A LIGHTNING quick start on the front nine sparked a day to remember for a Worcester electronics engineer as he sealed a dream ticket to 2014 Ryder Cup venue Gleneagles.

Shawn Thomas, 49, and his Worcester Golf and Country Club PGA professional Graham Farr sealed three birdies and an eagle over the first nine holes to ensure they topped a low-scoring field in the Lombard Trophy regional final at Little Aston.

The duo eventually finished with a nine-under-par round of 63, one clear of second-placed pair Robert Macey and Jack Weiss, of Norwood Park, in Nottinghamshire.

For amateur golfer Thomas, the win was the perfect way to mark a first visit to the West Midlands venue.

The Worcester-born 15 handicapper has been a keen golfer since he took up the sport working for the RAF.

Yet he looked to Farr for the experience necessary to guide them to the £43,600 final at Gleneagles on September 2-3, just days before the Ryder Cup visits the same venue.

“It’s incredible, I didn’t expect that from the start of the round but I think we both just played really well on the day,” Thomas said.

“We’ve only known each other for a couple of months, but we’ve obviously been able to go there and get a really good result.

“It was my first time at Little Aston, but it was such an excellent course and it made for a really good day.”

Farr added: “We discussed each shot at a time and Shawn had the ability to go out there and carry the plan out.

“That will be something we will look to do next at Gleneagles.”