Rawsthorne is top pro as Yule picks up a double at Thetford

Thetfrod staged the 2017 Norfolk Open & Professional Championships. Picture: Archant

Thetfrod staged the 2017 Norfolk Open & Professional Championships. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Jack Yule and Ben Rawsthorne scooped the big prizes as Thetford hosted the 2017 Norfolk Open Championship.

Young England star Yule went home with the Open crown and also took the Henry Craske Salver as the leading amateur in the County Amateur Championships combined with the Norfolk Open Championship. He finished two strokes ahead of Rawsthorne, who took the professional title.

The Thetford course was in magnificent condition for the field of 69 players facing 36 holes of strokeplay on a day that did not disappoint.

For the professionals, the morning round saw Rawsthorne, of Bawburgh, return a gross 69 with fellow pro Tom Maxwell, of Wensum Valley, close behind on 70 and Nic Cains of Swaffham one further back.

The stage was set and Bawburgh's Mark Spooner delivered an early 69 in the afternoon to send him up the leaderboard.

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Neil Lythgoe, of Royal Norwich, with a 71 also moved up as did the ever-present Ian Ellis, who shot a 72.

However, Swaffham's Nic Cains fired a two-under 70 to take the early lead – only to be outgunned by Rawsthorne, the morning round leader posting a superb second-round 70, leaving him five under par on the day with a total of 139 – and with it the coveted title of Norfolk Professional Champion.

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The Open was an altogether different affair, with many of the county's leading amateurs in the starting line-up.

Yule – a plus-three amateur at King's Lynn who is also a member at Thetford – with a gross 70, two under par, took the lead in the morning round, closely followed by Tommy Hunt, of Great Yarmouth & Caister, Giles Evans, of Thetford, and James Flesher, of Sprowston Manor.

The afternoon round saw much movement with Iain Yule, father of Jack, pushing through the field with a level par 72.

There was also some forward movement from Mitch Smith, who plays for Royal Cromer, who carded a 74 and Thetford's Giles Evans, who returned a 76 on familiar territory.

But all of this did nothing to apply pressure on 23-year-old Yule, who followed his morning round with a fantastic second round of five-under 67, giving him a total of 137 to finish on seven under par and the 2017 Norfolk Open Champion title.

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