PGA Spring Classic hopefuls must rise to the challenge

A chill wind and overcast conditions made scoring difficult on the first day of the PGA East Region Searles Spring Classic at Hunstanton.

Joint leaders after a round of Stableford foursomes came from Hertfordshire. Ben Cooper and 11-handicap Stephen Cooper of Bishop's Stortford were level on 38 points with Matthew Cousins (Bushey Golf and Country Club) and 19-handicap David Williams.

Norfolk's closest challengers are Tony Varney (Bawburgh) and 10-handicap Nick Lamb with level par 36 points. They are in a position to claim the title after today's second round of better ball golf at King's Lynn.

Mark Tungate of Caldecott Hall and six-handicap Harrison Leivers are also well in contention after a round of 34 points.

Ian Ellis of Costessey Park and seven-handicap Lawrence Osborn are tied ninth with 33 points together with Colin Williams, once of Fakenham, and 15-handicap Stan Smith.

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Michael Timson of King's Lynn and 14-handicap David Israel were first to tee off. They came home with 31 points hoping that course knowledge will help them rise up the leader board today.

Last year's winners, Neil Lythgoe of Royal Norwich and eight-handicap Trevor Cave, have left themselves with a mountain to climb. They are eight points off the pace in joint 20th position.

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Caroline Grady of Dunston Hall, with nine-handicap Randy Reynolds, regulars in this popular annual event, are on 29 points together with Alan Hemsley of Barnham Broom and six-handicap James Tinsey.

Matthew Gardner, also of Barnham Broom, with 14-handicap Simon Gill, accumulated 26-point spots as did Raymond Stocker of Heacham Manor and sponsor Paul Searle who plays off a handicap of seven. Pauline Ring, another of the sponsors' entries, is well placed with 33 points with Stowmarket's Andrew Robinson.

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