Turkish delight for winners Iain and Tony
Lyndsey HewisonProfessional Tony Varney scored a double whammy of delight when he claimed two big wins - and an all-expenses paid trip to Turkey. Varney, the professional at The Norfolk, teamed up with club captain Iain Phillips to win the East Anglian qualifier for the PGA Pro-Captain Challenge at Bush Hill Park.Lyndsey Hewison
Professional Tony Varney scored a double whammy of delight when he claimed two big wins - and an all-expenses paid trip to Turkey.
Varney, the professional at The Norfolk, teamed up with club captain Iain Phillips to win the East Anglian qualifier for the PGA Pro-Captain Challenge at Bush Hill Park. They'll play in the final of the BMW-supported event in Turkey in December.
Only days afterwards, he won the Millennium Trophy, which is contested biannually by Norfolk and Suffolk professionals. It was his third win in six editions of the competition.
Varney and Phillips booked their trip to Turkey with a nine-under par score of 61 and won by a shot from Costessey Park's Ian Ellis and John Simpson.
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The winners had appeared to be odds-on for 59 when Varney played his approach on the 18th to within seven feet of the cup. 'I three-putted! But we finished on 10-under and still won by a shot.'
He had high praise for his captain. 'Iain was brilliant and we cogged really well that day, even though neither of us had played the course before. He really did his bit, with lots of pars and net birdies.'
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Phillips, who plays off nine, was delighted with the result. He is a contracts manager for a major electronics firm and said: 'I've signed �1m deals for my job but even that doesn't feel as good as this.
'I'm 45 years old and I feel like a kid at Christmas.'
Next Varney was in action at Great Yarmouth and Caister for the Millennium Trophy - and again he won the �1,000 first prize by a stroke, this time from Bungay and Waveney Valley's Andrew Collison.
The two professionals were paired together and Varney regarded his playing partner as the favourite. Collison has already won this season's PGA East Region Head Pro Championship.
Sure enough, at the halfway stage of the 36-hole event Collison was grouped with the leaders on one-over par 71. Varney was just one shot behind but when the afternoon round started he slipped further back over the first three holes.
'The thought never crossed my mind of trying to win but I just pegged away and turned it round. Then on the last I had a five foot putt to beat Andy by a shot - and I was very well aware of it. Fortunately it was one of the best putts I holed that day,' said Varney who finished on the last with a level par score for the afternoon. 'I knew once I got into contention that if I could finish ahead of Andy I would have a chance.
'We were first out - and years ago I did exactly the same in this competition and had to sit there and wait and wait and wait for hours
'The course wasn't playing easy, it was very bouncy, and sure enough everyone slipped back. It was an awesome day, I was well-chuffed.'
Third place was shared by Matthew Gardner (Barnham Broom), Andy Cotton (Ufford Park) and defending champion Danny Barton of Seckford who won the title in a play-off with Michael Few (Weston Park) at Hintlesham in 2008.
142 Tony Varney (The Norfolk) 72 70 (�1000); 143 Andrew Collison (Bungay) 71 72 (�600); 144 M Gardner (Barnham Broom) 73 71, A Cotton (Ufford Park) 71 73, D Barton (Seckford) 73 71; 145 W Shaw (Aldeburgh) 74 71, L Patterson (Royal Cromer) 72 73; 146 R Beadles (Royal Worlington) 72 74; 147 R Pudney (Royal Cromer) 71 76, J Groat (Denver Golf Centre) 71 76, A Robinson (Felixstowe Ferry) 74 73; 148 C Smith (Fynn Valley) 75 73, N Lythgoe (Royal Norwich) 77 71, O Rush (Haverhill) 74 74, K Earp (Bury Golf Range) 76 72, M Jubb (Sheringham) 75 73; 149 I Ellis (Costessey Park) 72 77, N Mitchell (Bury Golf Range) 78 71; 150 A Hemsley (Barnham Broom) 74 76, M Allen (Eaton) 74 76; 151 T Cooper (Newton Green) 74 77, M Few (Weston Park) 79 72, S Robertson (Ufford Park) 78 73, S Cubitt (Eagles) 73 78; 152 A Lucas (Waldringfield) 75 77; 153 D Woolley (Middleton Hall) 76 77; 154 P Wilby (Haverhill) 74 80; 155 Caroline Grady (De Vere Dunston Hall) 76 79; 156 P Kent (unattached) 76 80; 157 R Mann (Felixstowe Golf Centre) 81 76, J Maskall (Ipswich Golf Range) 79 78; 159 S White (Middleton Hall) 81 78; 161 T Huffer (Bury Golf Range) 80 81, P Connell (Hintlesham) 81 80; 162: M Ransome (Seckford) 79 83; 163 K Vince (Rushmere) 82 81, T Dobson (Stonham Barns) 87 76; 165 J O'Doherty (Thetford) 88 77; 170 S Byford (The Suffolk) 88 82; No return A Goodridge (Bury Golf Range) nr 81, S Chick (De Vere Dunston Hall) 76 nr; Disq O Barnes (De Vere Dunston Hall) 79 dq.