Archive for May 5th, 2018

Jason leads the way at Hesketh

JASON Shufflebottom completed a memorable start to the season by winning the PGA Assistants’ Championship North qualifying round at Hesketh Golf Club.
The Prestatyn-based Denbigh  man posted a one-under 68 to edge out Matthew Dunbabin (Sandiway), Calum Hey (Shipley) and Nick Tibbetts (Carlisle).
They will join 15 other qualifiers at the £32,000, Birdietime-supported, grand final at Farleigh Golf Club, Surrey, on  July 3-5.
But the victory came after the 29-year-old had been named as a junior ambassador for the Flintshire Golf Union.
“They approached me to work as an ambassador a few months ago and now it’s all been passed, so I’m looking forward to doing some work with the juniors and inspiring a bit more success in North Wales.
“I’m very fortunate to be in a positive environment with good coaching practices.”
Shufflebottom is a former Wales amateur International who studied in the USA before deciding to take the PGA route.
“It’s a big bad world out there, but I decided that if I couldn’t play for a living, I’d like to help others improve and my goal is to go for a coaching role. The PGA course gives me the chance to play as well.”
Shufflebottom said he was fortunate with the draw at Hesketh.
“I was first out and we played the first six holes with no wind, then it picked up a little bit,” he said.

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Pantoja goes back to the future

OLIVER  Pantoja has gone back to his roots as he prepares for a second successive Titleist & FootJoy PGA Professional Championship final.

The Manchester-based professional has been with Ashton on Mersey b for 18 months and it is the place where he grew up learning his golf.

Pantoja is set to tee off in the North West qualifier at Delamere Forest Golf Club on May 8.

And he will be aiming to secure a spot in the £78,000 final which will be staged at Little Aston Golf Club in Sutton Coldfield between July 24-27.

“I was a junior member at Ashton for a number of years and it’s where I learnt the game – it’s also where I could be found when I was playing truant from school,” said Pantoja, whose father is from Portugal.

“It’s always been a place which has been close to my  heart. When I left my last job, I was welcomed with open arms here and it was fairly local to where I was.

“I’ve laying some roots down, I know a lot of people here and it’s good to see some friendly faces.”

Pantoja’s only attempt at qualifying for the final earned him a place at Luttrellstown Castle in Ireland last year.

But he hopes he will do better if he makes it to Little Aston 12 months on.

“I qualified for Ireland, but it just didn’t work out for me, the place suited me down to the earth, but my game wasn’t with me, I think I left it back in Manchester that week,” he added.

“It was a great venue which appealed to me – but I love the fact that it’s Delamere again for the qualifier this year. I won through from there last time and I feel like I can play well around there. I’d play there every week if I could, I’ll be playing a practice round there before the event so it’ll be good to get my fix in before the actual event.”

Other North West players at Delamere Forest include: Mark Smith (Stamford Golf Club); Craig Corrigan (Chili Dip Academy); Lee Rooke (Royal St. David’s Golf Club); Oliver Whiteley (Bramall Park Golf Club);   Tim Dykes  (Penrith Golf Club);  Simon Wilson (Lytham (Green Drive) Golf Club; and Ali Gray  (Ormskirk Golf Club).

PGA launches new senior pro-am

A NEW pro-am sponsored by Staysure, the insurance specialists for over 50s, is offering PGA Professionals and an amateur partner the chance to play at some of Great Britain and Ireland’s finest courses.

Known as the Staysure PGA Trophy, the competition carries a £30,000 prize fund and will be contested by professionals and a male or female amateur partner aged 50 or over.

Seven regional qualifiers, played across Great Britain and Ireland, will determine the pairs taking part in the Grand Final from July 31 to August 1 at the London Golf Club near Sevenoaks, Kent.

Maxstoke Park, on the fringe of Birmingham, will host the first qualifier on Tuesday May 22 and the final place will be decided at Kings Hill, Kent on July 16. There will also be qualifiers staged in Scotland and Ireland.

The final will be contested before the Staysure Seniors Championship at the London Golf Club and the winner will earn £7,500. Dozens of prizes will also be up for grabs for amateurs.

In addition, all amateur finalists will also be given the opportunity to compete alongside a leading Staysure Tour player in the Staysure Seniors Championship which follows on August 2.

The new event was created as part of Staysure’s major investment in golf which saw the company becoming the first title sponsors of the European Senior Tour in late 2017.

Ryan Howsam, Staysure chairman and founder, commented: “Staysure is the leading provider of travel insurance for over 50s in the UK.

“Our ambition is to become synonymous with senior golf across the UK and Europe and the launch of the Staysure PGA Trophy is something that epitomises that vision.

“We aim to provide golf club members and our customers a unique opportunity to play in a national golf tournament with the ultimate goal of playing alongside Staysure Tour professionals such as Paul McGinley at the Staysure PGA Seniors Championship at London Golf Club in August.

“We also have hundreds of money-can’t-buy golfing prizes to be won throughout the season.”

Tristan Crew, PGA executive director – members services, added: “We are delighted to welcome the Staysure PGA Trophy to the PGA tournament calendar.

“We are always looking at ways to provide more playing opportunities for our Members, and the introduction of this new pro-am is another example of how we are fulfilling that pledge.

“The London Golf Club has a reputation of staging top class international competitions and we are delighted to be working with a brand new title sponsor Staysure for this event.

“We wish all players the best of luck in their club competitions and we look forward to welcoming all eight finalists to London Golf Club for the Grand Final this summer.”

Full details on how to enter can be found through the Staysure PGA Trophy online entry pack.