Golfing duo chase Las Vegas jackpot

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A TRIP-OF-A-LIFETIME to a top Las Vegas golf resort awaits amateur Michael Franklin and his Staverton Park PGA professional Joe Kingston.

But first they need to get through the regional final of Europe’s biggest pro-am competition, the Virgin Atlantic PGA National Pro-Am Championship.

Franklin took his first big step towards a luxury trip to the grand final at the Loews Lake Las Vegas Resort, between December 2-8, when he won the club qualifying competition with a score of 36 points.

Franklin, is a 30-year-old carpenter from Daventry. He plays off plus one.

He and Kingston, 43, who has been a professional at Staverton Park for 12 months, now advance to Little Aston Golf Club on Friday, July 8 – one of 16 regional finals – where they will play one round of better-ball medal play.

The winners at each regional final will secure their place on board a Virgin Atlantic jet for the 36-hole Grand Final being staged at the Jack Nicklaus-designed SouthShore Course.

The tournament, which is supported by SkyCaddie and BMW, draws in more than 50,000 competitors from across Great Britain and Ireland and is now its 27th competitive year.

Virgin Atlantic is sponsoring the event for the third successive year.

The PGA National Pro-Am has a prize fund of £30,000, with the winning professional at the Grand Final taking home a cheque for £5,000.

Last year’s winners were from Pannal Golf Club in North Yorkshire, with Dave Padgett and amateur partner Jonathan Honeysett collecting the trophy.