Trophy back at Hunstanton

The prestigious Tillman Trophy will return to Hunstanton next week, re-awakening memories for club professional James Dodds.

Back in his amateur playing days he tied for the trophy with Ernie Els, only to lose to the Big Easy in a play-off at Royal Liverpool.

Next week's competition, which brings a fine international field of 150 top amateurs to the Norfolk links, is the third to be held at Hunstanton.

On the last occasion the trophy was won by Ross Fisher, now, of course, a European Tour winner and Ryder Cup player. Other winners include Peter Baker and the event offers an excellent opportunity to see the potential stars of tomorrow.

Among the local players who will tee up in the event, which takes place from Monday to Wednesday, are Luke Johnson (King's Lynn), Tom Clements (Royal Norwich), Kit Holmes (Hunstanton) and Jamie Smith (Eaton).

The Tillman Trophy was started in 1980 by London businessman and Surrey golfer Bill Tillman as a vehicle to introduce the new, larger American-sized golf ball to British golfers.

Tillman felt that if British golfers were to compete equally against their American counterparts, then the use of the bigger ball was necessary.

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But he had met a series of brick walls in his attempts to replace the smaller golf ball the British golfers insisted on playing with.

• Also on Monday and Tuesday, the developmental Jamega Tour will make its first visit to Barnham Broom when over 100 professionals will play the Hill course competing for the �7,000 first prize. Included in the field are four professionals from Barnham Broom, Alan Hemsley, Matt Green, Matthew Gardner and Alex Beckett.

Other local players entered are Craig Butler (Royal Norwich), Danny Chapman (Weston Park), Oliver Barnes (Dunston Hall) and former European Tour player Andrew Marshall of Dereham.

Meanwhile, Norfolk professionals Neil Lythgoe and Ian Ellis are notching up a string of wins across the eastern counties.

Lythgoe, from Royal Norwich, set a course record 64 in the Haverhill pro-am with a round that included seven birdies. Ellis, from Costessey Park shot 67 and was third. Lythgoe followed up with second place at West Essex, while Ellis was fifth.

Earlier, Ellis had scored wins at St Neots, with a four-under 66, and at Mill Green with a two-under 70. 'I'm scoring well and feeling more confident,' said Ellis. Lythgoe credits his good play to his mental attitude which, he says: 'strikes the balance between being too casual and too intense and trying too hard. You can learn as much from the mental side of the game as from any technical changes to the swing.'

• More than 60 golfers from Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Hertfordshire took part in the Richmond Park seniors open which was won by David Proctor and Dai Young (Rochford Hundred) on 46 points, followed by Neville Cox (Dunston Hall) and Barrie Minns (Colchester) 42, ocb from Peter Bowers and James Walker (Haverhill).

Gerry Knox and John Weaver, 42 points, won the members only competition ahead of Jeff Sutton and Ray Sharpe and Nigel Larkins and Glyn Long.

The day was a great success due largely to the efforts of David Wakeford and Ben Stone, who between them organised the event, and Phil Barrall for scoring.