Goodfellow joy after last hole eagle

CRAIG Goodfellow admitted the North West qualifying round for the Titleist & FootJoy PGA Professional Championship was almost too close to call.

The past champion from Carlisle Golf Centre was part of a five way tie for the lead at Delamere Forest. Just two shots separated the 15 players who qualified for the £78,000 grand final at Luttrellstown Castle Golf Club near Dublin on June 13-16.

And Goodfellow, who has played in two PGA Cup matches for the GB & Ireland team against the USA, said only a last gasp eagle at the 18th hole ensured he did not need to take part in the play-off to decide who made the cut.Craig Goodfellow - Copya.jpg

Goodfellow (pictured right) posted a one-under 71 along with Jonathan Armstrong (Hartford), Phil Archer (Birchwood), Ryan O’Neill (Penwortham) and Garry Houston (Carden Park).

Goodfellow narrowly won the event on countback but agreed the course proved a severe test for an experienced field of players.

“You wouldn’t expect one under par to win a qualifier like that,” he said. “It was very tricky and quite easy to make mistakes and very hard to get the ball near the hole.

“The ball often went through the back of the greens, there was still quite a bit of grass on the fairways.  They were like links greens, but without links fairways! A lot of the guys weren’t surprised the scoring was so high.

“It was nothing to do with the conditions, it was the testing nature of the course, very difficult to judge.

“I’m satisfied to get through. But I was lucky as I was one over par playing the last hole, if I hadn’t made an eagle there I’d have been playing off to try and qualify.”

Goodfellow hopes he can make a return to the PGA Cup team that faces the USA at Foxhills in Surrey in September.

“I’d love to get into the PGA Cup again, having played it a couple of times, it makes you want to play it more, I’ve had a couple of near misses too,” he added.

“If hadn’t played in it at all, I don’t think I’d have been as driven to get back in.

“I’ve been lucky enough so far to play in two of the away matches. I always want to try to get in that team as it’s so good.

“The PGA Professional Championship is my main event for the year, but for the last five years I’ve been exempt from qualifying and there was no guarantee I’d get back in.”

QUALIFIERS: 71  Craig Goodfellow (Carlisle Golf Centre), Garry Houston (Carden Park), Ryan O’Neill  (Penwortham), Jonathan Armstrong (Hartford),  Phil Archer (Birchwood);72   Adrian Hill (Pryors Hayes),  Oliver Pantoja ( Ringway),  Daniel Bills  (West Lancs),  Grant Hamerton (Pike Fold), Ben Spanton (Warrington), Stephen McNally (Wearside); 73 Tim Maxwell  (Knutsford),  Adam Powell  (Hartford), Steve Parry  ( NW Golf Academy/Hart Common, Scott Houghton  (Clarkes Golf Centre).

 

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