Royal Cromer’s Lee Patterson clinches alliance fixture win on home turf
Royal Cromer professional Lee Patterson looked ahead to an exciting year for the club after getting his 2012 campaign off to a flying start in the latest Norfolk Golfers Alliance fixture.
Playing on his home course, Patterson posted an excellent round of 72 to leave the rest of the field trailing in his wake. In the end he won by an impressive four-shot margin from Royal Norwich's Simon Youd, with Gary Stangoe of Costessey Park and David Wilson of Eaton a shot further back on 77.
Since the competition took place, work has got under way on the club's new �300,000 irrigation system and Patterson, pictured, says members and visitors alike will notice the diffence once the project has been completed in around 10 weeks' time.
'It's an excellent investment on the part of the club and there's no doubt everyone who plays the course during the summer months will feel the benefit of it,' he said.
'The old system wasn't particularly efficient. There was a lot of wastage and the watering it provided tended to be a little patchy. It only covered the greens, which was also a problem during long dry spells.
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'The new system will cover the surrounds and will also keep some of the more vunerable fairways in better condition when it's dry, like 14, 15 and 16.'
Patterson stressed that greenkeeper Mark Heveran, who previously worked at Open venue Royal Liverpool, was also playing a key role in the improvements.
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'He is creating aprons around the greens, which will also be watered,' he said.
'They will provide excellent surfaces for putting and chipping that I'm sure our members and visitors will be impressed with.'
Patterson is looking forward to reaping the benefits of the new irrigation system himself – but there was no need for any watering on a damp Thursday morning that saw amateurs and professionals descend on Royal Cromer for the Alliance fixture.
The home professional played solid golf to post a level par score, with birdies at 11, 15 and 17 helping his cause, but was surprised to finish so far in front.
'I played all right but I was a little bit surprised when I ended up winning it,' he said. 'I thought someone might have challenged my score because the conditions weren't bad but having said that the course was playing very long and we were off the back tees.'
Eaton's Richard Ong and Richard Blakey won the Stableford Betterball competition with 45 points – three more than their nearest challengers.
Royal Cromer's John Tickle and Chris Kemp were one of three partnerships who shared second place while Patterson finished joint fifth on 40 points with amateur partner Alan Baraclough.