Miami nice as Lee enjoys the high life

Lyndsey HewisonRoyal Cromer's Lee Patterson is just back from a golfing transatlantic tussle in Miami - and a taste of the top Tour player's high life.Lyndsey Hewison

Royal Cromer's Lee Patterson is just back from a golfing transatlantic tussle in Miami - and a taste of the top Tour player's high life.

'It was magical. You wanted to savour every minute and for it to go on for ever,' said Patterson, who played on the same Rest of the World team as Vijay Singh, Soren Kjeldsen, Tim Clark, Gonzalo Fernandez Castano and David Howell.

Their opponents in the Srixon/Cleveland Golf Transatlantic Tussle were an American side led by Jim Furyk and including Steve Marino and Jerry Kelly.

The action was played out on the Soffer course at the five-star Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort & Club and followed a trip to the final day of the World Golf Championship event at Doral, where Ernie Els returned to winning ways.


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Patterson won his place through his buying group, TGI, and was one of six invited professionals from this country. Three prize-winning amateurs, each with two companions, also took part.

Each top Tour player led a team of three and Patterson was grouped with Kjeldsen and two other pros. Their task was to play the team of Jerry Kelly and they thought they made a good start in the medal, in which the best two scores from four counted on each hole.

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'We started quite steadily,' said Patterson. 'We had two pars on the first and a par and a birdie on the second. Then we saw the scoreboard and discovered we were three behind.'

They made some inroads, but lost the front nine contest, won the back nine - but were beaten overall. That was the story, too, of the Tussle, with the USA team finishing 10-5 winners.

'They must have been firm favourites all along,' said Patterson. 'They were just coming out of their busiest golf season while we were coming out of our quietest winter.'

The course was a tough test and snapped up many a wayward ball. Patterson played it extremely well in practice but said afterwards: 'It might have been better not to have had a practice round. On some courses it makes you realise just how tough it is and how important it is to drive the ball straight. When you're playing it blind you don't always see the trouble both sides.'

There was generally water on one side of the fairway and tightly-knitted bushes and pampas grass on the other. Patterson made the most of his close-up look at the Dane's play.

'He was brilliant company and incredibly steady as a golfer, but I was pleased by the way my game stood up,' he said.

'The noticeable difference was in consistency.

'Soren missed fewer fairways than any of us, missed fewer greens and his chipping and putting was incredibly tidy. His chipping really stood out - if he missed a green he just looked as though he would chip in. It's given me some inspiration.'

It was whirlwind trip, but there was some time to get to know the star players.

'David Howell and Soren Kjeldsen sat with us for hours after the event and they were great company,' he said.

'Jerry Kelly was an incredibly nice guy - and spent 10 minutes in the morning helping one of our amateurs with his game. It was a real taste of the Tour high life. They put us up in a fantastic hotel, we had everything we could possibly wish for, the range was set up as for a Tour event and the course was superb - if incredibly difficult.'

t Have you got a golf story to tell? You can contact Lyndsey Hewison on 01603 507416 or by email at lyndsey.hewison@ntlworld.com.

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