It’s worth the wait as King’s Lynn’s Ashley Johnson wins Norfolk Handicap title

Norfolk Handicap Championship winner Ashley Johnson with county president Graham Turner (left) and K

Norfolk Handicap Championship winner Ashley Johnson with county president Graham Turner (left) and King's Lynn captain Blair Rule. Picture: Mike Devlin - Credit: Archant

It was worth the wait as Ashley Johnson recorded a three-shot victory in the Norfolk Amateur Championship at King's Lynn on Saturday.

Playing on his home course, the five handicapper was one of the early starters and when he signed for an impressive two round total of nett 138 he had no idea whether it would be enough to secure the silverware.

But as it turned out none of the other 65 players in the field could get close to the early mark and Johnson could celebrate a notable triumph.

The first round began in a light breeze and bright sunshine on a superbly prepared course, with some excellent scores being returned.

Ian Rafferty of Costessey Park led at the halfway mark with a brilliant nett 69, matched by Stephen Webster from Eaton and closely followed by three players on nett 70, including the eventual winner.

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One of the first players to finish in the afternoon was Johnson who followed his solid morning round with a four under par nett 68 to take the clubhouse lead with a cumulative nett 138.

Johnson then had to wait for virtually the whole field to finish.

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Sam Chadwick came in with a fantastic nett 66, some six under par against handicap, but when added to his morning round of nett 75 he finished three shots adrift of the leader.

Then Joe Robinson of Royal Norwich delivered a nett 68 but again finished on 141 after a 73 in the morning.

More and more cards were returned without Johnson's total being bettered and finally it was clear that he would be the winner of the Geoffrey Burroughs Salver.

The Handicap Team Shield was won by the Eaton team of Stephen Limbert, Stephen Webster and Tony Reid-Cowan with a combined total of nett 446.

Leading individual scores (nett): 138 - A Johnson (King's Lynn, handicap 5) 70 68, 141 - J Robinson (Royal Norwich, 2) 73 68, S Chadwick (Costessey Park, 11) - 75 66, 142 - S Webster (Eaton, 7) - 69 73, 145 - M Coleman (King's Lynn, 7) - 70 75, 147 - K Howling (King's Lynn, 12) - 70 77, 148 - A Clements (Costessey Park, 14) - 75 73, A Crown (King's Lynn, 5) - 77 71, A Ware (Searles Resort, 10) - 74 74, I Yule (Thetford, 1) - 74 74, J Ashton (Swaffham, 16) 74 74, R Webb (Bawburgh, 5) 71 77.

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