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Portugal-bound Lombard Trophy finalist Dodman’s golfing career is off to a flying start

PUBLISHED: 10:00 21 July 2016

Alan Hemsley and Paul Dodman, left, of Barnham Broom pose for a photograph after winning the PGA National Pro-Am East Qualifier at Thetford. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Alan Hemsley and Paul Dodman, left, of Barnham Broom pose for a photograph after winning the PGA National Pro-Am East Qualifier at Thetford. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

2016 Getty Images

Norfolk railway technician Paul Dodman stayed firmly on track at Thetford to book his place in the Lombard Trophy final after victory.

Dodman partnered Barnham Broom’s PGA professional Alan Hemsley to card an impressive 11-under-par round of 61. It was a close run thing as their score was matched by Essex-based PGA Cup player Jason Levermore and amateur Paul Castle. But the Barnham duo produced a superb back nine, which included three nett eagles, and they won through on countback.

Dodman and Hemsley will now play in the £41,500 grand final. The Lombard sponsored tournament, supported by Coca Cola is being held at beautiful Pestana Golf Resort in Vila Sol from September 22-23. But for the 29-year-old Dereham-based Dodman, it is a feat he would not have achieved but for a serious football injury suffered five years ago.

“I played for a village team and did my cruciate knee ligament, it kept me off for a year,” said the 18 handicapper.

“So I turned to golf instead. A few of my friends said I wasn’t bad so I said to myself that I would make this the year I’d give it a go, I got all the gear and everything. My handicap came down from 24 to 18 and I’ll be practising even harder now that we’ve reached the Portugal final. But if I hadn’t been injured playing football I’d probably never have taken up the game.”

Hemsley, who will be playing in his first Lombard final, was full of praise for his partner’s display saying his handicap will soon be in single figures.

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