Lythgoe returns in style

Top Norfolk professional Neil Lythgoe scored back-to-back wins in local events, with two-under par scores on both occasions.

The Royal Norwich player shot 68 to win the latest Great Yarmouth and Caister Winter Alliance meeting. The next day he headed inland to Thetford, where he scored 70 and shared the professional honours in the Winter Pro-Am with Suffolk's Jamie Moul.

Lythgoe had recently returned from holiday and said: 'My first round back was at Hunstanton where I finished fourth but didn't really play well. But I was really solid at Caister and Thetford and just got back into it.'

At Caister, where the weather was cold and blustery, the tees were comfortably forward but all the tough holes, such as eight, 10, 11 and 12, were playing into the wind.

'They're the hardest holes and you could easily drop shots there without doing much wrong, so that was a pretty decent score,' said Lythgoe.

He also won the Pro-Am, in the company of Royal Norwich amateur Alan Brooks, and together they scored 41 points.

At Thetford the tees were all at the back and the lengthy challenge again made Lythgoe's two-under score a very satisfactory achievement. In both rounds he had four birdies.

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'I felt my game was getting better each day and over the last seven or eight holes at Thetford I gave myself a lot of birdie chances, but I just didn't take them.

Otherwise I could have won that outright.'

Lythgoe paid credit to his home course at Royal Norwich for helping him prepare: 'It's absolutely immaculate, it's as good as anywhere I've played for this time of year and it does help when you're trying to get your game going.'

The professional runner-up at Caister was Weston Park's Danny Chapman, who is enjoying a good run of form and shot 72, three ahead of third-placed Keith Capindale Scott (Richmond Park).

The event attracted a number of Norfolk county players and Royal Cromer's Kristian Coop was round in an impressive 67 in the Am-Am b etterball.

In partnership with his fellow scratch player, Matthew Alden (Barnham Broom), they scored 43 points and won their section.

The runners-up, from the Players Club in Bristol was Chrissy Kemsley and Alan Platt who lost out on countback. Third went to stalwarts Terry Herd (Great Yarmouth and Caister) and Trevor Cave (Eaton) with 40 points, also on countback.

The next event is on Wednesday, April 6, with the final order of merit event, a singles competition, on April 20. Entries are being taken on 01493 728699.

• The Thetford Winter Pro-Am, with a field of 108 players, was making a welcome return after a 10-week break due to clubhouse refurbishments.

The new-look lounge was opened two days before the event and attracted much praise.

The next event takes place on March 31 and replaces one of the events lost in January and February.