Amateur wins at Thetford as golfers do their bit for Brad Smith

The three leading players at last week's pro-am at Thetford, from left to right, Steve Gibbs, Giles

The three leading players at last week's pro-am at Thetford, from left to right, Steve Gibbs, Giles Evans and David Ball. Picture: Thetford GC - Credit: Archant

A series of showers all day long could not dampen the enthusiasm of 80 golfers taking part in a charity pro-am at Thetford Golf Club last week.

A total in excess of £5,500 was raised for two charities, Breast Cancer Research and a special fund for Brad Smith, the former Thetford golf assistant, who has had his right leg amputated after being diagnosed with cancer.

The day was organised by Thetford’s teaching professional Stuart Smith, who challenged the players to play from the ladies’ red tees, reducing the yardage from 6,849 yards to 5,940 while par went up from 72 to 74.

The advantages of the shorter course were countered by difficult wet playing conditions and the winning score came from an amateur, Giles Evans, who went round in 69.

Giles donated his prize to the fund for Brad. Steve Gibbs and host club greenkeeper David Ball were joint second after going round in 72.

An auction of various golfing equipment and vouchers for four-balls at various courses helped swell the amount raised, along with a raffle which was well supported by the participants and Thetford members.

The winning team score, with two out of four counting on each hole, was 102 points by another former Thetford assistant, Will Cross, who is now at Dereham.

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His team-mates were 14-year-old Sam Devonport, who was recently crowned as the Norfolk U18 Handicap champion, and Steve Bazzoni and Debs Bryan from Heydon Grange.

Runners-up were Epping’s Harrison Mosley along with Stuart Allan, Bernard Tonner and Kevin Goodman, all from Thetford, with 95 points, one more than Warren Sargeant, Mandy and David Wickison and John Baldwin.

Meanwhile the 28th Dereham Junior Open saw 31 entrants play for the new Claret Jug and the Rivett Trophy, of which 40 per cent were girls.

The inaugural winner of the claret jug for the best scratch score was Dereham’s Immy Leeder with a gross 73.

In second place was Jack Thorpe (Girton, gross 79).

The Rivett Trophy was won by 11-year-old Nellie Ong (Eaton) who shot a net 64 (100-36-64). In second place was Emma Bambridge (Bawburgh) net 65 while Jennifer Brown (net 67, Dereham) was third and Eve Neild (net 68, Royal Norwich) fourth.