Hunstanton pro-am lit up by brilliant round of 64 from Mitchell

Neil Mitchell was eight under par in only his second competitive round of 2019 Picture: TONY GARNET

Neil Mitchell was eight under par in only his second competitive round of 2019 Picture: TONY GARNETT - Credit: Archant

Suffolk professional Neil Mitchell turned on the style in only his second competitive round of the year to claim a stunning victory at Hunstanton.

Mitchell finished no fewer than eight shots clear of his closest challengers in the opening Norfolk PGA pro-am of 2019 after going round the testing links lay-out in just 64 shots.

His eight under par round included six birdies and an eagle on the par five eighth hole and was a hugely impressive effort, even though he had the benefit of preferred winter lies.

'Strange game golf, nine weeks off over December and January, second competition into 2019 a win at NPGA pro am at Hunstanton with -8 64,' the Ipswich Golf Centre player tweeted afterwards.

The event attracted 22 other professionals and none of them could live with Mitchell on the day, with Matthew Bacon (Costessey Park) and Will Farley (Rushmere) sharing second place on 72 and Mark Allen (Eaton) and new Norfolk PGA captain Nic Cains (Swaffham) a further shot back.

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There was double celebration for Mitchell who also led in the winning team who returned a 13 under par 131. That was one better than the team led by Gorleston's Duncan Abbott's (Gorleston), with the team of Royal Norwich's Morgan Thompson third. There was also an impressive round at the Norfolk Winter Alliance meeting at Thetford, which attracted a field of 88 on a spring-like day.

The experienced Andrew Marshall (Bawburgh) took first place in the professionals' competition with a fantastic 41 points.

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He got off to a great start with a chip-in for an eagle three at his first hole, the sixth, and went on to add four more birdies against one bogey for a round of 67. In second place was Gary Potter (Richmond Park) with 37 while Jack Yule (King's Lynn) was third with 34.

The better-ball stableford was won by Mark Jackson and Allan Crerar (Eaton) with 41, on countback from Josh Brookes (Great Yarmouth & Caister) and Marshall. Other prize winners: 40 - Andrew Rackham (Sprowston) and Norman Angus (Wensum Valley), 39 - Gary Potter (Richmond Park) and Mark Rumble (GY&CGC), 38ocb - Neil Featherstone (Fakenham) and Mark Spooner (Bawburgh) 38 - Steve Warren (Royal Cromer) and Joseph O'Sullivan (Eaton). Nearest the pin: 3rd - Gary Hubbard, 16th - Andrew Rackham.

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