Essex golf professional David Salisbury combined work and pleasure as he and partner Mark Reeve landed the Searles PGA Spring Classic at Hunstanton.
Salisbury, a trainee at Three Rivers Golf and Country Club, brought his wife and baby son to north Norfolk for an Easter break – and also landed top spot in the PGA East region’s seasonal curtain-raiser.
Salisbury and 21-handicapper Reeve looked to have a bit to do after the first day at King’s Lynn golf club. They accrued 37 points from the Stableford greensomes to trail leading duo Andrew George (Ely City) and Mick Munnelly by four.
But in a stunning day-two display at Hunstanton, Salisbury and Reeve piled up the points in the better-ball format. They blitzed the front nine, notching no less than 24 points. Their back nine was only slightly less spectacular as they bagged another 21 to notch 45 in all.
That left Salisbury and Old Hunstanton resident Reeve on 82 points for the two days – two clear of George and Munnelly, who finished runner-up in this event for the second year on the trot.
It was a great start to the campaign for Salisbury, who defied the odd bit of rustiness to follow up his fine feats of 2015 in which he ended up second on the regional Order of Merit.
Salisbury said: “It’s a nice start to the season. Mark and I worked really well as a team. Since the Play-Offs last November, I’ve had about 10 holes at home and went away for a week in Portugal last month. Apart from that, I haven’t played at all.
“There was rust there, but the good stuff was still there as well. It won’t take long to get it all good. But when I had rusty holes, Mark played fantastic. When he went down, I was good.
“My wife, the little one Ryan and I are in a caravan. We’re staying up for another night, so we’ve turned it into a little bit of a holiday. We’ll go into Hunstanton, which should be good and then head home.”
Chris Cutchie (Colchester) and Phil Clarke finished a point behind second-placed pair George and Munnelly.
Norfolk’s Ian Ellis (Great Yarmouth & Caister) showed he’s in decent early-season form, taking fourth spot on 78 points along with playing partner Randy Reynolds.
Searles PGA in England (East) Spring Classic (first day Stableford greensomes at Lynn, second day better ball at Hunstanton), leading scores: 82: D Salisbury (Three Rivers G&CC) and amateur M Reeve 37 45. 80: A George (Ely City) and M Munnelly 41 39. 79: C Cutchie (Colchester) and P Clarke 39 40. 78: I Ellis (Great Yarmouth & Caister) and R Reynolds 39 39. 77: J Levermore (Channels) and M Juley 36 41; M Stokes (Rayleigh Golf Range) and D Messenger 40 37. 76: B Kerr (Bourn Golf&Leisure) and M Hartley 37 39; S Teer (Clacton) and W Ayton 38 38. 75: S Harris (The Shire) and S McConnell 34 41; J Taverner (Hendon) and O Searle 36 39.