Archive for the ‘Manchester Golf’ Category

Murray stays in pole position

MANCHESTER’S Tom Murray finished day two of the Hauts de France Golf Open the way he began it — with a three-shot lead.

He showed no signs of tension as he opened with a string of pars before birdies on the fifth, sixth and ninth holes further increased his advantage over the field.

Turning in three under par 33, Murray (pictured, courtesy Getty Images) appeared to be in control of his golf ball following a birdie on the difficult par four 12th. However, a pair of dropped shots over

Tom Murray.jpgthe remaining holes would cut his sizable six-stroke lead in half.

Despite the hiccup down the stretch, the 28-year-old was happy with where he stood after his second consecutive sub-par round at the undulating Saint-Omer Golf Club.

“If you had given me eight under after two rounds on Thursday morning, especially with the weather we had, I definitely would have taken it,” said Murray. “I wasn’t brilliant today, but I just missed it in the right spots, stayed patient and putted nicely.”

“It’s not rocket science, really. You just hit the first tee shot where you want to hit it, then get the ball on the correct bit of the green and then just stay patient,” he said.

Hot on the trail are two players who will look to close the gap on Day Three. Stuart Manley, who sits in the sixth position on the Road to Ras Al Khaimah, is perhaps the most in-form player in the field. After advancing to a play-off last week, but failing to lift the trophy, the Welshman will be as determined as ever to hunt down the leading Murray and solidify his place inside the top 15 with a win.

Joining him in second place is Dutchman Daan Huizing, whose rounds of 69-68 have featured only three bogeys across two days of strong winds and difficult scoring conditions.



Collinge in seventh heaven

MATT Collinge swept to a five stroke victory in the Henriques Trophy at Hesketh with rounds of 67 and 70 for an impressive seven-under-par total.

The Greenmount one handicapper left host club player Bryan Hughes trailing in his wake as Leasowe’s Stephen Hargreaves claimed third place, seven shots off the pace alongside Morecambe’s Tom Winn.

Meanwhile, Nelson’s Curtis Clarkin drew level with Bury ace Ciaran Doherty at the top of the order of merit after four events.

There’s a double header this weekend. First up is the Formby Hare followed by theSouthport & Ainsdale Bowl, both qualifying for world ranking points.

LEADING SCORES: 137 Matt Collinge (Greenmount) 67 70; 142 Bryan Hughes (Hesketh) 70 72; 144 Stephen Hargreaves (Leasowe) 70 74, Tom Winn (Morecambe) 69 75; 146 Daniel Creaney (Southport & Ainsdale) 71 75; 147 Lewis Boyle (Pleasington) 71 76, Calum Metcalf (Pleasington) 71 76; 148 Greg Smith (Caldy) 76 72; 149 Andrew Walsh (Ashton & Lea) 78 71, Tom Harris (Castletown) 77 72, Curtis Clarkin (Nelson) 74 75; 150 Matthew Kay (Manchester) 77 73.

ORDER OF MERIT:  210pts Ciaran Doherty (Bury), Curtis Clarkin (Nelson); 150 John Carroll (Huyton & Prescot), Matt Collinge (Greenmount); 140 Steven Capper (Royal Liverpool); 120 Jack Brooks (Mere); 105 Chris Chilton (Stockport); 100 Jonathan Little (Heswall), Bryan Hughes (Hesketh); 75 Greg Holmes (Royal Birkdale), Richie Blundell (Hillside), Stephen Hargreaves (Leasowe).


Goodfellow targets Worsley qualifier

CRAIG Goodfellow is targeting a hat-trick of titles as he prepares for the English PGA Championship North West qualifying event at Marriott Worsley Park on May 15.

Craig Goodfellow - Copya.jpg

The event has been revived after an eight year gap and the Carlisle Golf Centre professional has welcomed its return as it gives him a chance to add to his honours list.

The former PGA Professional Championship and PGA Assistants’ Championship (pictured) winner hopes the English PGA Championship will offer up the chance of victory in a third national event.

Goodfellow will join some of top players from the North West in a bid to reach the final which is being held at Saunton Golf Club between June 27-29.

“It’s great to have the chance to play in three day tournament during the season. So it’s great to see this event back on the calendar,” said Goodfellow who was a member of the Great Britain & Ireland PGA Cup team in both 2007 and 2011.

“It would be good to win it to add to the other two competitions. I didn’t qualify for the previous final so it’d be great to get through. The qualifiers are quite tricky though, you don’t have to do much to miss out. I’ve played Worsley Park a few times, the Manchester Open used to be there.”

Goodfellow admits he will have some work to do to hone his form for the qualifying event.

“I’m not really that sharp yet if I’m honest, but I want to play in what I call a ‘proper tournament’ this year so I’ll be doing my best to qualify,” he added

Other players from the North West taking part include  Scott Howarth (Davenport; Dan Bills (West Lancs); Grant Hamerton (Pike Fold);  Tim Ford (Liverpool Driving Range); Adam Powell (Hartford) and Michael Jones (Royal Liverpool).


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).

Archer on target again


PRIZE GUY: Phil Archer receives the Order of Merit title for the second successive year from long serving president John Dowd

PENWORTHAM-attached PGA professional Ryan O’Neill won president’s day, the final event of the of the Manchester Alliance winter season, at Davyhulme Park and picked up another prize for a best-of-the day 67.

That left him two shots ahead of regular winner, Chilli Dip’s Craig Corrigan, as Poulton Park’s Phil Archer tied on 70 with Whitefield’s Colin Maroney.

But former European Tour ace Archer retained the Order of Merit crown he won last year some 47 points in front of Corrigan,

Chorley’s Andy Palmer was third, accumulating enough points to clinch the assistant pro merit crown as Rob Batchelor (Stand) and Alistair Waddell (Styal) claimed second and third spots.

Styal’s Charles Herbert was top amateur with a nett 69 which pipped Paul Dalby (Wilmslow) 70 and Steve Moores (Stamford) 72.

Bolton’s Keith Ashton clinched the amateur Order of Merit which went to the wire as he overtook long-time leader Jimmy O’Reilly (Swinton Park) and Steve McDermott (Ashton-on-Mersey).

Clarkin is top of the shots

CURTIS Clarkin swept to the top of the Galvin Green Northern Order of Merit when he won the Penwortham Rose Bowl with rounds if 70 and 69 for a one-over-par total.

The Nelson player moved 50 points ahead Huyton & Prescot stalwart John Carroll who prevailed in the curtain-raising Crosby Challenge Plate earlier in the month.

Clarkin produced a mixed bag of birdies and bogeys in the morning before handing in a flawless card in the afternoon.


LEADING SCORES: 139 Curtis Clarkin (Nelson) 70 69; 140 Jack Brooks (Mere) 71 69; 144 Chris Chilton (Stockport) 77 67, Ciaran Doherty (Bury) 72 72; 146 Sean Comisky (Hesketh) 74 72, Harry Lord (Rossendale) 72 74, Graham Booth (Formby Hall) 71 75; 147 John Shuttleworth (Penwortham) 72 75; 148 Daryl Callister (Mount Murray) 74 74; 149 Leigh Clayton (Fleetwood) 77 72, Grady Rogerson (Royal Lytham) 74 75, Alex Webb (Preston) 74 75.

ORDER OF MERIT: 195pts Curtis Clarkin (Nelson); 150 John Carroll (Huyton & Prescot); 105 Chris Chilton (Stockport); 100 Steven Capper (Royal Liverpool), Jack Brooks (Mere); 75 Greg Holmes (Royal Birkdale); 60 Aiden Hoosen (Manchester), Ciaran Doherty (Bury); 50 Mark Duncalf (S&A), Sean Comisky (Hesketh); 45 Harry Lord (Rossendale); 40 Jack Cornes (Lymm).


Issued by David Birtill.Tel: 01254 831844; Fax 08715032443; Mob: 07850539110;

Web: Twitter: (@DavidBirtill)

A member of the Association of Golf Writers & NUJ life member.



Archer on target to keep Alliance crown

PHIL Archer took a giant step to retaining his Manchester Alliance Order-of-Merit crown in the penultimate event of the campaign when he racked up 36 points at Crewe.

But the Poulton Park professional had to settle for a share of the spoils after a four-way tie between  Paul Grannell (Vale Royal Abbey), Olly Smith (Ashton-on-Mersey) and Alistair Waddell (Styal).

There was a similar outcome in the pro-am with a four-way tie on 41 points with the verdict going to Stamford’s Mark Smith and Martin Dwyer who denied  Ben Thompson and Keith Caddick (Hazel Grove), Archer with Hazel Grove’s Roy Campion and Chilli Dip’s Craig Corrigan and Chris Ireland (Lymm).

The am-am honours went to Malkins Bank duo Ian Farthing and Steve King whose 39-point haul took them four clear of Lee Warren (Northenden)  and Dave Hemingway (Chorley) who won a count-back from Chorlton’s Don Milligan and Mike Fenton.