2017 Ron Freeman Final
This trophy was presented to CAGU by Sam Goddard and Andrew Blows in 1967 in memory of Ron Freeman, a former captain of the Links Golf Club who sadly died whilst in office as County Captain.
After battling through five rounds during the spring and summer, the 2 foursomes pairings contesting the final were Isaac Rowlands & James McLaughlin of the Ely City Golf Club, and Nicholas Smits & Neil Hughes playing out of the Gog Magog Golf Club.
Smits and Hughes took the lead on the 1 st hole when their opposition were in trouble in the left hand trees off the tee. The lead held until the 5 th when the Ely pair secured a birdie four to square the match.
McLaughlin then hit his 2 nd shot to 5 feet on the 6 th and they looked like going 1 up until a 20 footer by Hughes found the hole and the Ely pair missed their short putt to go 1 down again.
James then hit his tee shot into trouble on the 7 th and a steady par was enough to put the Gogs pair 2 up. Pars for both teams at the next 2 holes left Nick and Neil 2 up at the turn.
Holes 10 and 11 changed hands and at the 12 th Isaac had a chance to get them back to 1 down but left his putt agonisingly 2 inches short of the cup.
Two great strokes by the Gogs pair on the par five 13 th hole left them 12 feet from the flag in two but the eagle putt was not required as James and Isaac could do no better than a six. This put Nick and Neil 3 up with only 5 holes to play.
There was a glimmer of hope for the Ely pair when Isaac’s chip for a birdie at the 14th hit the flagstick but stayed above ground.
A chance to reduce the arrears at the 16 th disappeared when the young men 3 putted and the match was all over by 3 & 2.
Isaac is the current Cambridgeshire Boys Champion and James is in the England Boy’s squad for coaching. They are a credit to their club, not only in their golfing ability but in the way they conduct themselves on a golf course. I’m sure that they will go on to win the Ron Freeman and other CAGU events in the future.
Nick Smits added this title to the Wheeler Salver (singles match play) that he won last week. He was making his debut in both events and now leads the David Milburn Order of Merit by a massive 600 points from County Champion Ed Dimambro. He is now unlikely to be caught, despite not being able to make the final day next Sunday at the Bourn GC.
Neil Hughes, a veteran at 70 years of age, has now won the Ron Freeman 5 times since 1987. Neil explained his success by saying “the secret of winning foursomes events is to find yourself really great partners. "I’ve won this competition and the County Foursomes with County legends Roy Guy, Terry Ryan, and Russell Claydon and now the Freeman with Nick. My friend hits the golf ball a country mile so it’s a bit like mixed foursomes, I just pat it down the middle and let him do the rest!”
It was good to see supporters of both pairs out on the course encouraging and applauding when good shots were executed.
Many thanks go to the Links, Newmarket Golf Club for once again hosting this special event.