Andrew Marshall collects the keys for his BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe he won for a hole in one.

Highs and lows for Dereham golfing ace Andrew Marshall

Friday, December 28, 2012
6.17 PM

European Tour professional Andrew Marshall hit the shot of the year when he scored a hole-in-one at the BMW International Open in June to win a £100,000 car.

The 39-year-old from Dereham aced the par 3, 17th hole at the Golf Club Gut Lärchenhof in Cologne to win himself a BMW 6 Series Gran Coupé.

The Eastern Daily Press columnist was planning to sell the car and use the money to put towards a deposit on a house in his home town.

“It was awesome,” said Marshall, who enjoyed his wallet-swelling moment in front of the Sky Sports TV cameras. “It was a life-changing shot.”

Sadly Marshall came up short in the final round of Tour School – but he will still be featuring in the top flight of European golf next season.

Marshall finished in a tie for 44th place at the PGA Catalunya Resort in Spain, with only the top 25 earning full playing privileges. The good news is that his 132nd place finish in the Race to Dubai will guarantee him 14 starts next year, with his failure at Q School merely limiting his options.

Marshall has, however, already made an encouraging start with next season’s Race to Dubai in mind when he pocketed £5,000 for a 32nd place finish in the The Nelson Mandela Championship in South Africa earlier this month. He also cashed in to retain the King Hamad Trophy at the Royal Golf Club in Riffa.

Costessey Park’s Ian Ellis once again dominated the local professional scene in Norfolk. Ellis won the Norfolk PGA order of merit by a country mile from second-placed Neil Lythgoe of Royal Norwich. Ellis produced golf of the highest quality to claim an emphatic five-shot victory in the Norfolk Professional Championship and Norfolk Open Championship at Royal West Norfolk.

He could hardly have made a more impressive start to the showpiece event, opening up with a seven under par round of 64 that not only gave him a two-shot advantage at the halfway stage but also set a new course record. It was his second Open title, and fourth professional prize.

Ellis also got the better of his Norfolk and Suffolk counterparts to win the Millennium Trophy.

Ellis and Costessey Park captain Ian Thomson put the club on the map following a dazzling display at the Lombard Challenge – PGA Pro-Captain Tournament in Turkey. A best-of-the-tournament nine-under-par 62 catapulted them out of the pack to a share of second place in the £25,000 competiton, which was staged at Antalya Golf Club.

Ellis also paired up with Randy Reynolds to win the Skycaddie Summer Classic held at Royal Cromer and Sheringham, while he enjoyed a champagne moment when he won the East Region Pro-Am at Eaton – with a course record score. He shot a seven under par round of 63 to better the previous best by one shot and claim the magnum of bubbly on offer for anyone who could rewrite the record books.

Weston Park’s Michael Few ensured Ellis didn’t have it all his own way by winning the professional matchplay championship. The final was a repeat of last year’s at Thetford but this time Few beat Ian Ellis by 5&3.

Bawburgh professional Tony Varney and Norwich amateur Phil Longhurst finished 12th in the £30,000 grand

final of the Virgin Atlantic PGA National Pro-Am Championship at the Moon Palace Golf and Spa Resort in Cancun, Mexico

The pair face players from 15 other clubs from around the country and took home £750. The winners of the £5000 first place prize were Lee Rooke and Nicholas Jones (a) of Vale of Llangollen Golf Club.