Suffolk PGA captain Frank Hill (centre) presents the Ransome Trophy to
Lawrence Dodd after his 4 and 3 victory over Rob Pritchard (right) in the
final of the SPGA Match Play Championship at Thorpeness.

Strong winds and squally showers made for difficult conditions for the rearranged final stages of the Suffolk PGA Match Play Championship at Thorpeness. Robert Pritchard (Cretingham) and Lawrence Dodd (Bury Golf Range), first and second in the qualifying stroke play, met in the final.
Dodd turned the tables on Pritchard with a 4 and 3 victory. He never looked back after taking the lead with a chip-in birdie at the fourth hole.
Although Pritchard was dormie five down he won the par-five 15th with a defiant birdie but a half at the next was not good enough to stave off defeat.
Dodd, who made numerous appearances for England as amateur and played in both the European Tour and Challenge Tour, looked solid all day apart from the occasional wayward drive. In the semi-final he was too strong for Chris Smith (Fynn Valley) winning 4 and 3.
In the other semi-final Andrew Robinson (Southwold) recovered from being four down against Pritchard to draw level with four to play. Pritchard regained the lead at the 15th, Robinson levelled at the 16th but went one down again at the 17th.
Both players were in trouble off the tee at the last. Robinson had to take a drop from a bush on the right. Pritchard was in long wet grass on the left. PGA secretary and referee Terry Broome must have been keeping an eye on his watch as a search party set to work. The ball was found in time and Pritchard found the green with his approach which was all he needed to do.
Semi-finals: L Dodd (Bury Golf Range) beat C Smith (Fynn Valley) 4 and 3, R Pritchard (Cretingham) beat A Robinson (Southwold) two up. Final: Dodd beat Pritchard 4 and 3.

Rob Pritchard of Cretingham Golf Club became Suffolk PGA stroke play champion for the second time in four years when he won the Mallinson Cup by a single shot from Lawrence Dodd in windy conditions at Rushmere where there was very little run on the ball after heavy rain the previous day.

Del Bower, SPGA President is seen presenting both Rob Pritchard, left, and Lawrence Dodd, right, with their respective trophies

Both players equalled the professional course record of 66 in the second round, but Pritchard was one over par in the morning and Dodd was two over. Pritchard’s previous victory was at Aldeburgh in 2011.

The original round of 66 was set in 2002 by Alex Sandeman, now a professional at the Westmoreland Club in Barbados when the Rushmere course was officially three yards shorter.
Pritchard was three over after four holes after lunch but then had two birdies to be one over at the turn. His back nine included three birdies and an eagle at the par five 16th hole.
After the opening round Richard Beadles (Royal Worlington) and Patrick Spraggs (Woodbridge) were joint leaders with one under par 69. Spraggs, a former Suffolk Open champion when an amateur at Stowmarket, ruined his chances with a nine at the first while Beadles slipped down the leader board with a second round of 73.
Chris Smith of Fynn Valley, a former Suffolk PGA champion, took third place with 141, one over par on the day, with fourth place being shared by former Rushmere amateur Andrew Robinson, now head professional at Southwold, and Beadles.
The Dell Bower Suffolk Assistants’ Championship for trainees was held in conjunction with the county match play. The winner was Dodd by 10 shots from joint runners-up Adam Trett (Bury Golf Range), Brad Wilkins (Ipswich Golf Centre) and Spraggs who represented Europe against the United States in the Palmer Cup at Royal Portrush in 2010.

LD PGA Team winnersBirthday boy Kevin Earp thanked team-mate Lawrence Dodd for giving him an extra special present as Suffolk captured the inaugural SkyCaddie PGA England & Wales Inter County Championship title at the Belfry.

Joining the celebrations was Peter Latimer who completed the three-man squad that received the brand new Dave Thomas Memorial Trophy and the winner’s cheque of £4,000.

Bury Golf Range pro Earp, 36 today, and Latimer (Felixstowe Ferry) both praised Dodd (Bury Golf Range) after his second round five-under-par 67 proved the difference in their winning tally of six-over-par, with the best two rounds from three counting on each day in the £10,000 event.
Earp weighed in with a 75 for a combined second round score of two-under-par 142, 10 shots better than the first round when ‘brutal’ conditions on the opening day saw Dodd (77) and Latimer (75) give the East Anglian side a share of the overnight lead.

In second place, three shots further back on nine-over was the Lancashire trio of David Shacklady (Mossock Hall), Barry Taylor (Houghwood) and Jeff Mathews (Oak Royal), who earned £2,400. The Warwickshire threesome of Jak Hamblett (Handsworth), Darren Murphy (Stonebridge) and Fred Jewsbury (Stratford upon Avon) finished third in the five-team event on 10-over-par.

A smiling Earp said: “I said to the guys this morning go out and shoot a low one as I’d like a nice birthday present and Lawrence obliged!
“It’s been a great tournament as Lawrence and I are very good friends and I’ve got to know Peter over the last 18 months or so.
“We’ve spent time together up at the Belfry having a practice round and socialising between rounds and it’s been good. It’s nice to play a team event as we don’t get to do it as professionals very often.

“Yesterday was such a slog and must have been playing near 8,000 yards with the wind, the rain and off the back tees. It was brutal and a real test. Today, it was much better and gave us a much better chance of some scores and five-under-from Lawrence is just brilliant and that’s won us the tournament.”

Dodd, whose 67 included a flawless back nine, added: “It’s a bit unexpected to shoot that low, but I drove the ball great and putted very, very well.

“I thought level par for today would be good but for us to shoot a couple better was really good. It’s tough not knowing what your team-mates are doing but it just makes you keep going and you hope it all turns out all right.

“It’s a great event to play team golf as we don’t get to do it very often. This is a nice way to cap the year off.”

Latimer, a Scotsman by birth, also congratulated Dodd for his key role in the win, adding: “I’ve just got to say thanks to Lawrence. What more can you say. He did it for us today. It’s fantastic that we managed to win it.

“Yesterday I got my head down and played well whereas today I had a couple of bad swings and a couple of big numbers and that killed me. Overall it’s been a great event for all of us.”

The tournament was staged over the PGA National, designed by former PGA captain Dave Thomas, who recently passed away, and Peter Alliss. In recognition of Thomas’s contribution, his son Paul was on hand to present the trophy.

Thomas said: “Dad held the Association in high regard and I’m very honoured to present this trophy as part of this tournament and wish it every success for many, many years to come.”

PGA England & Wales Inter-County Championship sponsored by SkyCaddie

Pos. Score Team Names
1 294 (+6) Suffolk Lawrence Dodd, Kevin Earp, Peter Latimer
2 297 (+9) Lancashire David Shacklady, Jeff Mathews, Barry Taylor
3 298 (+10) Warwickshire Darren Murphy, Jak Hamblett, Fred Jewsbury
4 302 (+14) South Wales Sion Bebb, Joe Ferguson, Richard Brookman
5 308 (+20) Surrey David Callaway, Alan Lovelace, Nico Els

Dodd Suffolk PGA win

Lawrence Dodd of Bury Golf Range, a former England amateur international and 2012 Suffolk Open champion, won the Suffolk PGA stroke play title for the first time at Woodbridge.

He beat Richard Beadles of Royal Worlington at the third play-off hole after both players finished with one over par 141 after two rounds.
Beadles saw a birdie putt horseshoe out at the first and missed a six-foot birdie putt at the second. At the 529-yard par five third Dodd outdrive Beadles by some 50 yards and was just short of the green in two. He chipped dead to secure an easy birdie. Beadles was left with a 30-foot uphill putt from the fringe of the green but had to settle for a par. Beadles had led with a first round of one under par 69 and followed up with 72.
Dodd collected the Mallinson Trophy first won by A H Monk in 1927. Mr Mallinson also presented the Thorpeness Frigate, one of the most valuable trophies in the East of England, in the same period.

On the last occasion this event was staged at Woodbridge in 2008 Beadles was also involved in a play-off with Andrew Collison (Bungay) which was unresolved after 10 holes were played in par before bad light halted play. The trophy was shared.

Chris Smith (Fynn Valley) and Andrew Robinson were joint third both having rounds of 70 and 73. First year assistant Bradley Wilkins of Fynn Valley was joined fifth on 145 together with Adam Trett of Bury Golf Range. Seventh place went to Kevin Earp of Bury Golf Range, the 2012 winner, with 147.

Conditions at Woodbridge were excellent with the subtle greens putting well although there were some testing pin positions.

Leading scores

141: L Dodd (Bury Golf Range) 71 70 beat Richard Beadles (Royal Worlington) 69 72 at third play-off hole.

143: Chris Smith (Fynn Valley) 70 73, Andrew Robinson (Stowmarket) 70 73.

145: Bradley Wilkins (Fynn Valley) 70 75, Adam Trett (Bury Golf Range) 75 70.

147: Kevin Earp (Bury Golf Range) 74 73

Mitch and Dodd

Neil Mitchell of Bury Golf Range won the Suffolk PGA Town and Country Cars Cup in windy conditions at Felixstowe Ferry.
He beat former England amateur international Lawrence Dodd 5 and 4 in the final. Mitchell went two up after three holes and never allowed his lead to slip.

Dodd, just back from a family holiday in Spain, must have felt they it was not his day on the fourth green when he seemed sure to pull hole back until Mitchell sank a 40-foot birdie putt for a half. Mitchell had six birdies and, although Dodd’s short game was sound, he was unable to sink the vital putts that would have brought him back into the match.

On the 11th Dodd hit two tee shots out of bounds to go four down. He birdied the par-three 12th near the club with a slippery seven-foot putt but found a bunker off the tee at the 13th and it was all over on the 14th green after he missed the short putt he needed to keep him in the game.
Apart from a heavy shower midway through the round the sun was shining. Mitchell’s has found a seam of good form since switching from his belly putter to a short putter. He won the competitive East Region pro-am at Chelmsford and puts down his recent improved form to two things. He has started using a GolfBand for stretching exercises and has been coached by Mark Sturgess at Bourn to sharpen his all round game.

In the semi-final in the morning Mitchell had a tremendous tussle with Chris Smith of Fynn Valley winning at the first extra hole. Both players had chances to clinch victory over the final three holes. Smith was one up on the 16th tee but put his tee shot into thick rough to the left of the green and went back to all square. Smith regained his lead on the 17th after Mitchell missed a four-foot par putt for a half. At the final hole Smith was short with his approach and, although Mitchell missed his seven-foot birdie putt, a par proved enough to draw level. A disappointed Smith again three-putted at the first extra hole.

Dodd was handed a walkover by Tony Dobson in the other semi-final. Dobson opted to travel to Wychwood Park to caddy for his son Hugo in stage one of the PGA European Tour School.

Suffolk pro team 1

Suffolk have reached the final of the inaugural PGA in England and Wales inter-county championship to be played at The Belfry on October 14 and 15 with a prize fund of £10,000. Surrey and Warwickshire are also in the final with the qualifiers from the North and West regions still to be decided.

Suffolk swept aside the challenge of Middlesex, Beds & Cambs and Norfolk in the 36-hole East qualifier held at Nazeing Golf Club.

After the first round Suffolk trailed Middlesex by two shots with the best two of three scores to count. Lawrence Dodd (Bury Golf Range) was four under par 68 supported by Peter Latimer (Felixstowe Ferry) on level par.

In the second round Suffolk blew away the opposition. Dodd was five under at the turn and, despite having chances, could not improve on that score on his back nine.

Latimer, in the final group, finished birdie, eagle, birdie to post a score of seven under par 65 which was the outstanding round of the day despite dropping a shot at the first. He picked up six shots in his final seven holes. Kevin Earp (Bury Golf Range), the reigning Suffolk PGA stroke play champion, was rusty in the morning having had limited opportunities to play competitive golf this year. He produced a far better second round of three under par 69 with included holing out from a bunker and then chipping in for an eagle at the 274-yard 17th hole. Latimer’s eagle at the 17th came with a three-wood that left him with a five-foot putt.
All three Middlesex players, Nick Pateman (Pinner Hill), Mike Vandenberg (Wyke Green) and David Bunker (Stanmore) were under par in the morning but their challenge faded in the afternoon leaving Suffolk as winners by 10 shots being 16 under par on the day with their best two scores in each round.

Stuart Brown of Orton Meadows was five under par on the day Beds & Cambs. David Woolley (Middleton Hall) was the best Norfolk player in the morning with two under par 70. In the afternoon Jason Groat (Denver Golf Club) had five under par 67. The event is sponsored by SkyCaddie.
The Suffolk PGA match play will now take place at Thorpeness Golf Club on Tuesday and Wednesday, October 29 and 30 to avoid a clash of dates with the county final at The Belfry.

suffolk assistants

Peter Latimer of Felixstowe Ferry, a former Scottish amateur international, won the Dell Bower Suffolk PGA Assistants’ Championship at Hintlesham with rounds of 70 and 69 to leave him five under par for the tournament.

The runner-up was former England amateur international Lawrence Dodd with 78 in the morning when he found too much of the very deep rough and the day’s best round of 67 in the afternoon when his accuracy off the tee improved dramatically.

Lawrence Dodd ChigwellLawrence Dodd, pictured above, (Bury Golf Range) believes he is coming into his best years as a player after winning the Powerade PGA Assistants’ Championship qualifier at Chigwell. Dodd headed the field by just one shot after being the only player to go under par on a day of tricky scoring.

He carded a one under par round of 70 to join 16 other qualifiers from the event who will contest the £32,000 grand final which is supported by FootJoy and will be held between August 7 and 9 at Coventry Golf Club. He had five birdies, four in his first eight holes. Dodd is a second year assistant but has experience of the European Tour and the PGA Europro Tour.

He said: “My golf career has been all about playing. I represented England as an amateur and went to Tour School in 2008 and 2009. “But now I have a family which means there are other responsibilities to think of so I decided to take the PGA route to give myself other career options in golf. However I’m 30 this year and I’d like to think I have a lot of good golf in me yet and hope I’ll be able to take the playing side further as I think I’m becoming a better player.”

Dodd returns to the final after tying for 12th place last year at East Sussex National. “I wanted another crack at the final even though I know very little about Coventry so I’ll be going into it blind. I’d like to improve on last year if I can.”

Lawrence DoddSuffolk PGA won a keenly contested match against a Suffolk county team at Rushmere by four holes (Hambro scoring) or two and a half matches to one and a half.

In the top match Lawrence Dodd and Keith Preston appeared to have matters well in hand until Josh Cottrell and Matt Mann won three holes in succession to go one up on the 18th tee. Dodd and Preston salvaged a half by winning the last.

Haverhill professionals Paul Wilby and Ollie Rush have an impressive track record in this annual fixture. They took control of their match against Chris Vince, also from Haverhill, and Sam Truman of Woodbridge and ended four up.

It was the same score-line when Kevin Earp and host professional Kelvin Vince beat Nathan Overton and Alastair Hall. In the fourth game the Rookery Park amateurs, Chris Soanes and Guy Mummery, played very steadily to overcome Chris Smith and Peter Latimer by four holes. The professional pair won the last.

Lawrence Dodd Suffolk PGA Match playKeith Preston (left) shakes hands with a vanquished Lawrence Dodd after his 5 and 4 victory in the final of the Suffolk PGA Matchplay Championship.

Keith Preston of Aldeburgh, a Fellow of the PGA and head coach to Suffolk men, ladies and boys, won the Suffolk PGA match play title for the first time in windy conditions at Thorpeness.

The 48-year-old Preston played some of the best golf of his career to overcome Tony Dobson (Stonham Barns) in the first round and then holder Chris Smith of Fynn Valley in the quarter-finals. Smith had won the Ransomes Cup twice in the last three years.

In the semi-final Preston claimed the scalp of former Scottish amateur international Peter Latimer who is a first year trainee at Felixstowe Ferry. Preston closed out a 3 and 2 victory with a tee shot to within five feet at the 206-yard par three 16th hole. He birdied three of the final five holes of a match that had been nip and tuck up to the 12th.

In the final Preston went ahead with a birdie at the first against former England amateur international Lawrence Dodd (Bury Golf Range) and never looked back. Dodd, with PGA European Tour and Challenge Tour experience, has completed his first year of PGA training. Preston went four up at the turn with a slice of luck. Both players were in ferns to the left of the fairway with their second shots. Preston found his ball. Dodd did not.

A birdie at the par-three 10th put Preston five up. He lost the 13th when Dodd had a birdie and Preston was in trouble to the left of the green but it was all over after the par-five 14th. Dodd’s prodigious second shot flew through the back of the green Preston chipped to eight feet and sunk the birdie putt. Dodd’s third, from lush grass, was 12 feet short of the pin. He missed the slippery downhill birdie putt.

Preston was accurate off the tee, played some tremendous approach shots and putted well on the excellent Thorpeness greens. He started as the outsider when faced with the holder in the quarter-final and then two former amateur internationals on the second day. He maintained his concentration and, once ahead, was tenacious and in no mood to let Dodd back into the match.

In the other semi-final Dodd had swept away the challenge of Alex Lucas, the head professional from Waldringfield, by a 5 and 4 margin.

Lawrence Dodd Suffolk PGAKevin Earp of Bury Golf Range won the Mallinson Cup as the 2012 Suffolk PGA stroke play champion with rounds of 69 and 67 at Southwold to put him four under par for the tournament. He collected the first prize of £1000 as his reward for some marvellous golf.

He held off a strong challenge from former Scottish amateur international Peter Latimer of Felixstowe Ferry and former England amateur international Lawrence Dodd of Bury Golf Range.

Latimer, who played in the Home internationals in 2010, has started his PGA training under Robert Joyce at Felixstowe. He finished one shot behind Earp and watched as the winner sunk a five-foot pressure putt for birdie on the final hole in front of the club house to clinch victory.

Dodd, the Suffolk Open Champion with plenty of experience at top level, was two shots behind Earp. He was in the same group as Latimer which provided compelling viewing as they battled it out with little to choose between them.

Earp was first round leader with 69 with Latimer and Dodd both signing for level par 70. It was good competitive golf on a nine-hole course which received plaudits from everyone. It was one of the best SPGA championships since the silver trophy was presented in 1927. It was also the first time it has been hosted by Southwold whose members seemed to enjoy the occasion just as much as the players appreciated a course which some of them had never previously visited.

Lawrence Dodd Suffolk Open winnerLawrence Dodd, the former England amateur international, won the Suffolk Open Championship at Bury St Edmunds where he started his golfing career.

A spectacular third and final round of 66, thought to be a professional course record, left him five shots clear of his closest rivals.

Dodd, who was ineligible to play in this event until he started his PGA training at Bury Golf Range, last October, has now completed the set of Suffolk titles. He won the amateur championship in three times in 2000, 2001 and 2003, the Suffolk match play title in 2001 and 2002 as well as the junior stroke play and match play trophies.

Dodd was the first professional winner of the Faraday Cup since Simon Dainty in 2006. Faraday, incidentally, was the first Suffolk Golf Union president in 1924 and served as president from 1926 to 1935.

Although Dodd started as pre-tournament favourite on course he knows so well it was a different matter after his opening round of 75. He trailed fellow professional Paul Wilby of Haverhill by seven shots with Jack Cardy of Hintlesham lying second with two under par 70 and holder Patrick Spraggs of Stowmarket and Aldeburgh’s Will Wright signing for level par 72.

It was all change on the second day. Spraggs produced a second round of 68 to take the lead at four under par. Few would at that stage have backed against him repeating Robin Mann’s hat-trick of Suffolk Open successes. It was in the final 45 minutes that the real picture emerged. Dodd finished in style with birdies at the final two holes to be five under par for the tournament.

Lawrence Dodd Suffolk AssistantsLawrence Dodd won the Suffolk PGA Assistants’ Championship sponsored by president Dell Bower (centre).

Lawrence Dodd (Bury Golf Range) won the Dell Bower Suffolk PGA Assistants’ Championship at Hintlesham on Monday with rounds of 68 and 70 in windy conditions with punishing rough.

He was four under par on the day. His first round included an eagle at the 501-yard par five 15th hole and four birdies. He was level par on his second round despite a double bogey at the 17th.

Lawrence Dodd ThorpenessLawrence Dodd (Bury Golf Range) centre after winning the Suffolk PGA pro-only medal competition at Thorpeness by one shot from Ben Kerr (West Suffolk Golf Centre) left and Robin Mann (Southwold).

Lawrence Dodd, a former England amateur international who turned professional in 2006, has played both on the PGA European Tour and the PGA Challenge Tour. Now he is a first year assistant at the Bury Golf Range and will be a power in Suffolk golf this year.

Dodd won the Suffolk PGA pro-only medal competition at Thorpeness with a two over par round of 71. Dodd was one under at the turn but dropped three shots on his back nine. The new back tees at Thorpeness, introduced for the English Seniors’ Championship to be played between May 30 and June 1, were in use.

Leading scores: 71: Lawrence Dodd (Bury Golf Range). 72: Ben Kerr (West Suffolk Golf Centre) and Robin Mann (Southwold). 73: Frank Hill (Thorpeness) and Jon Markham (Stowmarket). 76: Andrew Robinson (Lowestoft Driving Range). 78: Paul Bate (Brett Vale). 79: Kelvin Vince (Rushmere).