Runcie’s extra special!

STUART Runcie won the Cheshire and North Wales Open at Northop County Park when he beat serial winner David Shacklady with a par at the first play-off hole.

The Abergele assistant professional rolled in a birdie on the final green in normal time for a three-under-par 69 to go head-to-head with his Mossock Hall rival whose hopes were literally sunk when his drive found a watery grave.

Runcie, 30, harvested four birdies, two on each half, and dropped his only stroke at the second.

“I played steadily from tee to green and holed some good putts but I did not think my score was low enough to win,” he admitted.

Runcie, who shared the first round lead in the PGA North Region Championship at Kendal club Carus Green earlier in the month, has a restricted playing schedule because he works as a coach for his dad, Iain, head professional at Abergele for 28 years.

“My golf takes a back seat these days but I try to compete in most regional events,” he added.

PGA Cup player Shacklady, who erred with a bogey at the 14th, was at least consoled by leapfrogging to the top of the Order of Merit to lie three points ahead of ex-European Tour player Phil Archer.

Shot of the day was a hole-in-one at the 154-yard 17th by Archer which helped him to share second place on 70 with fellow Birchwood professional Carl Edwards.

LEADING SCORES: 69 Stuart Runcie (Abergele), David Shacklady (Mossock Hall); 70 Carl Edwards (Birchwood), Phil Archer (Birchwood); 71 Jason Shufflebotham (Denbigh), Michael Macara (North Wales); 72 Barry Taylor (Clarke’s Golf Centre), Mark Pilkington (Pwllheli), Jason Dransfield (Didsbury), Iain Burrow (Preston), David Wilcock (Dean Wood), James Ward (Dewsbury).



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