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Greg Hills wins Rushmere Vase

Greg Hills, playing off a handicap of three from Felixstowe Ferry, won the Rushmere Vase in glorious sunny conditions. Down the field after an opening round of 77, he discovered sparkling form with a gross four under par 66 in the afternoon.

The former Stoke by Nayland and Newton Green player, a Hambro Cup winner with both his previous clubs, was out in 30 in his second round with birdies at the second, seventh, eighth and nine holes. His level par back nine saw two more birdies at holes 15 and 16 but dropped shots at 12 and 17.

The Vase is a handicap event in which he beat one-handicap James Biggs of Diss on count back. Pictured right (from left) are James Biggs and Greg Hills with Rushmere Club captain, Dick Ford.

The Suffolk Golf Union award order of merit points on the gross scores. Biggs, back in form with rounds of 72 and 67, is a scratch player once more. His one under par 36-hole score beat Suffolk captain Jack Cardy of Hintlesham into second place in the Peter Robinson Vase. Cardy led at lunch with one under par 69 but was one over in the afternoon.

Hills, one of four players on 143, took third place on count back from James Tyler (Ipswich), Andrew Cunningham (Stowmarket) and Ben Sayers (Felixstowe Ferry).

Tyler was level par for his second round despite a lost ball in the wood to the left of the 12th green. Cunningham was consistent with rounds of 73 and 70 while Sayers had 71 and 72 which bodes well for Felixstowe Ferry’s Stenson Shield prospects this year.

The greens were fast and true. There were top 10 finishes for Russell Oakey, Calvin Sherwood, Sam Byford and leading senior John Whitby. Byford was struggling with a sore back which eased later in the day.

A newcomer to Suffolk order of merit events was Chris Fleming who plays off plus one. He is a member at Ipswich but plays county golf for Cornwall where he holds a membership at links course Perranporth.

Rushmere’s Daniel Jennings was well in contention after a morning round of 73 (70) but fell away in the afternoon.

Rushmere Vase (leading gross scores): 139: James Biggs Diss) 72 67. 140: Jack Cardy (Hintlesham) 69 71. 143: Greg Hills (Felixstowe Ferry) 77 66, James Tyler (Ipswich) 73 70. Andrew Cunningham (Stowmarket) 72 71, Ben Sayers (Felixstowe Ferry) 71 72. 145: Russell Oakey (Newton Green) 72 73. 146: Calvin Sherwood (Rookery Park) 72 74. 150: Sam Byford (Ipswich) 77 73. 151: John Whitby (Ipswich) 75 76, Jed Seeley (Newton Green) 73 78. 154: Jimmy Price (Felixstowe Ferry) 77 77, Daniel Jennings (Rushmere) 73 81. 155: Simon Bearman (Newton Green) 76 79. 156: David Reid (Woodbridge) 79 77, Ricky Dzierozynski (Woodbridge) 74 82. 158: Harry Hodgson (Woodbridge) 81 77. 159: Steve Coonan (Woodbridge) 83 76, Ian Pope (Rushmere) 78 81. 160: Michael Swirles (Ipswich) 81 79. 161: Dominic Rosser (Woodbridge) 82 79, Matt Sommerville (Felixstowe Ferry) 81 80, Chris Weller (Diss) 78 83. 162: Paul Young (Ipswich) 85 77, Sam Pollexfen (Seckford) 84 78. 163: Jack Cuthbert (Thorpeness) 87 76, Adam Sheldrake (Felixstowe Ferry) 84 79. 164: Benjamin Stammers (Hintlesham) 81 83. 165: Thomas Martin (Felixstowe Ferry) 80 85. 166: Max Hemson (Newton Green) 85 81. 173: James Hellyer (Hintlesham) 76 97.

Jack Cardy will be monitoring all scores closely before he names his team for the opening Anglian League match against Cambridgeshire at Gog Magog (Wandlebury course) on May 7.

Seven Suffolk players took part in last week’s Berkhamsted Trophy. Paul Waring of Felixstowe Ferry took sixth place with rounds of 70 72 and 69. Luke Thompson of Rookery Park was going well with rounds of 69 and 70 before falling away on the final day with 77. Thompson has not made himself available for county golf.

Four Suffolk players missed the cut. Their scores were: Chris Bartrum (Diss) 74 75, Sam Byford (Ipswich) 78 73, Gregor Tait (Aldeburgh) 73 82, Josh Driver (Diss) 79 77. Guy Mummery (Rookery Park) disqualified himself after discovering that he had 15 clubs in his bag when playing the 15th hole and not knowing that this only attracted a 4 shot penalty. He was level par at the time. Also missing the cut was Thetford’s Iain Yule with 77 and 78.