Houston bids to home in on PGA Fourball title

FORMER European Tour player Garry Houston will be leading the home charge at the Golflbreaks.com PGA Fourball Championship.

Garry HoustonGettyImages-545176254

GARRY HOUSTON (Getty Images)

Welshman Houston is teeing up in the event for the first time and will partner Carden Park Golf Club’s Steve Priest over his home course.

The 54-hole event carries a £33,000 prize fund and is supported by SkyCaddie and BMW and will be contested over the Jack Nicklaus-designed Cheshire venue from August 17-19.

And Houston, who will defend the PGA North Leeds Cup at Moor Allerton the following week, is expecting the pair will have to go low if they are to get their hands on the silverware.

“When you look at the winning score from last year it was 27 under par, that means you have to be positive right from the start when there are that many birdies being made,” he said.

“You just cannot afford to sit back in your comfort zone, if you’re going to be challenging then you’re looking at going round in between seven or 10 under par each day.”

Wrexham-born Houston, 45, knows the venue well but insists there will be very little in the way of home advantage.

“Yes, myself and Steve know the course but there’s no real way to prepare for an event like this – it’s going to be a case of driving as straight as you can and making sure you hole those putts.

“I was ineligible to play last year but I watched the event and was surprised at how low the scoring was.

“And I think it’ll be the same this year as the conditions look as though they’ll be very similar.

“But it’s also going to be very competitive as there are going to be a lot of club pros here. The quality at this level goes very deep.

“I’d like the club to do better than last year as it didn’t really work out for us.”

Among those also taking part form the north region is newly crowned PGA Assistants’ Champion Mathew Webb from the Bedlingtonshire who teams up with Snainton Golf Centre’s Alex Belt.

Also competing at Carden Park are: Simon Edwards  (Windermere Golf Club) and David Shacklady  (Mossock Hall Golf Club); Jonathan Stacey  and Martyn Stubbings (Rockliffe Hall Hotel); Scott Jackson and Ian Ridgway (Disley Golf Club); Andrew Earlam  (Oldham Golf Club) and Mark Smith  (Stamford Golf Club); Tony Stevens  (Davenport Golf Club) ,Jamie Goodhall  (Glossop & District Golf Club);  Matthew Parsley  (Holywell Golf Club), Alex Rowland  (Hawarden Golf Club); and Michael Pilgrim  (Bishop Auckland Golf Club) and  Stewart Pilgrim  (Teesside Golf Club)

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