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The Rusmere Vase

Nathan Overton, the former Suffolk county captain, won the scratch prize at the Rushmere Vase meeting to establish an early lead in the Suffolk Golf Union order of merit.One-handicap Overton trailed Luke Thompson, the scratch player from Rookery Park, by six shots after the opening round.

Thompson was the only player to achieve par 70 in the morning. Overton, a former winner of this event, showed his battling qualities in the afternoon when a chill wind blew many of his rivals off course.
Thompson found trouble at the par-three sixth hole when his tee shot was lost in the gorse behind the green. It was easy to misjudge the wind above the tree-line.

The Rushmere Vase is a handicap event which was won by Chris Duffy, a three-handicap player who has represented Gorleston in both the Hambro Cup and Stenson Shield for several years.He produced solid rounds of 73 and 74 to finish only a single shot behind Overton and Thompson.

James Tyler of Ipswich Golf Club, also off one, was going well until his final nine holes of the day when he let his concentration slip after his three-ball was reduced to two when Curtis Mann (Rushmere) withdrew.

Home advantage is always a help. Four-handicap Daniel Jennings did Rushmere proud with rounds of 75 and 76 leaving him two shots behind Duffy. There were many tales of woe. James Biggs of Diss, one of Suffolk’s most reliable players, was virtually out of contention after a 10 at his first hole of the day. It was a two-tee start and Biggs was on the first, one of the most testing opening holes in East Anglia. His drive flew into the gorse on the left and by the time he was back on the fairway the damage had been done. Biggs did, however, finish ahead of Diss club colleague Josh Driver who had a day to forget.

Toby Ayles of Woodbridge was going well until his last nine (the first nine) saw his slip from a position of strength. Last season’s Suffolk amateur champion Sam Byford (Ipswich) finished one shot better on the day than Suffolk match play champion Danny Western of Gorleston. Habebul Islam of Ipswich will learn from his experience on the par five 11thhole in his afternoon round. His second shot was found deep in gorse on the left.
He was unable to take a drop that would have given him a clear swing so he was left with various options. He did not think it through to his best advantage and ended with a 10 on his card. Five-handicap Tommy Hunt of Gorleston was the biggest improver. A round of 87 in the morning was followed by 77 in the afternoon. Gorleston players must be used to the wind off the North Sea. David Reid of Woodbridge was going really well in the morning with a round of 74 (net 69). In the afternoon his 86 left him down the leader board.
It was a case of what might have been for Ufford Park’s Sam Ward whose net 73 in the morning included an eight at the 17thwhich was his eighth. A par there would have left him neck and neck with Reid on handicap at lunch.

Rushmere Vase scores

Gross scores: 146: N Overton (Woodbridge) 76 70, L Thompson (Rookery Park) 70 76. 147: C Duffy (Gorleston) 73 74 (Vase winner). 150: J Tyler (Ipswich) 73 77. 152: D Jennings (Rushmere) 75 76, T Ayles (Woodbridge) 74 78, R Oakey (Newton Green) 74 78. 155: J Seeley (Newton Green) 76 79, S Byford (Ipswich) 76 79. 156: D Western (Gorleston) 77 79. 157: Habebul Islam (Ipswich) 75 82. 158: J Biggs (Diss) 82 76. 160: D Reid (Woodbridge) 74 86.
161: D Perring (Gorleston) 80 81, B Sayers (Felixstowe Ferry) 79 82, S Coonan (Woodbridge) 78 83, D Rosser (Woodbridge) 75 86. 162: S Bearman (Newton Green) 80 82, R Rayner (Ipswich) 77 85.164: T Hunt (Gorleston) 87 77, J Driver (Diss) 83 81, J Cuthbert (Thorpeness) 81 83, R Thomson (Gorleston) 79 85, A Boother (Waldringfield) 78 86. 166: R Dzierozynski (Woodbridge) 79 87. 167: A Cunningham (Stowmarket) 83 84. 169: T Martin (Felixstowe Ferry) 86 83, S Ward (Waldringfield). 170: L Ratty (Hintlesham) 84 86, I Pope (Rushmere) 83 87. 173: J Hellyer (Hintlesham) 88 85, D Shaw (Royal Dornoch) 86 87. 175: S Richal (Woodbridge) 88 87, G Williams (Rushmere) 87 88. 176: J Draycott (Seckford) 85 91. 185: G Noble 93 92. 186: C Hancocks (Seckford) 95 91. 202: C Seward (Seckford) 102 100.
No returns: M Hemson (Newton Green) 78 nr. C Mann (Rushmere) 79 nr. C Weller (Diss) 79 nr. T Hellyer (Stowmarket) 80 nr. R Rush (Hintlesham) nr 92, S Ayles (Woodbridge) 103 nr.