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Alice Barlow, from Great Cornard, crowned county champion again after winning fourth successive Suffolk Matchplay title

Great Cornard’s Alice Barlow is county champion once again after securing her fourth successive Suffolk Matchplay title.

Alice Barlow with her Suffolk Match Play Cup and Stroke Play runner-up silver plate
Alice Barlow with her Suffolk Match Play Cup and Stroke Play runner-up silver plate

The former Newton Green Golf Club member, who has now switched from playing for Hintlesham to Bury St Edmunds GC, defeated her county team-mate Lottie Whyman in the final at Ipswich Golf Club.

The county women’s championship also has a 36 hole stroke play element starting on the Friday which acts as a qualifier for the Matchplay over the weekend. But this year it was cut down to 18 holes because of torrential rain.

Barlow, 20, a former student at Thomas Gainsborough School, was well placed with a level par round of 73, but Whyman secured the Strokeplay Championship with a three-under-par 70.

“I was over the moon to win for the fourth year running,” said Barlow, who has opted against following a professional route into the game, instead currently training at West Suffolk College to be a painter and decorator.

“I thought I was going home in the quarter final on Saturday afternoon. I was two down with two to play against Abbie Symonds and somehow found an eagle on 18 with a 35 foot putt to take it to extra holes and won with a birdie on the 21st hole.”

In the final she raced into a five-hole lead with some solid golf while Whyman was not at her normal best.

Her opponent secured a half at six before both had a birdie at seven for another half. But a wayward drive by Whyman at eight let Barlow have a seven-hole lead after nine holes, something which has probably never been seen in a Suffolk final before.

There were two halves at 10 and 11 before Whyman’s approach at 12 was good enough for a birdie to take it down 13.

Barlow made her first error of judgment on the greens and Whyman was back to five down.

Two cracking drives down 14 saw Barlow execute a great second to 12 feet and the match was as good as over with Whyman having to win the hole.Barlow took the match 6&4.

Barlow, who recently took over the Suffolk junior organiser role was happy to see a few juniors enter the competition this year and some coming to support.

She said she would be happy for any young girls to contact her about anything golf related.

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