Bates sets out on Open dream
Heacham Manor golfer Warren Bates will start out on the long road for qualification for the 147th Open Championship later this month.
Bates, who last year broke two course records during the Heacham Manor Club Championship, will compete in the regional qualifier at Northamptonshire County on June 25.
The 18-year-old has been entered into the event by Paul Searle, managing director of Searles Leisure Resort, who will also be his caddy for the day.
PGA professional Ray Stocker, who has been coaching Bates since he was a young boy, said: “Warren
has been going from strength-to-strength and we are all very proud of him.
"This is a fabulous opportunity and we wish him well."
So far this season, Bates has won the Crystal Chalice and Vase Club Championship at Hunstanton Golf Club, shooting gross 77 in the first round and gross 76 in the second round in very windy conditions.
In the Amateur Championships at Royal Norwich earlier this month, Bates got off to a great start by shooting four-under-par to set a new course record of 66.
He followed by a 71 in the second round, putting him in the lead going into day two.
On the second day of action, Bates registered a 70 and 72 to find himself in a three-way play-off to determine the winner.
Bates chipped in for a birdy from the edge of the green to crown him 2018 Amateur champion and he will now travel to Woodhall Spa to play in the England Golf Champion of Champions Tournament later in the year.
The teenager also competed in the East of England School qualifier where he qualified to play in the English Schools National Championships to be played at The Shire London Golf Club in Hertfordshire,
But he will be unable to take his place in the event as it clashes with his 147th Open Championship Regional Qualifier on the same day.