Norfolk PGA order of merit winner Ian Ellis targets win around old stamping ground

Costessey Park's Ian Ellis enjoyed a four-shot victory in the latest Norfolk Alliance meeting at Weston Park and immediately set his sights on the Championship title.

The 39-year-old Norfolk PGA order of merit winner is particularly energised by the fact that the 36-hole tournament is being hosted at his former club Royal Norwich, where he has so many fond memories, on Thursday, March 29.

'It would be nice to win around my old course,' said Ellis, who is sponsored by Norwich-based company Elliam Bathrooms. 'I'm really looking forward to that. I've won there a lot in the past and having played thousands of rounds around there I'm really looking forward to it. It would be the first trophy of the year, hopefully the first of many.'

Ellis, who shot a two over 74 at Weston Park, is still easing his way back into competitive action and aims to be at his sharpest come May when, as he says, 'his season really starts'.

'To win by four was a bit of a surprise,' said Ellis, whose nearest rival was Thetford's Gary Kitley. 'The course was playing long because there was not much run on the ball but the scoring is never good there. The greens are very hard to read.

'I started on 10 and bogeyed 11, 15 and then birdied the first, bogeyed the third, seven and then holed it from 80 yards on the eighth which pitched just past the hole and screwed back and went straight in, which was nice. Then I bogeyed the last.

'I made some sloppy mistakes going in with wedges and missing the green, not chipping close enough and not holing the putts. I think that happens to a lot of people round there when you miss the greens. They are hard to chip the ball close to because the flags are always so tight to the corners. Because the greens are hard to read it's hard to commit yourself to the line you've picked.'

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Ellis, who is targetting a top three finish on the East Region order of merit, added: 'My season doesn't start properly until May but there are a load of local meetings so it's a case of just ticking over for the time being and getting ready for May.'