Third time’s a charm for golf club with county event triumph

DREAM TEAM: Cousins James and Ryan Hastie won their second Suffolk Winter Alliance meeting of the season
DREAM TEAM: Cousins James and Ryan Hastie won their second Suffolk Winter Alliance meeting of the season

Haverhill Golf Club is demonstrating its strength in depth and quality of play of its members, with a third Suffolk Winter Alliance victory.

It is also the second win for the family pairing of James and Ryan Hastie, with an impressive victory at the Ufford Park Hotel course in Woodbridge on Thursday, December 14.

Steve Piotrowski and John Wiseman are the other pair to have taken top spot in this season’s competition — which has reached the halfway point of seven meetings, with seven more in 2018.

It was a chilly start to the day in Ufford Park, although clear skies soon saw the 85 players (including one professional) enjoy plenty of sunshine.

The well-attended meeting was played on a course in fine condition, with surprisingly quick greens, which seemed to suit the Hastie cousins.

The Fourball Betterball competition was won by the Haverhill pairing with 40 points.

The 85 Suffolk players and their guests wrapped up warmly on the course before finishing off with a Christmas lunch, as they reached the halfway stage of their season.

Finding the course in fine winter condition came as a surprise to many of the players, whose home 18s were still snow or frost-bound.

But a cold, strong breeze generally kept the scores low, and only the Hastie cousins were able to reach 40 Stableford points.

They were two shots clear of Newton Green captain Gareth Evans and scratch handicap partner Jed Seeley.

Another Haverhill pair —Chris Briggs and Dave Simpkin — were also unfortunate to be edged into fourth spot on countback by Stoke-by-Nayland’s Alan Smith and Dave Drew as both duos finished on 37 points.

Home professional Stuart ‘Dr Golf’ Robertson took the Professional individual medal round as the only player eligible to compete.

It sees James Hastie move into joint second position in the overall Order of Merit (Sweep) for the 2017/18 season, tied with Stoke-by-Nayland’s Ian Benson on 196 points.

Professional Sam Forgan, of Stowmarket, currently leads both the Sweep and Professional Order of Merit tables for the season.

Following the post game presentation, a feast of turkey and Christmas pudding with crackers were on the hotel’s festive menu.

The Alliance now takes a recess until the New Year, with competition restarting at Bungay and Waveney Golf Club on Sunday, January 7.

The event will be Pro-Am, the final mixed event of this year’s Winter Alliance.

This meeting will be followed by a visit to the testing nine holes at Flempton Golf Club, which is already attracting a healthy entry.

The format here will be a return to a doubles competition, with the organisation scheduled to meet on Thursday, January 18.

The Alliance will conclude at Haverhill GC on March 18.