Birdie bonanza clinches Hunstanton Searles Spring Classic

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Jack Frances (Old Fold Manor) rattled off six birdies on the bounce to fire himself and playing partner Andy Thornton to glory in North Norfolk at the Searles PGA Spring Classic.

Hertfordshire professional Frances, 24, and seven-handicapper Thornton collected a fine 42 points in the opening day’s greensomes at Kings Lynn. That left them a mere point ahead of their closest rivals going into the second-round better-ball format at Hunstanton.

It looked sure to be a close-fought contest with the leaders chased hard early on by playing partners Crue Elliott (Sandy Lodge) and Sean Herman – as well as Jason Groat (Denver) and wife Alison.

But Frances went into overdrive on the back nine with an exceptional performance.

He made nine birdies in total as he and Thornton secured 47 points.

That lifted their overall tally to 89 – four clear of the runners-up Groat combination with Elliott and Herman a further two points back.

Searles PGA in England (East) Spring Classic: (First day Stableford greensomes at King’s Lynn, second day better ball at Hunstanton), leading scores: J. Frances (Old Fold Manor) and amateur A. Thornton 42-47-89, 2 J. Groat (Denver) and A. Groat 40-45-85, 3 C. Elliott (Sandy Lodge) and S. Herman 41-42-83.

Selected: J. Weight (Lynn) and N. Jary 34-39-73.