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Southwold golf duo set for Portugal

PUBLISHED: 13:34 02 July 2018 | UPDATED: 13:34 02 July 2018

Andrew Robinson (right) with his amateur partner James Smith who won the  PGA Lombard qualifier at Thetford. Photograph: CONTRIBUTED

Andrew Robinson (right) with his amateur partner James Smith who won the PGA Lombard qualifier at Thetford. Photograph: CONTRIBUTED

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Southwold professional Andrew Robinson and his 17-handicap amateur partner James Smith returned an eight-under-par better-ball score of 64 to win the Lombard PGA Regional qualifier at Thetford, writes Tony Garnett.

Habebul Islam, the 17-year-old Ipswich junior captain (fourth from left) with the England team pictured at Heathrow on their way to the Irish Boys’ Amateur Open Championship at Belvoir Park. Other team members are Ben Pierleoni, Jensen Hull and Harrison Arnold with England team manager Alan Covey.  Photograph: CONTRIBUTEDHabebul Islam, the 17-year-old Ipswich junior captain (fourth from left) with the England team pictured at Heathrow on their way to the Irish Boys’ Amateur Open Championship at Belvoir Park. Other team members are Ben Pierleoni, Jensen Hull and Harrison Arnold with England team manager Alan Covey. Photograph: CONTRIBUTED

Andrew’s eagle at the 10th and seven birdies had them in great shape. A dropped shot at the 18th gave them a few worries.

They need not have been concerned as the next-best score on the day was six-under from three pairings. Sam Teer and Paul Flower of Clacton took the runners-up spot on count-back while Scott Rusbridge and Stuart Collingridge (Colne Valley) were third. Lee Patterson, formerly of Diss, and Richard Rouse (Royal Cromer) were fourth.

Thetford representatives Stuart Smith and Daryl Breen were joint sixth with 68. Last year’s winning pro, Lee Scarbrow of John O’Gaunt, had a 72 while 2016 winner Alan Hemsley (Barnham Broom) was on 71.

Newton Green’s Tim Cooper had a hole in one with his first shot of the day but ended with two under par 70.

His six-iron pitched eight feet short of the hole but rolled in.

“I couldn’t quite tell on the tee because half the ball was showing until Roly Hitchcock started celebrating on the second tee,” said Cooper.

Sun-burnt fairways and links-like conditions changed the challenges of the course. Good-paced, receptive greens were praised.

The prize for the Southwold pair is a trip to Portugal for the final of the prestigious event at Vila Sol on The Algarve on September 20 and 21. They will be based in Vilamoura.

Fourteen pairs compete. The winners collect £12,000, the runners-up £7,500 and the third placed pair win £5000.

- Habebul Islam of Ipswich Golf Club had the experience of his golfing lifetime when he teamed up with his England colleagues at the Irish Boys’ Open Championship at Belvoir Park near Belfast.

After the event England Golf officials took the boys to have a look at Royal Portrush where the British Boys’ Championship is to be held between August 14 and 18 (also at Portstewart GC).

Shad Rahman, who has done so much to help Habebul achieve his plus two handicap, said: “He made friends for life and has memories that will stay with him. More importantly he is maturing and building confidence.”

Habebul’s next event will be the Tillman Trophy at Moor Park between July 16 and 19.

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