Cains and Strudwick with Summer Classic on the north Norfolk coast
PUBLISHED: 07:58 06 July 2018
Swaffham professional Nic Cains teamed up with amateur Matt Strudwick on the north Norfolk coast to land a one-shot victory in the Summer Classic.
The PGA trainee, 24, and four-handicapper Strudwick put together Stableford scores of 37 and 45 over back-to-back days at Royal Cromer and Sheringham.
That was enough to see them pip the combinations of Sam Jones (Sundridge Park) and Gavin McFadyen and Simon Sheppard (Bishop’s Stortford) and Andy Hardie by a single point.
Cains and Strudwick were in the mix after the first day, tied for fifth and three points off the overnight leaders Danny Poulter (Heacham Manor) and Richard Saunders.
But under a shotgun start on day two, Cains produced a putting master-class in glorious conditions, befitting of the tournament title.
After teeing off at the second hole, he made a string of putts to score six-under-par with his own ball, while Strudwick played a key role as well. The Royal Norwich greenkeeper chipped in on the fifth for a par-net-birdie and also came up with a clutch putt from around 12 feet for par on 17 that maintained the momentum.
Cains said: “The first-day greensomes was good fun. Matt kept it in play all the way around. I lost a few balls but we made some good scores.
“The second-day better-ball I fired six-under, so that was nice. Everything I looked at went in.
“I was hitting it quite close most of the way around and took some chances when I didn’t get it quite close enough. It’s nice to win and good to do it with one of my good mates. It’s the most enjoyable win of my career so far.”
The victory came as a real tonic for Cains who had to pull out of a recent Order of Merit event at Bentley with a wrist problem.
He added: “I’ve been struggling a little bit with an injury the last few weeks, so it’s nice to have played pain-free and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”
Selected scores: 75: M Allen (Eaton) and S Allen 33 42; W Farley (Rushmere) and A Williamson 37 38; L Patterson (Royal Cromer) and M Baxter 36 39; A Robinson (Southwold) and B Sayers 36 39. 74: M Bacon (Costessey Park) and P Donaghy 34 40. 73: C Davis (Marriott Sprowston Manor) 34 39; J Lambert (Dunston Hall) and G Sargent 34 39; R Pudney (Mundesley) 34 39; C Grady (Bawburgh) and G Baker 36 37