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Thetford GC Club Champion Owen Mills made a great start to what could be a pivotal year for his career when he won the Southeast Golf Tour opening event of the year at Royal Cinque Ports on Thursday February 28.
Owen, who is 23, made the step into the unknown with a 3½-hour drive to the Kent coast to play alongside a Plus-two handicapper and a fellow two-handicapper.
After a standard par at the 1st he over-clubbed at the 2nd and dropped a shot. Any concerns were alleviated by a run of three consecutive birdies, and when he parred the remaining holes he had completed the front nine in two under par.
A mis-hit approach from the middle of the fairway went over the back of the 10th green and after a difficult recovery shot and three putts he had recorded a double-bogey and was back to level par.
By now the wind was getting up and a series of long par-fours were demanding. A couple of good up-and-downs helped Owen to play the last eight for the loss of just two strokes so he signed for 73, two over par.
That put him at the top of the leaderboard – and he stayed there. His win meant his qualified for the tour final at Woburn. The Southeast tour involves eight events with three termed majors – including the one at Royal Cinque Ports. The next event is again on the Kent coast at Prince’s GC on March 22.