GOLF: Pettifer's top prize at Rookery

ROOKERY junior, 17-year-old Tom Pettifer, is enjoying a golfing purple patch. After topping the Suffolk Junior Order of Merit he followed up by winning the R.

ROOKERY junior, 17-year-old Tom Pettifer, is enjoying a golfing purple patch.

After topping the Suffolk Junior Order of Merit he followed up by winning the R. V. Fisher Memorial Cup, during which he scored three birdies. On the last green, whilst lining up a 15ft putt for a score of 68 net, he was informed that he had to hole out to be sure of victory.

To his great relief the ball ran straight into the middle of the cup to secure a narrow win over Simon P. West

Pettifer then found himself in the middle of a pressurised situation once again when Rookery Park, after halving the morning foursomes in a difficult Stenson Shield away match against Rushmere, had to win the afternoon singles. His victory helped Rookery to a superb 7 to 5 triumph and earn Rookery another difficult away match at Purdis Heath. Although Pettifer has only been playing golf for three and a half years he already has his heart set on a career as a professional.

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Due to injuries the Stenson squad was left two short just before the game. The only two golfers of sufficient quality available to cover were the veterans Mike Rees and Gerry Moore. Various oils, pills and potions were quickly sent for and aging joints were given the full treatment. As it turned out the willing seniors were not needed.

In the Ted Swann, Charlie Youngman returned from his oil rig to spray the Rookery course with five birdies and enable him and partner, Luke Thompson, to win. He holed a bunker shot on the sixth hole. The pair's winning score of 66 net beat Tony Atkinson with Nigel Wigg and Sam Jaggard with Jack Harper by a single shot.

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The Captain's Drive Out competition provided surprise winners in the father and son combination of Tom and Tommy Blackett, whose 46pts beat Graham Robbins with Glen Kemp and Sam Jaggard with Luke Thompson, by three shots.

Father Tom had never won anything since joining Rookery in 1975 as a beginner. He did play once as a boy when in Singapore where he learned that the best way to play quickly was the threat of a tiger appearing on the course.

Bill Stacey has shown an interest in the idea. The senior Blackett has had the distinction of playing at the famous Belfry course in an Oil Industry Tournament. He will long remember the 10th teebox, where he turned for advice only to discover that his partner had disappeared. A stifled gurgle revealed that the unfortunate golfer had fallen into the water.

Father Tom has a handicap of 24 and aims to reduce it as soon possible. The Drive Out was also son Tommy's first success. He never lets dad forget that, although beginning in 2000 and giving him a 25 year start, his handicap, at 20, is four strokes lower.

David Batley

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