Still all to play for at Sprowston
A four-way tie at the top of the leaderboard in the latest Norfolk PGA pro-am at Bawburgh has added spice to the race for honours in today's event at Sprowston Manor.
The winning quartet was Lee Patterson (Royal Cromer), Neil Lythgoe (Royal Norwich), Caroline Grady (Dunston Hall) and Gary Potter (Gt Yarmouth and Caister), who all shot two-over par 74 on a day when the course was playing wet and long.
The pro-am was one of three counting events for the Insight Financial Services 54-hole mini-series, which will conclude today at Sprowston. Three of the four Bawburgh winners are firmly in the mix.
Potter has a three-shot lead over Grady, with Lythgoe a further shot behind and then comes Craig Graver (Sprowston Manor) another shot back.
Meanwhile, the Bawburgh result also heightened the interest in this season's Dingles Toyota order of merit. Three of the winners hold the top three places on the table and they are separated by only 5� points with just four events left to play.
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Patterson of Royal Cromer, holds a slender 1� point lead at the top of the table. He went out of bounds on the way to a bogey on 17 before beating a long standing jinx on the 18th with a birdie to force his way into the winning tie.
Like the others he's hoping to make progress in today's pro-am at Sprowston Manor – but is concerned about the impact of a back injury. 'I was giving a lesson, hit a driver to demonstrate and felt something horrible happen in my back,' he said.
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Lythgoe played his way into the mix with a two-under par back nine after a 'terrible' outward half. 'I thought I might get into the prizes but it was a bit of a turn-up to find it was a winning score,' he said.
'It keeps everything going for the order of merit, which is quite close. It seems like a three-horse race – but everything can change very quickly.
Potter was the first in with his 74 but soon had hopes dashed of a solo victory and a move up the order of merit.
'I'm still hitting the ball ever so well and hitting lots of greens, but my putter was cold on me, although that's no surprise considering the winter conditions,' said Potter.
Grady is clearly in good form. The day before she tied third at the Thetford winter pro-am with a level par 72. 'I've had an excellent couple of days and it's been a good start to the winter series,' she said.
Grady played all her amateur golf at Bawburgh and her team included local member Shirley Lacey, as well as David Osbourne and Peter George, from the sponsors, Insight.
They finished in the prizes.
• Results: Professionals: 72 Caroline Grady (Dunston Hall), Neil Lythgoe (Royal Norwich), Lee Patterson (Royal Cromer), Gary Potter (Gt Yarmouth and Caister).
Teams: 134 (10 under) Tim Lond-Caulk (Diss Driving Rane) with Mark Farrow, Brad Hunt and Graham Humphrey. 136 Guy Ireson (Sprowston Manor) with Terry Smith, Lawrence Osbourne and Lee Harvey; Caroline Grady (Dunston Hall) with David Osbourne, Peter George and Shirley Lacey.