Eagle finish earns Coop dramatic win
Royal Cromer's Kris Coop eagled his way to victory in the latest Norfolk amateur order of merit event at Weston Park. The 19-year-old signed off with a splendid three on the long 18th to claim a two-shot win - and also had the satisfaction of cutting his handicap to one.
Royal Cromer's Kris Coop eagled his way to victory in the latest Norfolk amateur order of merit event at Weston Park.
The 19-year-old signed off with a splendid three on the long 18th to claim a two-shot win - and also had the satisfaction of cutting his handicap to one.
But his greatest pleasure came from knowing he'd beaten a top-quality field which included leading Norfolk county players.
'It was a good field, with the likes of Luke Johnson, Tom Clements and Matt Bacon, and that's what does me over. It's not the prizes or the points, it's winning with that kind of field behind me.'
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Nevertheless, the points are very welcome and they take Coop straight to second place on the Smith & Pinching order of merit - and he's just 1.25 points behind Paul Holland of King's Lynn, who won the first event.
'I'm more than happy with my start and now I'm almost at the top I'll have to try and stay there,' said Coop, who was in last season's leading 16 players and qualified for this year's Norfolk matchplay championship.
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Coop, who represented the county second team earlier this month, played his way to his first big Norfolk win with a mixture of steady play and a spectacular finish.
He dropped two shots early in his round, on the first and fifth, but otherwise parred every hole until the 18th.
'I did get on the long par five 14th in two but three-putted for a par and had more or less settled for a two-over score. But on the 18th I hit a drive and four-iron to four feet and holed the putt for an eagle.
'It was a dramatic way to finish - and I certainly didn't expect it!'
His score broke a logjam at the top of the leaderboard where three other players finished on two-over par to share second place.
Coop, a student at Easton College, has been working hard on his game but is also quick to pay tribute to the support of his parents. He will soon finish his course and is planning to spend a year improving his golf and gaining work experience as a Level One sports coach - he's also a keen footballer and badminton player. Then he's hoping to go to university.
His current golfing targets include cutting his handicap to plus-one - and he's well on the way. He followed up the order of merit event with a level par 72 in competition at Bawburgh, where he also plays as part of his college course. Over the two rounds he has managed to reduce from 1.6 to 1.0.
Meanwhile, junior Jack Yule from Middleton Hall holds a narrow lead at the top of the handicap order of merit table. He's just ahead of Paul Reade with Coop close behind.
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