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Jason Groat wins at Royal Cromer to confirm Norfolk PGA Order of Merit success

PUBLISHED: 08:57 21 December 2018

Mark Spooner, right, who finished third in the Norfolk PGA Order of Merit, pictured with champion Jason Groat and third placed Nic Cains Picture: NorfolK PGA

Mark Spooner, right, who finished third in the Norfolk PGA Order of Merit, pictured with champion Jason Groat and third placed Nic Cains Picture: NorfolK PGA

Archant

Jason Groat clinched his first Norfolk PGA Order of Merit title in impressive fashion on Wednesday by winning the final competition of the season at Royal Cromer.

The Denver Golf Centre professional went into the last of 11 events with a nine-and-a-half point lead over his only challenger Mark Spooner, meaning he didn’t need to do anything spectacular to secure overall success.

But there was no letting up as he came in with the only sub par round of the day to record an emphatic three shot win, with Spooner (Bawburgh) and Will Farley (Rushmere) finishing joint second.

With a shot-gun start getting play under way, Groat was soon into his stride and produced some excellent golf in testing winter conditions to go round in 70.

Spooner and Farley both recorded 73s - with the former confirming second place in the overall standings - while the top five was competed by host professional Lee Patterson (74) and Swaffham’s Nic Cains (75).

By finishing fourth Cains jumped ahead of Ryan Pudney and Chase Davis to seal third place in the Order of Merit table.

There were some good scores in the team event, with the winner being decided on countback going down to the 18th hole.

Ross Hudson (Wensum Valley) came in ahead of Patterson, with Charlie Bright of Sheringham completing the list of winners.

All the players commented on the excellent condition of the course and are looking forward to returning to Royal Cromer in March. But before that there’s the members’ annual meeting, with a nine hole four ball, at Dereham Golf Club on Friday, February 8.

Teams: 134 - Ross Hudson with Gary Haze, Ian Harvey and Nigel Reid, 134 ocb - Lee Patterson with captain Will Howett, John Moore and Mick Baxter, 135 ocb - Charlie Bright with Steve Duxbury, Viny Peart and Gary Wright.

Nearest the pins: Mark Powell and Ian Harvey.

Final Order of Merit standings: Jason Groat (Denver Golf Centre) 54pts, Mark Spooner (Bawburgh Family Golf) 42½, Nic Cains (Swaffham) 33½, Ryan Pudney (Mundesley) 32, Chase Davis (Sprowston Manor) 30, Sam Cubitt (Dunston Hall) 22, Matthew Gardner (Barnham Broom) 20, Ross Hudson (Wensum Valley) 13, Charlie Bright (Sheringham) 12, Lee Patterson (Royal Cromer) 11, James Weight (King’s Lynn) 10.

Alex Holmes recorded a narrow victory in the final Norfolk Alliance meeting of the year at Eaton.

The Great Yarmouth and Caister professional recorded 41 stableford points at the Christmas Bring and Win event, which attracted a field of 72.

That left him just ahead of Bawburgh pair Andrew Marshall and Mark Spooner, who both finished with 40 points.

The Guildford Greensomes for the John Rush Trophy was won by home pair Andy Hood and David Bussey with 43 points, with Holmes and James Laird (Sheringham) runners-up with 41.

There were three pairs on 40 points and on countback Spooner (Bawburgh) and Lance Taylor (Great Yarmouth and Caister) finished ahead of David Sayer (Royal Cromer) and Dennis Bates (Eaton) and John Little (Sheringham) and Marshall. Geoff Smith and Roger Pointen (Sheringham) were sixth on 39. Richard Lee Warder (Eaton) was nearest the pin winner. The next meeting is at Great Yarmouth and Caister on January 10.

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