Report from Searles Leisure Group
Photo supplied by Tony Rushmer
George and Munnelly in Searles PGA Spring Classic triumph
Ely City professional Andrew George and 16-handicap partner Mick Munnelly stormed to a convincing success in the Searles Leisure Group PGA in England (East) Spring Classic. The duo recorded a stunning tally of 88 Stableford points – six more than their closest rivals – after two days of competition at Hunstanton and King’s Lynn.
Daniel Barton (Waldringfield) and James Tyler (4 handicap) tied for second place, alongside Stuart Brown (Orton Meadows) and Edward Peggs (7).
The opening round, staged on the renowned links at Hunstanton, saw George and Munnelly dovetail perfectly under the foursomes format to secure 40 points.
That was good enough to share the lead going into the second day at King’s Lynn where their better ball combination netted no less than 48 points.
In particular, they lit up the back nine with five birdies between them. Munnelly made a major contribution to the pair’s overall points tally with birdies on two par-fives and signed off by draining a 25-footer on the final green for a net birdie.
The final results suggested a straightforward victory but George revealed a different story.
“Before we started on the first day, Mick said to me that he was not feeling very well and asked if I’d be okay to play the four ball on my own if he was too ill,” explained George.
Happily, the Ely vice-captain was able to battle through the two days and savour an emphatic win before embarking on a course of antibiotics.
George added: “On the first day, we just played so sensibly and thought about every shot. Then at King’s Lynn, I thought we had to get to 44 points and after nine holes we had 21. So, I said we need to push on and make some birdies and Mick played out of his skin.”
It was the 15th year of Searles sponsorship of the seasonal curtain-raiser for the PGA in England (East).
Searles’ managing director Paul Searle said: “It has been a brilliant two days. The weather couldn’t have been better and the courses were in great condition. So we are very pleased with how the tournament has gone.
“The main reason that we do this is to promote our North West Norfolk Golf Tour. Staying at our Heacham Manor Hotel for two nights, golfers play Hunstanton, Kings Lynn and Heacham Manor over three days.
“We hope that some of the professionals and amateurs that play in the Searles Leisure Group PGA Spring Classic want to come back with societies and groups and stay with us.”
Searles PGA in England (East) Spring Classic: (First day Stableford foursomes at Hunstanton, second day better ball at King’s Lynn), leading scores: 88: A George (Ely City) and amateur M Munnelly 40 48. 82: D Barton (Waldringfield) and J Tyler 39 43; S Brown (Orton Meadows) and E Peggs 37 45. 79: R Gray (Thorndon Park) and P Millett 37 42, M Kierstenson (Penfold Park)and Ross Lear 40 39.