's four-timer.

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