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Lowestoft father and son storm to victory in Greensomes

PUBLISHED: 10:52 18 February 2011 | UPDATED: 11:15 18 February 2011

Rookery Park GC's Kevin Fitzgerald weighing up a putt, advised by his son, Patrick.

Rookery Park GC's Kevin Fitzgerald weighing up a putt, advised by his son, Patrick.

Archant

THE Guildford Greensomes format was first introduced at the old Pakefield course by Dick Long, former president, captain, Hambro and county star.

It differs from the Greensomes by requiring partners to play each other’s drives before selecting which ball to finish the hole with.

Almost every year the format catches somebody out and this year, in the Winter Guildford Greensomes, it was County Junior Organiser, Mike Stevenson, who was the culprit.

Both he and his partner drove into the trees on the 11th hole. When Stevenson saw his ball he was delighted to spot a gap through which he could hit the green.

In his excitement he played a wedge to within two feet of the pin. Unfortunately, it was his partner who should have played the shot and the error cost them three points.

Playing partners Kevin Fitzgerald and his son, Patrick, made no such mistakes.

Dad’s miss from 18 inches on the eighth hole was compensated for by his birdie putt from the edge of the green on the 16th. Sound golf on the rest of the holes saw the pair win with 43 points on a countback from Colin Bloodworth and Nigel Goldspink. Keith Shales, who read the rule book carefully before starting, and Kelly Gooch, who is now known as Rookery’s “Florence Nightingale,” finished third on 42 pts. The “County Couple,” Suffolk’s president, Mike Rees and secretary, Charlie Wilderspin, scored 41 pts, as did Ray Flook and Ade Wicks.

Kevin Fitzgerald took up golf when he joined London’s Air Links GC at the age of 22. In order to improve he watched the World Matchplay Championsip at Wentworth.

Unfortunately a golf ball appeared through the trees and struck his shoulder. Surprise followed when golfing superstars, Sergio Garcia and VJ Singh suddenly appeared. It was the latter’s ball which did the damage but his gracious apologies were quickly accepted.

After joining Rookery six years ago Fitzgerald Snr won the Pat Corbett Memorial with Sarah Barker and his handicap is now 13.

He has given valuable service on the club’s Main Board and with the junior section.

Son Patrick started golf at the age of 13. He recently reached the final of the Hepton Cup, having knocked out the talented Sam Jaggard in the semi-final.

This prestigious cup, presented by one of East Anglia’s legendary golfing families, saw a big surprise in an earlier round. Tom Pettifer, fresh from his Stenson, Hambro and county achievements, was knocked out by Sarah Barker.

Whilst congratulating his young opponent on her excellent golf, he said it was a very different experience from his fiercely competitive clashes with such rivals as Chris Soanes, Luke Thompson and Tom Wallis.

David Batley

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