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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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Silecroft golf duo on course for Mexico prize

A PLACE in the sun is on the horizon for Silecroft pro Paul Rawlinson and amateur Paul Goudrick – even if they aren’t quite sure which tropical paradise they are heading to!

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TROPICAL TARGET: Windermere pro Simon Edwards reached the final of the Virgin Atlantic PGA National Pro-Am Championship in the Bahamas in 2010

The duo are aiming to follow in the footsteps of Windermere pair Simon Edwards and John Baines and reach the final of Europe’s biggest pro-am competition, the Virgin Atlantic PGA National Pro-Am Championship.

Goudrick will partner Rawlinson at the regional finals at St Annes Old Links Golf Club on Wednesday, after winning the club qualifier with a nett score of 65, with a trip to Mexico on the line.

The 47-year-old senior project manager, from Millom, plays off a handicap of nine, with Barrovian Rawlinson having been the club pro for five years – and having already played on tour in Egypt this year.

Victory at St Annes will see them secure their place on board a jet for the 36-hole grand final at the Moon Palace Golf and Spa Resort, in Cancun, in December, though that is not where Rawlinson has been telling people he could be heading.

“You do start talking about winning it already and I have actually been telling people I am going to Morocco, because I didn’t read it properly!” said Rawlinson, who entered the competition for the first time last year, missing out on a tropical trip by four shots.

“It’s a great tournament. No doubt in the car on the way down we will be talking about winning it.”

To get there, the duo will have to emulate the feat of Edwards and Baines in 2010 and produce victory in the one-round better-ball match play event at St Annes.

Rawlinson added: “We’re playing at St Annes and Paul plays at Silecroft, on the coast, so he knows the wind and that could play in our favour.

“That’s one of the reasons we chose to play there.”

A total of 16 regional winners will earn a place in the Grand Final, which two years ago saw then 39-year-old Edwards miss out on victory at the last hole in the Bahamas.

This year’s final will be staged at the Jack Nicklaus-designed course at the tropical Mexican beach resort, between December 4 and 8.

The competition has a prize fund of £30,000, with the winning pro at the grand final taking home £5,000.

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