King's Lynn golfer holes winning putt for Norfolk
Lynn Golf Club member Mason Bernstein holed the winning putt as Norfolk staged a thrilling fightback to pip old rivals Suffolk in their opening match of the season.
Suffolk looked to hold the edge in the Anglian League tie after a dramatic conclusion to the morning foursomes at Bawburgh Golf Club until teenager Bernstein, 18, held his nerve to hand his county the bragging rights.
The visitors’ Jack Cardy holed a 28-foot birdie putt on the final green for a half-point that left Norfolk trailing 1.5-2.5 at the lunch break.
But Simon Clark’s rejuvenated side were a different proposition in the singles clashes, playing some superb and determined golf to peg back their rivals.
Heacham Manor’s Warren Bates set the tone in the top match storming to a point and Ben Terry was soon recording another victory for the home side.
The hosts’ captain Clark played a cool hand in the middle order to post a further success, while George Morris powered through 7&5 in the last game out.
That left all eyes on the crunch clash featuring 18-year-old Bernstein against experienced Suffolk campaigner Will Wright.
It appeared as if Bernstein was in control when – at two-up – he fizzed a superb iron close at the short 16th.
But Wright rammed home an 18-foot putt for birdie and Bernstein was unable to convert, ensuring an exciting climax to their match.
The 17th was halved in pars before both players’ approaches came up fractionally short of the final green.
But 18-year-old Bernstein showed great composure in chipping to four feet and making a clutch putt that secured him a one-up victory.
The remaining match on the course saw Hunstanton golfer Chris White take a half-point to add some gloss to the overall scoreline of 7-5.
All of Norfolk’s eight-man team contributed at least a half-point on the day with Jon Baker-Odlin and Morris coming out all-square from that gripping foursomes match with Cardy and Max Weaver.
But it was Bernstein who was the star of the show, winning both of his matches as he preceded his singles success by partnering Cullington in a 2&1 victory during the morning’s play.
With a glint in his eye, Norfolk captain Clark said: “There’s nothing better than beating Suffolk!
“To win the afternoon 5.5-2.5 was a brilliant result. It was a great turnaround after a slightly disappointing morning.
“It’s a very good start to the season – it’s important to get that first win on the board. I’m very pleased with the team and it was brilliant for Mason to hole the winning putt.”
Suffolk played their part in a superb match with two of their young guns – Teddy Hall and Dan Nicholls – excelling.
Indeed it was a memorable debut for Nicholls, who not only won both of his matches but also fired a hole-in-one. He aced the 133-yard second hole with a nine-iron during a foursomes success alongside Alfie Hall.