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Essex PGA golf team follow in Suffolk’s footsteps at The Belfry

Royal Oak pro-am winners: From left: Tom Auchterlonie, Alfie Halil, sponsor Mike Downer, Lawrence Dodd (professional) and Charlie Sadler of Culford Academy. Photograph: CONTRIBUTED

Royal Oak pro-am winners: From left: Tom Auchterlonie, Alfie Halil, sponsor Mike Downer, Lawrence Dodd (professional) and Charlie Sadler of Culford Academy. Photograph: CONTRIBUTED

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Essex PGA have followed in the footsteps of Suffolk by winning the PGA in England and Wales County Championship at The Belfry.

Winners at the Newton Green junior open which rounded off the golfing season in Suffolk. Photograph: CONTRIBUTED Winners at the Newton Green junior open which rounded off the golfing season in Suffolk. Photograph: CONTRIBUTED

Suffolk’s Lawrence Dodd, Kevin Earp and Peter Latimer won the inaugural event in 2013.

Now Jason Levermore, James Scade (both Little Channels) and Brett Taylor (Rivenhall Oaks) have become the second East Region players to claim the trophy.

Levermore won a sudden death play-off against Phil Archer (Cheshire and North Wales) after the teams were level after two rounds over the PGA National course.

Levermore put his approach to no more than 10-feet from the flag. Then Archer landed his even closer. Levermore rolled his putt home but Archer, a member of Albert MacKenzie’s triumphant Great Britain and Ireland PGA Cup team at Foxhills, missed.

Levermore was gracious in victory.

“In all fairness Phil was unlucky to finish on the green where he did,” said Levermore, a member of the 2015 Great Britain and Ireland PGA Cup team that was the first to win in the USA.

“His shot was heading straight for the flag but it landed in an old pitch mark which spun it left. That was good for us but tough on Phil.”

The decisive putt followed two-under par rounds from Levermore for a five-under par total of 137 but, coming up the 18th, he did not expect a play-off.

ESSEX TRIUMPH: From left: James Scade. Jason Levermore (with trophy) and Brett Taylor. Photograph: CONTRIBUTED ESSEX TRIUMPH: From left: James Scade. Jason Levermore (with trophy) and Brett Taylor. Photograph: CONTRIBUTED

Taylor was three-under with four to play and Levermore was also three-under with four to play.

If both players finished on three under that would be good enough. Levermore birdied the last to go four under but Taylor’s game fell away. He finished level.

With the best two from three scores counting and Taylor and the third member of the Essex trio, Scade, posting scores of three and eight-over respectively, it fell to Levermore to fly the flag in the play-off.

The other counties were Wiltshire, Hampshire and Leicestershire.

James Scowsill, who is at Exeter University, was runner-up in the BUCS Fife Tournament at Fairmont St Andrews. He lost a play-off against Ronan Mullarney (Maynooth University).

Scowsill, a member at Aldeburgh and Woodbridge, now holds a handicap of plus 2.3. This reduction followed an opening round of four under par 68 at Silloth-on-Solway in another BUCS event in which he also ended runner-up.

Earlier this year he played in the European Universities Championship at Liberec in the Czech Republic.

He has now collected his first World Amateur ranking points. He had rounds of 77, 70 and 73.

Hugo Dobson (Woodbridge) set off for the PGA Europro Tour Championship on The Algarve with his brother Paul as his caddy.

The first round of 79 was disappointing but he fought back on day two with 69. He was three under at the turn and had an eagle at the par four ninth.

He made a flying start to his third and final round being four under at the turn. The second nine was four over so the round ended level.

Although his week earned him £960, it could have been so much better.

Miles Collins of Stoke by Nayland finished one shot behind Dobson who will need to take his best form into stage two of the PGA European Tour School in Spain where he has been drawn to play at El Saler.

Sam Forgan (Stowmarket) and James Allan (Chelmsford) are at Desert Springs, Jamie Abbott (Ipswich) will meet Paul Maddy (Gog Magog) at Las Colinas. None of the East Anglian hopefuls are at Panoramica where Richard Finch, Ross McGowan and Carlos del Moral are competing.

The Suffolk PGA Royal Oak pro-am, sponsored by Mike Downer, attracted 16 teams to Halesworth. The winner with 87 Stableford points was Culford Academy.

Coach Lawrence Dodd, Suffolk Open champion Alfie Halil, Tom Auchterlonie and Charlie Sadler ended with one point more than the runners-up from Aldeburgh, assistant professional Simon Reeve, Robert Palmer, David Hughes and Rory Bruce.

Ollie Rush and his Haverhill team were third on count back from Rob Salter’s Woodbridge team who had 85 points.

Dodd won the professional prize with a round of three under par 69 that included five birdies. Richard Beadles of Royal Worlington had 70. Other leading scores: 72: Will Farley (Rushmere), Ollie Rush. 73: Rob Salter. 74: Neil Mitchell (Ipswich Golf Centre), Phil Westley (Hintlesham), Patrick Spraggs (Stonham Barns).

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