Costessey Park Golf Club captain Ian Thomson hopes to complete a memorable sporting year by landing The Lombard Challenge, a PGA Pro-Captain Tournament in Turkey.

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Thomson will team up with PGA professional Ian Ellis in the £25,000 grand final at Antalya Golf Club’s PGA Sultan course from November 30 to December 1. The Sultan recently hosted the World Golf Finals featuring Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.

The Norfolk pair made it through to the Lombard final after winning their qualifier at Bedfordshire’s John O’Gaunt Golf Club.

For the 42-year-old IT engineer Thomson, who plays off nine, it caps a successful 12 months which has seen him become Norfolk Handicap champion and notch up his first hole-in-one.

“It’s been a good year for me playing wise, winning the Norfolk title and getting my first hole in one,” admitted Thomson.

“I hope I can carry on the success with a few birdies in Turkey.”

He has also been active off the course having competed in this year’s Great North Run.

“I completed it in two and a half hours but I hate running and said at the finish line I’d never do it again,” said Thomson who is originally from Scotland.

“It was for the Marie Curie charity though and after a while I looked back on it and was pleased I’d done it.”

Ellis, 40, will be confident of sinking his fair share of birdies as a two-time East Region Order of Merit winner and veteran of five appearances in the PGA Championship at Wentworth but also has faith in his captain.

“In the final a lot will depend on your captain but Ian’s got a lot going for him,” said Ellis, who is sponsored by Norwich-based Elliam Bathrooms. “By winning the Norfolk Handicap Championship he showed he’s got a lot of guts to go 36 holes and win. He’s clearly been in decent form and he’s the sort of bloke who, if he wants something will go out and get it.”

Andy Hart, managing director, large corporate and specialist asset finance, Lombard, commented: “There has been some truly fantastic golf over the course of the tournament so far.

“We look forward to welcoming all the regional finalists for what we expect to be another thoroughly enjoyable grand final at the PGA Sultan in Antalya, Turkey.

“It’s really great to support a tournament that has such a positive impact on the relationship between the PGA professional and his club captain, and working with the PGA to help build these relationships is rewarding for us.

“We wish all the finalists the best of luck, and a big thank you again to the PGA team for putting together such a fantastic event.”

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