Archive for July, 2017

Honours for PGA quartet

A QUARTET whose jobs typify the broad range of roles open to PGA Professionals have attained the Association’s highest honour – Master Professional status.

Peter Ball, Paul Burley, Phil Kenyon and Graham Walker have all joined a distinguished band that includes the late John Jacobs OBE and Pete Cowen, coach of several major winners including Henrik Stenson.

Each one was presented with a commemorative plaque recognizing their status by PGA captain John Heggarty during the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.

Ball, who is based at Moor view Driving Range in Sheffield, put major winner Danny Willett on the road to stardom and specialises in giving youngsters, many from disadvantage backgrounds, the opportunity to play golf.

“He’s passionate about working with children and introducing them to golf,” said Dr Kyle Phillpots.

“Not just middle class children but all children, especially those who are disadvantaged. Some of them are violent and dangerous and Peter has had to make them hand in knives. He also gets them to undertake menial tasks before they play.

“Not all of them are violent or bad. One who came through showed a real passion for the game was Danny Willett.

“Another at the other end of the spectrum whose whose father was a drunk and close relatives workshy has proved a real success story.

“Peter took him on and gave him some discipline. Golf became the boy’s focus, he completed his schooling, has never been out of work and still plays golf.”

In accepting the award, Ball said: “I’m very proud to be here – not just for myself but all the other coaches who I’ve had the privilege of working with and learning from.

“One of those is Graham Walker. Joe Dean (who qualified for the 2017 Open) is another I’ve coached and Graham has taken Joe on as he did Danny Willett.

“I’m just a junior coach who tries to inspire kids. Graham takes them to the next level and has done a superb job.

“As coaches we never know the lasting effect we have on young people. Or the impact that is felt by the families. Because of this I’m very proud to be a golf coach.”

Graham Walker is has a not so much strong as a rock hard Yorkshire connection. He won the county’s Open Championship three times and the Yorkshire PGA championship once.

But it is as a coach he has excelled. So much so that he was named Coach of the Year by England Golf in 2015, an honour fuelled by a passion for coaching when he was head professional at Hillsborough Golf Club, Sheffield.

Under his tuition, 11 junior members went on to turn pro, three of them playing on the European Tour.

Walker, who runs his own academy at the Oaks Golf Club, near Selby, had four of his charges playing in the Open at Birkdale: Richie Ramsay, Paul Waring, Willett and Dean.

In accepting the award he paid tribute to his first two bosses, Doug Poole and Ray Wilkinson.

“My first two bosses were massive influences on me,” he said. “They encouraged me to play golf which I do now when dealing with my assistants now.

“They also encouraged me to work hard, teach at night schools and spread golf to juniors around the golf clubs.

“I’ve had some very good influences. One was the late Ramsey McMasters. He was a great one for helping me to share. He said everything you do you must share with other people.

“And I was fortunate to listen to John Jacobs over the years – his advice that sticks with me is to be careful what you ask a good player to do because he might not be able to do it.

“My role with England Golf has got me into contact with some very good players, many coached by PGA pros, who become Tour pros.

“Great to work with them and get them to play well. That’s when we get lucky because they give you a profile.”

In terms of Tour players. Phil Kenyon’s role as a specialised putting coach has seen him work with a who’s who of Europe’s finest golfers.

Major winners, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, and Stenson have all been coached by him as have Lee Westwood, Tommy Fleetwood and Matt Fitzpatrick.

The latter is rated the fourth best on Tour while Stenson was ranked 174th in 2014, the year he turned to Kenyon for help, and 60th a year later.

Kenyon is the principal owner of the Harold Swash Putting School of Excellence based at Formby Hall, Merseyside.

In accepting his award, he paid tribute to the school’s founder who passed away last year.

“Harold was a huge inspiration and I wouldn’t be here without his help and encouragement.

“Richard Bradbeer, a former PGA captain and head pro at Royal Birkdale, was also a great inspiration. I remember walking across the car park as a boy to have lessons with Richard.

“I’ve also fortunate to work alongside Graham Walker as part of my role with England Golf, as I have been in having the support of my parents and my wife.

“My job involves long hours and a lot of travel away from home and her support is invaluable.”

Paul Burley is also well-travelled, ever since the days when he spent two years as a player on the Sunshine Tour.

Subsequently he has been involved with the business and management side of golf clubs and resorts, notably with IMG.

He was head-hunted by them in 1996 and appointed director of operations for Asia and Australia.

He followed that by becoming director of golf at Turnberry, a role which saw him managing 10 PGA pros, and he is now back with IMG as Global senior vice-president with responsibility for golf course management and golf course design.

“It’s a great honour to me to add my name to a distinguished list,” he said. “I wouldn’t have achieved what I have without The PGA.

“I’ve always  tried to hire PGA pros whenever possible –  they understand the business and development of golf better than anybody else.

“I’m proud to say that many of the guys who worked with me at Turnberry have gone on to have great success in their careers.

“Having the PGA brand associated with me in my role has been hugely important.”

Archer wins North Region title for second time

PHIL Archer bridged a 15-year gap when he won the PGA North Region Championship at Bolton Old Links.

He previously claimed the title back in 2002 at Blackpool resort Heron’s Reach before embarking on a successful European Tour career.

The Warrington-born professional, a member of the Great Britain

Phil Archer.JPGand Ireland PGA Cup team to face the United States at Foxhills in September, is clearly enjoying life at regional level.

“This is my second year back and I’m glad to see the game is growing for the first time in ages,” he said after posting a five-under-par 67 to edge out early leader Ryan O’Neill in the 36-hole tournament reduced to one round due to torrential rain.

“A lot of new sponsors have come on board and I’m enjoying playing in pro-ams because I’m always relaxed in the company of amateurs,” enthused Archer, 45, who represents the Players’ Tour Golf Academy at Poulton Park where he is a coach.

“It was a shame about the weather because the sponsors and Bolton Old Links were chuffed to have the event here. They turned out a course in great condition and although it was wet but the greens were fantastic.”

Several professionals felt the tournament should not have been played over one round and re-arranged for the end of August but Archer pointed out that other commitments would have prevented that happening.

“At least we got it finished and I knew I needed to win to have any chance of an Order of Merit’s top three,” he said.

Archer did not have the best of starts to his round, where he pegged up from the 10th tee. “I three-putted the first two holes but I birdied the par five 13th then the tough par three17th where I hit to ball to a foot, and picked up another shot at the 18th.”

He birdied four holes in a row from the fourth to seal victory. “I was seven under for the last 15 holes which was brilliant,” he added.

Family man Archer also revealed that he was something of a home bird after years of travelling on tour.

“I’m glad to be at home and seeing the kids,” he said but he did not rule out competing at senior level when he reaches 50.

O’Neill, who won the championship at Heron’s Reach in 2011, also had a strong finish by birdying four of the last five holes after also starting from the 10th.

“I was happy with my round,” said the Penwortham-attached professional. “My dad caddied for me so I kept relatively dry,” he observed.

A shot back on 69 were Swinton Park’s David Smith, winner of the 2011 Leeds Cup and holder of the trophy Michael Ramsden, from Renishaw Park, who pr evailed at Cobble Hall in May.

LEADING SCORES: 67 Phil Archer (Players’ Golf Academy); 68 Ryan O’Neill (Penwortham); 69 David Smith (Swinton  Park), Michael Ramsden (Renishaw Park); 70 Tom Metcalfe (Gathurst); 71 David Corsby (Fleetwood), James Wilkinson (Penrith), Ian Stirling (Turton), George Pannells (Cookridge Hall), Chris Crowder (Lee Park), Alex Belt (Snainton Golf Centre).

 

 

 

 

FULL RESULTS

 

https://pgagbi.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/pgagbi17/event/pgagbi17771/contest/1/leaderboard.htm

 

 

Euro champs England bid for double

EUROPEAN champions England will aim to double up with a successful defence of the women’s Home Internationals next month.

Five members of the winning European team are in the line-up for the annual battle against the other three home nations, which will be played at Little Aston Golf Club, Staffordshire, from August 9-11.

They are Lianna Bailey of Leicestershire, Gemma Clews of Cheshire, India Clyburn of Lincolnshire, Sophie Lamb of Lancashire and Rochelle Morris of Yorkshire. England also won European gold in 2016 and the Home Internationals team is completed by two members of that side: Emma Allen of Hampshire and Olivia Winning of Yorkshire.

Alice Hewson, who was in both European teams, is playing in the US women’s amateur and is therefore unavailable.

The girls’ Home Internationals will be played simultaneously and the team will be aiming to regain the crown they lost last year after eight successive wins. In total, England has won the girls’ title 50 times since the championship began in 1954.

The team is Sammy Fuller of Surrey, Lily May Humphreys of Essex, Hollie Muse of Lancashire, Emily Price of Worcestershire, Hannah Screen of Hertfordshire, Bel Wardle of Cheshire and Amelia Williamson of Norfolk.  All but Screen were in the England side which won the bronze medal in the European girls’ team championship.

The players

Women 

Emma Allen, 20, (Meon Valley) is a student at the University of Missouri. She was joint runner-up in last week’s English women’s amateur championship.

Lianna Bailey, 20, (Kirby Muxloe) has had a string of high finishes this season in the English women’s amateur, the Welsh and Irish stroke play and the St Rule Trophy.

Gemma Clews, 22, (Delamere Forest) is the Welsh women’s stroke play champion, was joint runner-up in the Irish stroke play and third in the St Rule Trophy.

India Clyburn, 20, (Woodhall Spa) tied second in the English women’s amateur and is  a winner on the US college circuit where she had five top tens in her second year.

Sophie Lamb, 19, (Clitheroe) is the British women’s stroke play champion, was joint runner up in Irish women’s stroke play and fifth in the English amateur. (Image copyright Leaderboard Photography)

Rochelle Morris, 22, (Woodsome Hall) is a Curtis Cup player and has had a series of top-five results in stroke play events and a win in The Leveret.

Olivia Winning, 22, (Rotherham) was fourth in the English amateur and a semi-finalist in the English women’s match play.

Girls 

Sammy Fuller, 18, (Roehampton) has had high finishes in a string of women’s championships and also reached the quarter finals of the French U21s.

Lily May Humphreys, 15, (Stoke by Nayland) is the new English women’s amateur champion, adding that success to a host of top girls’ titles.

Hollie Muse, 17, (West Lancashire) won the girls’ title at the Fairhaven Trophies and was third in the Scottish women’s open and the Scottish girls’ championship.

Emily Price, 17, (Cleobury Mortimer) is the English women’s open stroke play champion and was runner up in the 2016 English girls’ championship.

Hannah Screen, 17, (Berkhamsted) won the Bridget Jackson Bowl, led qualifying in the English women’s match play and was runner-up in the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters.

Bel Wardle, 17, (Prestbury) was runner-up in the 2016 British girls’ and eighth in the world girls’ championships. She was sixth in the 2017 St Rule Trophy.

 

Amelia Williamson, 17, (Royal Cromer) has had high finishes in a series of women’s events and was runner-up in the girls’ Fairhaven Trophies.

Bramhall and Didsbury in Super 60s’ battle

BRAMHALL pro Richard Green and amateur partner Joe Kirwan upstaged their local rivals, Didsbury’s  Peter Barber and Paul Dalby. by overtaking them late in the day in the first round of the Super 60s’ Championship at Woolaton Park.

But there’s only a shot between them going into today’s final round with the Bramhall duo also having a slight advantage over Waterlooville pairing John Hay and Rob Dench who match their eight-under total were lying were second on countback.

Heavy downpours throughout the morning made conditions unplayable at Wollaton Park Golf Club.

 

Big field for English Amateur Championship

YORKSHIRE’S Dan Brown will defend his title when the English Amateur Championship is played next week at the Berkshire Golf Club on August 1-6.

He’s among 288 players who will set out in pursuit of the prized trophy, aiming to follow such past winners as Tommy Fleetwood, Danny Willett and Paul Casey, who was the last player to successfully defend the title in 1999 and 2000.

The field is packed with champions, underlining the strength of English golf. Among those lining up with Brown (Masham) are Matthew Jordan (Royal Liverpool) who won the St Andrews Links Trophy and tops the England men’s order of merit; Jack Singh Brar (Remedy Oak), the Lytham Trophy winner; Josh Hilleard (Farrington Park), the French open winner; Gian-Marco Petrozzi (Trentham Park), the Welsh open winner; and Scott Gregory (Corhampton) the 2016 Amateur Champion.

The host club is fielding three players in the championship, Edward Cartwright, Iain Henderson and Trevor Ball, who will all enjoy the benefit of home advantage.

The players will all face the challenge of the Berkshire’s Red and Blue courses, designed by Herbert Fowler, lined with pine and heather and regarded as among the best in Britain.

All competitors will play a qualifying round on each course before the top 64 players and ties go forward to the matchplay stages on the Red course.

Champ Nelson makes it three in a row

 

DAVE Nelson completed a hat-trick of Cheshire Seniors’ Championship titles as he birdied  the third play-off hole to beat Peter Tomlinson (Aldersley Green) and Ken Craven (Sandiway) at Ringway.

chesenschampswinner.jpg

The Northenden man, who also won the crown in 2012 and 2015, looked to have blown his chances  of catching the top two , who held a one-shot lead over him, after putting his drive on the 18th into a fairway bunker 140-yards short of the green in normal time.

But a superb recovery shot on to the green followed by a nerveless birdie putt forced the play-off.

Craven birdied the first hole but landed in two bunkers on the 17th with a bogey allowing his rivals to draw level before Nelson again birdied the 18th to win the title with Tomlinson runner-up.

The best gross age-group trophy winners were Roy Smethurst (Crewe), RonHarrison (Ringway), Richard Mallard (Chorlton) and Ken Craven and the age group nett prizes were taken by Tim Christie, Ian Gemmell (Stockport), Roger Fielding (Ringway) and Alex Peers (Bromborough).

Golf moves into the fast lane

ON your marks! Golf moved into the fast lane when players took up an invitation to try Speedgolf at special taster sessions in Cheshire and Staffordshire.

Speedgolf is the fast, fun and athletic version of the game where players jog between shots and can complete a full 18 holes in under 80 minutes.

The British Speedgolf tasters were supported by England Golf and proved a quick hit with the players. They took part in sessions over seven and eight holes, which are less daunting for those new to Speedo.jpgthe sport and a great way to experience the format.

“What a rush, that was so much fun,” said Aaron Cove, who is a member at Bromborough Golf Club. “I seemed to play better when I didn’t have time to think.”

He took part in the session at Wirral Golf Club where PGA professional Sean Bailey commented: “It is great for the club to embrace a new format. We are willing to try anything that will increase awareness of the club and continue to breakdown the perceptions of golf.”

The opportunity appealed to golfers and non-golfers with runner Sarah Matthews remarking: “That was so much fun. I think I might book some golf lessons.”

Over at Trentham Park Golf Club the reaction was the same and general manager Jon Farmer said: “This is what golf is all about, opening your doors to try something new.”

Craig Smith said: “I’ve played golf since the age of four and have a handicap of 12. SpeedGolf is hard work but very enjoyable. The biggest surprise is how well you play because of not overthinking it”.

Rich Piggott added: “I’ve played golf on and off for 20 years. I also like to keep fit so SpeedGolf was a great opportunity to combine the two and not take up too much time.”

England Golf is partnering British Speedgolf through its Golf Express campaign, which encourages busy people to play more often by promoting shorter and quicker formats of the game.

Speedgolf will be showcased during England Golf Week in August with an event on the Bracken course at Woodhall Spa.

It will also be highlighted during Golf Express Month in September when 9-hole offers, shorter and quicker formats will be promoted to golfers to encourage them to keep playing through the autumn.

Claire Hodgson, England Golf head of participation, commented: “Speedgolf is great fun for players who enjoy a more athletic version of the game and we’re delighted to take it to a wider audience.”

Pam Painter of British Speedgolf added: “Speedgolf is always a surprise, not least that those who play often find it helps rather than detracts from their golf performance. Players should set their pace according to distance as well as their fitness, so it is nowhere near as daunting as people might think; you simply need to try it for yourself!”

Click here to visit the GolfExpress9.org website

Caption: Speedgolf (pictured) is attracting golfers and non-golfers to try the fun and athletic version of the game.

ON your marks! Golf moved into the fast lane when players took up an invitation to try Speedgolf at special taster sessions in Cheshire and Staffordshire.

Speedgolf is the fast, fun and athletic version of the game where players jog between shots and can complete a full 18 holes in under 80 minutes.

The British Speedgolf tasters were supported by England Golf and proved a quick hit with the players. They took part in sessions over seven and eight holes, which are less daunting for those new to the sport and a great way to experience the format.

“What a rush, that was so much fun,” said Aaron Cove, who is a member at Bromborough Golf Club. “I seemed to play better when I didn’t have time to think.”

He took part in the session at Wirral Golf Club where PGA professional Sean Bailey commented: “It is great for the club to embrace a new format. We are willing to try anything that will increase awareness of the club and continue to breakdown the perceptions of golf.”

The opportunity appealed to golfers and non-golfers with runner Sarah Matthews remarking: “That was so much fun. I think I might book some golf lessons.”

Over at Trentham Park Golf Club the reaction was the same and general manager Jon Farmer said: “This is what golf is all about, opening your doors to try something new.”

Craig Smith said: “I’ve played golf since the age of four and have a handicap of 12. SpeedGolf is hard work but very enjoyable. The biggest surprise is how well you play because of not overthinking it”.

Rich Piggott added: “I’ve played golf on and off for 20 years. I also like to keep fit so SpeedGolf was a great opportunity to combine the two and not take up too much time.”

England Golf is partnering British Speedgolf through its Golf Express campaign, which encourages busy people to play more often by promoting shorter and quicker formats of the game.

Speedgolf will be showcased during England Golf Week in August with an event on the Bracken course at Woodhall Spa.

It will also be highlighted during Golf Express Month in September when 9-hole offers, shorter and quicker formats will be promoted to golfers to encourage them to keep playing through the autumn.

Claire Hodgson, England Golf head of participation, commented: “Speedgolf is great fun for players who enjoy a more athletic version of the game and we’re delighted to take it to a wider audience.”

Pam Painter of British Speedgolf added: “Speedgolf is always a surprise, not least that those who play often find it helps rather than detracts from their golf performance. Players should set their pace according to distance as well as their fitness, so it is nowhere near as daunting as people might think; you simply need to try it for yourself!”

Visit the GolfExpress9.org website for more information

 

Birkdale breaks Open crowd record

A record-breaking crowd of 235,000 attended the 146th Open at Royal Birkdale setting an attendance record for a Championship staged outside of St Andrews.

This attendance surpassed the 230,000 mark set at Royal Liverpool in 2006, making it the largest ever Championship held in England and reflects a 17% increase since The Open last visited Royal Birkdale in 2008.

Record advance ticket sales made it the fastest-selling Championship in history and included more than 15,000 Youth Tickets. Overall 30,000 golf fans under the age of 25 attended The Open, 13% of the total crowd, and included over 15,000 juniors aged 16 and under who attended free-of-charge as part of the Kids Go Free initiative.

Huge demand for The Open’s official hospitality offering led to all six packages selling out, including the Claret Jug Pavilion, Champions Club and Greenside Club.

Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said: “One of the main reasons why The Open is so highly regarded as a world class sporting event is the hundreds of thousands of spectators who generate a very special atmosphere for the players and millions of viewers watching around the world.

“A record-breaking crowd has enjoyed a week of thrilling golf and we thank every single person who has visited Royal Birkdale over the last eight days for making this a very special Championship.”

The 147th Open will take place at Carnoustie from 15-22 July 2018 and fans who are eager to beat the rush to buy tickets can sign up to The One Club, a unique membership that allows fans to sign-up for free and get exclusive access to behind-the-ropes and other money-can’t-buy experiences, including priority access to tickets for the Championship in 2018, 2019 (Royal Portrush) and 2020 (Royal St George’s). Visit TheOpen.com/TheOneClub for more information.

Notes to Editors:

The Open’s Biggest Attendances:

2000, St Andrews, Scotland: 239,000

2015, St Andrews, Scotland: 237,000

2017, Royal Birkdale, England: 235,000

2006, Royal Liverpool, England: 230,000

2005, St Andrews, Scotland: 223,000

1990, St Andrews, Scotland: 209,000

2014, Royal Liverpool, England: 203,000

2008, Royal Birkdale, England: 201,500

2010, St Andrews, Scotland: 201,000

1998, Royal Birkdale, England: 195,000

 

Rhys has plenty to crow about

RHYS Nevin-Wharton won his first event in the Galvin Green Northern Order of Merit by a two shot margin in the Wilmslow Crow,

The Sandiway player opened up with a four-under-par 68, which featured six pars, and added three more in a second round 73 which included an eagle on the 419-yards seventh.

Vale of Llangollen’s Jack Nicholson took second place ahead of four players on 144 totals which included High Legh Park’s Chris Chilton who won the Stockport Salver the previous day.

And he moved into second place in the rankings, 170 points behind leader Cameron Massey from Northenden.

LEADING SCORES: 141 Rhys Nevin-Wharton (Sandiway) 68 73; 143 Jack Nicholson (Vale of Llangollen) 69 74; 144 Chris Chilton (High Legh Park) 73 71, Benjamin Hallam (Wychwood Park) 70 74, Jack Brooks (Didsbury) 70 74, David Peel (Stockport) 69 75; 145 Chris Harrison (Sandiway) 76 69, Cameron Massey (Northenden) 76 69, William Dodds (Styal) 75 70, James Kempster (Bramhall) 75 70, Ian Kenwright (Haydock Park) 72 73, Lewis George (Delamere Forest 72 73.

POINTS AFTER 15 EVENTS                                                                                            

Cameron Massey Northenden 515
Christopher Chilton High Legh Park 345
Curtis Clarkin Nelson 330
Ciaran Doherty Bury 310
Ian Kenwright Haydock Park 305
John Carroll Huyton & Prescot 295
Daniel Creaney Southport & Ainsdale 295
Tom Dolan Heswall 295
Jack Brooks Didsbury 275
Rhys Nevin Wharton Sandiway 270
Michael Hunt Pleasington 250
James Holland Southport & Ainsdale 210
Sean Towndrow Southport & Ainsdale 210
Calum Hey Shipley 205
Joe Brice Ashton-under-Lyne 200
Steven Capper Caldy 170
Jack Nicholson Vale of Llangollen 170
Chris Nuttall Accrington 150
Callum Blinkhorn S&A 145
Joe Bannon Manchester 130
Jon Beesley Mere 130
Mark Duncalf Formby 120
Ben Hallam Wychwood Park 120
Jacob Greenhalgh Bolton 105
Stephen Hargreaves Leasowe 105
James Rooney West Lancs 100
Trevor Foster Accrington 100
Aiden Hoosen Manchester 100
Matthew Delany Prestbury 100
Jonathan Hurst Pleasington 100
Reece Cranfield Wigan 95
Mark Ashworth Clitheroe 95
Lewis Pownell Fairfield 90
Lewis George Delamere Forest 85
Cameron Tye Eaton 80
Jacob Oakley Styal 80
Chris Harrison Sandiway 80
Jamie Kinsley-Wilson St Annes Old Links 75
Alex McAuley Mount Murray 75
Josh Turnock Prestbury 75
Chris Carney Morecambe 75
Aaron Watkinson Pleasington 75
George Bloor Cavendish 75
James Newton Prestbury 75
Paul McFerran Warrington 70
William Dodds Styal 65
Roger Smithies Manchester 60
Richard Fitzgerald Bromborough 60
Aidan O’Hagen Old Course 50
Gary Melling Crompton & Royton 50
George Holland Southport & Ainsdale 50
Ross Clewley Bramhall 50
Max Rogers Astbury 50
Graeme Jackson Manchester 50
Simon Pay Helsby 50
Ken Hudson Hart Common 50
Robert Noon Mount Murray 45
Paul Lawey Rowany 45
Rob Cull Bromborough 45
Luke Kelly Ashton-under-Lyne 45
David Peel Stockport 45
Tom Ryder St Annes Old Links 40
Simon Older Fleetwood 40
Ben Bernamont The Warwickshire 40
Harvey Talarczyl Royal Lytham 40
Andrew Bell Durham City 40
Matt Robinson Eaton 40
James Higgins Pike Fold 40
Ben Gardo Moor Allerton 40
Thomas Winn Morecambe 40
Michael Barratt Davyhulme Park 40
Andrew Walsh Pleasington 30
Phil Sargent Haydock Park 30
Archie Palmer Bramhall 30
Thomas Maddocks Rossendale 30
Daniel Heron Wallasey 30
Shaun Field Oakdale 30
Kris Sutcliffe Crompton & Royton 30
Sam Morrison Leeds Golf Centre 30
Remy Miller Prestbury 25
Bryan Hughes Hesketh 25
Michael Allen Conwy 25
Lewis Pownell Fairfield 25
Aarin Harper Bolton Old Links 25
Calum Metcalfe Pleasington 20
Steven McGlynn Preston 20
Anthony Stirling Formby 20
Andy Allen Manchester 20
James Holroyd Southport & Ainsdale 20
Adam Fothergill Nelson 20
Martin Barnes Crompton & Royton 20
Owen Leigh Pleasington 20
Samuel Turner Royal Lytham 20
William Kempster Bramhall 20
Anthony Lester Mossock Hall 15
Greg McIlroy Southport & Ainsdale 15
Richie Blundell Hillside 15
Ben Ewen Wilpshire 15
Graeme Strachan Bury 15
Anthony Harwood Blackburn 15
Jonathan Little Heswall 10
Thomas Kerr Shrewsbury 10
Allen Bowerbank Ellesmere 10
Nicholas Peoples Royal Lytham 10
Thomas Kirton Prestbury 10
Ben Lancstreth Wilpshire 10
Zak Hargreaves Accrington 10
Matthew Kay Manchester 10

 

Last gasp birdie helps Welsh duo into final

GARRY Houston and Mark Pilkington used their combined experience on the European Tour to win the Golfbreaks.com PGA Fourball Championship North qualifying event.

Carden Park attached Houston and fellow Pwllheli’s Pilkington won by one shot thanks to an 18th hole birdie at Huddersfield’s Woodsome.

The pair carded a seven under par round of 63 to edge out another Welsh pairing Lee Rooke and Gareth Lewis of Royal St. David’s Golf Club in Harlech.

They were among the 11 pairs from the event who  go forward to the £33,000 BMW supported, PGA Fourball Championship final at Whittlebury Park in Northamptonshire on August 16-18.

It was the first time Houston and Pilkington had teamed up for this competition and the pairing produced an instant result.

“Myself and Mark know each other from having played European Tour golf, we used to room together now again and grew up in the same sort of era, and we thought it’d be a good idea to get together for this,” said Houston.

“This is only the second time I’ve played the event. I played last year with one of our teaching professionals at Carden Park as we were hosting the final but it’s the first time I’ve played alongside Mark for the event. He’s a proven, very good player, that helped me for sure and we’re comfortable in each other’s company.”

Houston admitted they had no scares during the event despite what turned out to be a dramatic battle to be top of the leaderboard.

“We knew at the back of our minds that five under par would probably be enough to qualify for the final and that’s where we were after the front nine. Yes, we won it but I don’t think we edged it, without sounding too immodest we were generally comfortable, we put the hard work on the front nine,” he said.

“The only difficulty is that we didn’t know the course that well but we managed things on the back nine. I’ve played Whittelbury Park before and know it a little bit.”