Ellis completes a nap hand of PGA victories
Costessey Park's Ian Ellis has won the Norfolk PGA Matchplay Championship for the fifth time, securing his latest victory with a 2 and 1 win over Weston Park's Mike Few at Thetford. The win extends Ellis's lead at the top of the Dingles Toyota order of merit and, with his game in fine shape, he's targeting success in the table at the end of the season.
The finals day of the matchplay championship brought together Ellis and Jason Groat (Denver) in their semi-final; while Few took on David Woolley (Middleton Hall). Both matches went to the 18th before the finalists were decided.
Few, who beat defending champion Neil Lythgoe (Royal Norwich) in the quarter-finals, made his way through with a wonder recovery shot from the trees on 18. Ellis, who is sponsored by Elliam Bathrooms, took his place after staging an impressive come-back against Groat. He was three down after 11 and eventually won the last two holes to finish two up.
The final was close and the main difference between the two players was a couple of shortish putts missed by Few.
Ellis was just one up as the players teed off on the par five 17th, but Few's ball ended up deep in the trees on the right and there was to be no repeat of his morning's wonder shot. Ellis had made the putting surface in two and after Few chipped his fourth over the green the match was conceded.
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'It's always nice to win and especially to do it by beating a player like Mike, who is so competitive,' said Ellis. The play-off for third place was also decided on the 17th where Woolley reached the par five green in two and won the hole for a 2 and 1 margin.
• Weston Park's Danny Chapman made an excellent start to the new Norfolk Alliance season when he won the professionals' prize with a two-under par 69 at Swaffham.
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He was two shots clear of Eaton's David Wilson and a further two shots ahead of Mark Allen, also Eaton, and Caroline Grady of Dunston Hall.
Chapman, who is being backed by MKM Building Supplies, had four birdies in his round, on the 1st, 10th, 12th and 14th and only missed one green during the round.
'I've been working very hard on my game and playing pretty good recently,' said Chapman, who plans a busy winter schedule of events.
Swaffham was a new and successful venue for the Alliance.