Welshmen fly flag in North Region Championship

GARRY Houston and Mark Pilkington, both with European Tour experience, and fellow Welshman Stuart Runcie, shared the first round lead in the PGA North Region Championship at Kendal club Carus Green on five-under-par 65.

They lie a shot ahead of the chasing pack led by St Helens-based Barry Taylor while 2002 winner Phil Archer, who also recently stepped down from the tour, is the mix two off the pace.

Pilkington, a former Welsh amateur champion who won the Kazakhstan Open in 2006 and is an assistant at Pwllheli, and Abergele’s Runcie both handed in flawless cards as Houston, attached to Carden Park, was the only one of the leaders to err when he bogeyed the 10th following an eagle at the previous hole.

Shot of the day was an ace by Fleetwood’s David Corsby at the 10th.

Among the players to miss the cut was defending champion Matthew Tottey, from North Wales Golf Club, who was four-over par.

The tournament, which carries a £12,260 prize-fund, will be followed by a pro-am on Friday which has a pot of £2,700.

LEADERS: 65 Garry Houston (Carden Park), Mark Pilkington (Pwllheli), Stuart Runcie (Abergele); 66 Barry Taylor (Clarke’s Golf Centre); 67 Timothy Dykes (Penrith), Ryan O’Neill (Penwortham), Phil Archer (Birchwood), Curtis Dean (Blackpool North Shore), Robert Booth (Crosland Heath); 68 Gary Wolstenholme (Carus Green), David Shacklady (Mossock Hall), Chris Crowder (Lee Park), Ian Ridgway (Disley), David Corsby (Fleetwood), Gareth Davies (Abbeydale), James Wilkinson (Carlisle).




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