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Ryder Cup star Ian Poulter heading to Norfolk for Royal Norwich opening

PUBLISHED: 16:39 24 April 2019 | UPDATED: 16:39 24 April 2019

Ian Poulter, pictured in action in the recent US Masters, is coming to Norfolk Picture: AP

Ian Poulter, pictured in action in the recent US Masters, is coming to Norfolk Picture: AP

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Ryder Cup star Ian Poulter is heading to Norfolk to mark the opening of Royal Norwich's new course at Weston Longville.

Richard Brown and Mark Skipper and Tiffany Mills and Chloe Gibbs pictured at the friendly match between Norfolk Seniors and Norfolk Ladies at Great Yarmouth and Caister Picture: NCGURichard Brown and Mark Skipper and Tiffany Mills and Chloe Gibbs pictured at the friendly match between Norfolk Seniors and Norfolk Ladies at Great Yarmouth and Caister Picture: NCGU

The world number 26 will play an 18-hole exhibition round for members on the official opening date of Monday, September 16.

“We're absolutely delighted to have Ian play the new course when it officially opens,” said Phil Grice, general manager of Royal Norwich. “Ian is one of the finest golfers in the world and to have him be part of our opening celebrations later this year is a proud moment for everyone at the club.”

Members are still using a modified lay-out at Royal Norwich's traditional home at Hellesdon, which is being redeveloped for housing. The new course was completed some time ago but is being given time to bed in while building work at the venue is wrapped up.

Europro Tour

Norfolk's Under-18 boys team face the camera with official. back row, left to right, Mike Devlin, Sammy Martin, Chris Taylor (president), Nick Macartney, Casey Patterson, Ben Terry, Mason Bernstein. Front: Sean Rafferty, Joe Crane, James Bennett, Kieran Myatt, Ewan Marshall, Jacob Jeary, Jamie Fox and Norman Blanch Picture: NCGUNorfolk's Under-18 boys team face the camera with official. back row, left to right, Mike Devlin, Sammy Martin, Chris Taylor (president), Nick Macartney, Casey Patterson, Ben Terry, Mason Bernstein. Front: Sean Rafferty, Joe Crane, James Bennett, Kieran Myatt, Ewan Marshall, Jacob Jeary, Jamie Fox and Norman Blanch Picture: NCGU

Experienced Norfolk professional Andrew Marshall will be cutting back on the air miles this summer to focus on the third tier Europro Tour.

The 45-year-old has spent many years travelling across Europe and even further afield to make a living, enjoying his most recent successes in the Middle-East based Mena Tour.

But following a successful three days at last week's Europro Tour School Final at Frilford Heath, when he finished in a tie for 18th place after rounds of 69, 73 and 70, Marshall has adjusted his targets.

“The Mena Tour has put its entry fees up and some of their venues are very expensive to get to so it seemed like a sensible idea to play on the Europro Tour, which is based in England. It's a lot cheaper to play and there's decent prize money if you finish near the top.

Andrew Marshall lines up a putt at the Europro Tour School Final at Frilford Heath in Oxfordshire  Picture: EUROPRO TOURAndrew Marshall lines up a putt at the Europro Tour School Final at Frilford Heath in Oxfordshire Picture: EUROPRO TOUR

“I was pleased with the way it went at Tour School. I played nicely on the first day and also finished well after hitting a few loose shots and leaving a few putts short on day two.

“I am being helped by backing from MKM Building Supplies and am really looking to the opening event next month.”

The tour kicks off on May 22 with the IFX Payments Championship at the Palmerston Course, Welwyn Garden City, and Marshall intends to play in a couple of pay to play events in Northern France to fine tune his preparations.

Meanwhile there was a frustrating near miss for fellow Norfolk tournament pro Will Harrold in the latest event on the Web.com Tour in the United States.

The 30-year-old from Sheringham played solid golf at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Championship at Pratville, Alabama, following up and opening day 72 with a 73. But that was just one too many to make the halfway cut which came at level par.

He is playing again at this week's Dormie Network Classic at Briggs Ranch in San Antonio, Texas.

County warm-up

Norfolk Seniors played their annual friendly match against the County Ladies on a fresh sunny day at Great Yarmouth and Caister.

In a scratch betterball format, with four pairs a side, the Seniors warmed up nicely for the league matches beginning next month as they recorded a hard-fought 2½-1½ win. The front pairing of Mark Skipper and Richard Brown battled hard but were unable to match the impressive six under performance of Tiffany Mills and Chloe Gibbs, eventually losing 3&2.

The second match was an all Royal Norwich affair with Adrian Myhill and Greig Shepherd playing Jo Herd and Eve Nield. Nield started strongly with two birdies and an eagle on the first three par fives but some solid golf from the sixth onwards saw the seniors fight back to win on the 18th for a 1 up victory.

Match three saw the strong partnership of David Pattrick and John Tavener take on Vanessa Mann and Jess Rutherford and they performed excellently to win 5&3.

In the last game, having been hit with three birdies in the four holes, Alistair Pykett and Graham Turner secured a half with Sammy Martin and Imogen Leeder by winning the 18th hole.

Norfolk boys in action

Norfolk's Under-18s opened their competitive season in the BUT Trophy triangular match against Bedfordshire and Leicestershire at Great Yarmouth and Caister.

The format was foursomes in the morning and singles in the afternoon, proving a challenging test of skill and course management on a tricky links that delivered a brisk wind and sea fret.

All the boys played with enthusiasm and the team finished second as Bedfordshire won the day.

Foursomes success

Norfolk players made their mark at the East Region Women's Foursomes at Three Rivers Club near Colchester.

Barnham Broom pair Jo Ashmore and Vanessa Mann posted the best morning scratch score while Tiffany Mills and Ann Fletcher followed suit in the afternoon, with Maisie Farrelly and Beth Buckingham second.

The competition was a useful warm-up for the three-day Norfolk Ladies Amateur Championship, which gets under way at Hunstanton on Friday, May 10. The closing date for entries has been extended to today (April 26). Visit www.norfolkladiesgolf.co.uk for more details.

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