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MATTHEW Blackhurst realised a dream when he was handed the job of head PGA professional at Eastham Lodge where he took up the game as an 11-year-old.

By the time he reached 16 he was working in the Wirral club’s shop, joining the PGA at 19 and graduating in 2008.

Blackhurst, who succeeded his mentor Nick Sargent following his move to Upton-by-Chester, has pledged to introduce new initiatives. “This is a great opportunity for me and I want to encourage more youngsters to take up golf,” he said.

“I worked for Nick for 15 years and he helped me through my PGA qualification. He was not only a great boss but also a great friend.”