Classic win for Norfolk pair Ian Ellis and Randy Reynolds
Norfolk pair Ian Ellis and Randy Reynolds recorded their best win as a partnership on Wednesday when they emerged victorious in the Skycaddie Summer Classic held at Royal Cromer and Sheringham.
Costessey Park professional Ellis and Fakenham amateur Reynolds won the two-day East Region PGA event by three stableford points after an impressive display on the two coastal courses.
The pair were lying joint third after the first round of Greensomes at Cromer after accumulating 39 points. They then moved to the top of leaderboard at Sheringham by adding 44 points to their tally in the better ball format.
'Randy played very solidly over the two days especially the second day coming in with some very good pars when I went AWOL as well as three net birdies and an excellent birdie two on the 11th,' said Ellis.
'My contribution was four birdies and some decent pars. Randy and I have won quite a few things over the past few years but never a big event like this – our games suit each other.'
Ellis has been having a decent season, with 16 top tens in 20 starts. He is currently lying third in the East Region Order of Merit – some distance behind runaway leader Jason Levermore of Clacton – after four events, with second, fourth, ninth and 14th place finishes. It's tight with two events to go for the players trying to finish in the top three to win their places in the PGA Play-offs in Turkey in December.
The play-offs consist of the top three from the seven regions as well as top finishers in the Assistants Championship and the Glenmuir Championship. The top 10 finishers in the play-offs will earn their place in next year's PGA Championship at Wentworth, which Ellis has played in five times before. The top two also get to play in the Scottish and Wales Opens. The final two Order of Merit events are in August and September.
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'I've been playing really steadily and trying to be patient whilst waiting for my putter to get a bit warmer, that's the only thing stopping me from winning more often,' said Ellis, sponsored by Elliam Bathrooms.
'My game has come on gradually during the last few months, gaining more confidence by the week, I just need to hole more putts and a real low score is waiting to be had.'
Runners-up in the Summer Classic after a countback on 80 points were Jason Levermore of Clacton and 18-year-old three-handicap amateur Murray Rose (Sunningdale and Flempton). They scored 37 points on the first day and had 43 points at Sheringham.
Lee Patterson of Royal Cromer and his 12-handicap club captain Alan Barraclough took the prize for the best score of five under par on the first day.
Leading scores: 83pts: Ian Ellis (Costessey Park) and Randy Reynolds (Fakenham) 39 44. 80: Jason Levermore (Clacton) and Murray Rose (Sunningdale) 37 43, Michael Coneybeare (unattached) and Adam Bartlett 39 41. 78: Mark Baker and Steve Wynne (Colchester) 41 37. 77: Ian Taylor (East Herts) and Shaun Parfitt 37 40, Neil Lythgoe (Royal Norwich) and Dennis Grady 38 39. 76: Paul Hetherington (Great Hadham) and Colin McNaughton 35 41, Andrew Agnoli (Bishop's Stortford) and Neil Vann 36 40.
Other leading scores: 75: Lee Patterson and Alan Barraclough (Royal Cromer) 40 35. 72: Mark Allen (Eaton) and David Thomas 36 36; Alan Hemsley (Barnham Broom) and Tony Devlin 33 39, Matthew Gardner (Barnham Broom) and Simon Gill 39 32. 71: Craig Graver (Marriott Sprowston) and Kevin Jefferies 36 35.