Cains takes the spoils in opening Norfolk PGA event of the year

Swaffham Golf Club's Nic Cains fired an excellent 68 in his home pro-am - but it was not quite enoug

Swaffham Golf Club's Nic Cains fired an excellent 68 in his home pro-am - but it was not quite enough to clinch victory. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Matthew Gardner missed an opportunity to end his term as Norfolk PGA captain on a high note as a new season of competitions got under way at Hunstanton.

The Barnham Broom professional looked well placed to win the opening pro-am event of the year after playing the first 16 holes of the event in an impressive two under par.

But with a two-shot lead over his nearest challenger he then made a hash of the 447-yard par four 17th to drop out of contention and finished in a three-way tie for third after signing for a two over 74.

Gardner's problems opened the door for Swaffham trainee Nic Cains, who came in with a level par 72 – and that was good enough to take the spoils away from Neil Mitchell (Bury Driving Range) who had a late surge to record a 73. The outgoing PGA captain finished a shot further back alongside Ian Ellis (Great Yarmouth and Caister) and Will Farley (Rushmere).

A tough westerly wind made some holes easily reachable for the professionals, but coming home proved to be much more difficult.

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The condition of the course was superb after all the improvements of the last 12 months while the greens were, as usual, a joy to putt on.

In the team competition it was double celebration for Cains as his quartet pipped those of Mike Jubb (Sheringham) and Chase Davis (Sprowston Manor) by one shot, with Mitchell's team a shot further back.

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The annual meeting followed the golf and this year's captain will be Mark Spooner (Bawburgh & Norwich Family Golf).

Team details: 133 Nic Cains with Stacey Weeks, Phil Patience and Arlo Smith, 134 ocb Mike Jubb with Neil Milton, Mark O'Brien and Martin Buckingham, 134 Chase Davis with Aaron Saddleton, Luke Clements and Correy Knoop, 135 Neil Mitchell with Hamish Fleming, Chris Page and Paul Izzard.

Nearest the Pin: Dean Ashton and Neil Milton.

This was the first of 11 pro-am competitions in Norfolk over the course of 2017, with the early confirmed tournaments taking place on March 16 at Sheringham, March 24 at Swaffham, May 9 at Wensum Valley and May 12 at Bawburgh.

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