Archive for the ‘Pro Golf’ Category

Belfry here we come!

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READY FOR ACTION: Ryan O’Neill (left) with Simon Lucas after their success at Pleasington. Colin Maroney is missing from photograph 

PGA North Region Lancashire County earned their passport to this week’s annual inter-county championship at the Belfry when their three-man team qualified after a region shoot-out at their Pleasington headquarters.

Simon Lucas (Garstang), Ryan O’Neill and Colin Maroney (both Penwortham) will travel to the PGA National course for the nation-wide final on October 11.

At stake will be £4,000 for the winning team, £2,400 for second and £1,500 for third.

Regional manager Jonathan Paine said: “We believe we have a strong side really up for the honour.”

 

 

 

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Close Shave as Whetstone Park win Lombard Trophy

WHETSTONE Park pair Craig Shave and Phil Wright proved aptly-named as well as perfect partners in winning the Lombard Trophy at Pestana Vila Sol, Portugal.

Their victory over Carden Park, who were represented by former European Tour player Garry Houston and his amateur sidekick, consultant orthopaedic surgeon Patrick Laing, was indeed a close shave.

That it was secured by a nett birdie at the final hole on the resort’s Prime course confirmed Shave’s amateur partner was made of the right stuff.

According to Shave, Wright, a 16-handicapper, was a bundle of nerves throughout the two rounds.

However, when faced with that crucial putt on the par-four 18th, he became Mr Ice Man in the Portuguese sunshine.

At that stage, both Carden Park, two holes behind, and Whetstone Park were on 12-under and Wright, faced with two putts from six metres to secure that all important nett birdie, left the first inches from the hole for a tap-in.

Carden Park had their own birdie opportunities to force a play-off and Houston was left to ponder what might have been had his putt on the 17th dropped into the hole as opposed to embarking on a frustrating tour of its rim.

All of which meant the Leicestershire lads had ended up a shot clear of their rivals from Cheshire after starting the final pursuit of the £12,000 first prize on five-under, three strokes behind them.

Dukinfield and Worldham Golf Clubs had also ended the first round of the tournament supported by Pestana Hotels and Coca Cola on eight-under and at that stage Shave felt winning was beyond him and his partner.

“We thought if we could get to 12 or 13-under we might scrape into the top three,” he reflected. “So it’s a surprise to win at 13-under.”

Shave, a winner of Order of Merit events in the PGA Midlands region and victorious in last year’s PGAs of Europe La Manga Club IV Pro-Am, also admitted this was the highlight of his career to date.

“This is my biggest and most prestigious win by far,” he added. “It’s unbelievable. It’s been a great week for both us.

“Phil has really enjoyed it, has been great company and the tournament has been staged at a fantastic venue and run superbly.”

“As for the secret of our success, we get on, have a laugh, and there are no apologies. We just crack on and get on with it. We gelled well – when I had a bad hole Phil was there and vice versa.”

Leading scores: Whetstone Park 131 (-13); Carden Park 132 (-12); Piltdown, Worldham 135 (-9).

 

Great Scott! Howarth passes the test

SCOTT Howarth defied testing conditions in the first round of the James Brearley Lancashire Open at wind-swept Blackpool North Shore to take the overnight lead by a shot.

The 38-year-old from Davenport-attached professional birdied the 10th, his first hole, and never looked back.

“I was three-under-par after four which was a great start. I reached the turn without dropping a shot but I knew the back nine would be tougher because of the weather,” he said as he posted a five-under-par 66.

“I made sure I didn’t short-side myself and I was aware there were a lot of tough pins to negotiate so I played to the middle of the green. I rolled in a good birdie at the 14th and did not make any mistakes on the way in,” added Howarth whose brother Jamie was two-under and still in the reckoning.

Hart Common professional Steve Parry put one hand on the trophy he won two years ago when he reeled off six birdies, offset by a pair of bogeys, to trail by a stroke going into tomorrow’s second and final day.

“Considering the weather I was happy with my score,” he said. “I rolled the ball on the greens pretty well. They and the rest of the course were superb and I fancy my chances tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, Chorley’s Andrew Palmer maintained his winning form as he shared third spot with Swinton Park’s David Smith.

FIRST ROUND LEADERS: 66 Scott Howarth (Davenport); 67 Steve Parry; 68 Andrew Palmer (Chorley), David Smith (Swinton Park); 69 Tim Ford (Liverpool DR), Alex Evans, Graham Cox (Lymm); Jamie Howarth .

 

Waring wins European Tour title at last

Paul Waring.jpgBIRKENHEAD-born Paul Waring won his first European Tour title at his 200th attempt with victory at the Nordea Masters.

He held a two-shot lead with four holes to play before playing partner Thomas Aiken birdied on the last to force extra holes.

However, South Africa’s Aiken drove into the water during the sudden-death play-off, with Waring’s par good enough to secure victory in Gothenburg.

“I wasn’t sure this day would come in total honesty,” Waring told Sky Sports.

“I’m obviously ecstatic. I’ve tried so hard for many years to get to this point and it’s nice to finally get across the line and be holding the trophy.”

Waring and Aiken finished on 14-under, a shot ahead of Germany’s Max Kieffer, who carded a five-under 65 in the final round.

Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen’s finished fourth in Sweden to move ahead of England’s Ian Poulter in the race to qualifying automatically for Europe’s Ryder Cup team.

“It wasn’t easy. I felt really in control though,” added the 33-year-old.

“I’ve had a couple of operations along the way. It feels like it’s all worth it.

“I’m sure everyone back home will be absolutely thrilled for me.I’ve got a great team around me so this is all for them as well.”

From Russia with love for Shacklady!

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DAVID Shacklady secured an emotional victory at Moscow Country Club today as a final round 69 gave him a two-shot triumph at the VTB Russian Open Golf Championship.

The Lancastrian finished on eight-under-par, two shots clear of Welsh duo Stephen Dodd and Phillip Price, the latter of whom led after both the first and second rounds in Moscow but posted a one over 73 on day three.

Shacklady began the day two shots behind overnight leader Price, but took the outright lead after the front nine thanks to three birdies going out before navigating the back nine in level par.

Playing in his first year on the Staysure Tour, Shacklady was clearly emotional after securing his maiden title.

“It’s unbelievable, absolutely unbelievable,” he said. “It’s a bit of a blur at the moment. My aim was just to keep my card and now I’ve done that comfortably.

“I’ve been playing great. I played great in the last event at the London Golf Club. I spent some time with my coach Simon Edwards and it felt great there and I’ve brought it here.

“I just stayed patient and I hit it great, to be fair. I managed to hold them all off with a load of pars, which was lovely.”

The 51-year-old, attached to Mossock Hall Golf Club, has three top 20 finishes to his name prior to this week’s event but he admits to feeling frustrated and putting himself under too much pressure in previous weeks.

“I’ve been frustrated that I’ve not really got to where I feel I can play, my level,” he said. “I’ve perhaps done a bit too much leader board watching, a bit too much pressure on myself and I feel like I’ve been playing catch-up at every event.

“To get up there and stay up there and finish it off against class players like this, it’s unbelievable. I don’t know when I’ll actually believe it to be honest.”

Shacklady, who dedicated his win to John O’Connor, a friend and former colleague at Ormskirk Golf Club who recently passed away, admits he’s having “the time of his life” on the Staysure Tour.

He said. “I’ve watched these guys on TV all my life so playing with them is just a dream to start with. To contend with them and now to win is unbelievable.

“They are proven players and have been for many years. Phillip has played in The Ryder Cup and Stephen has won many titles.

“There’s a lot of winners in the field and you know they’re not going to give you a title, you’ve got to earn it. I was nervous but I managed to keep my head and pars were good, thankfully.”

Price was Shacklady’s nearest challenger for most of the final round, but two bogeys in his final four holes ensured he had to settle for a share of second with countryman Dodd.

Behind the Welsh duo were José Coceres, Malcolm MacKenzie, Mauricio Molina and Gary Wolstenholme on three under par, while Simon P Brown and Chris Williams were a shot further back on two under par.

Williams carded the low round of the week today, signing for a six under 66 after carding rounds of 73 and 75 on the first two days.

The Staysure Tour will next visit Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel and Country Club for the Willow Senior Golf Classic between August 24-26.

LEADING FINAL SCORES: 208 D Shacklady (Eng) 71 68 69; 210 P Price (Wal) 68 69 73, S Dodd (Wal) 70 69 71; 213 M Mackenzie (Eng) 71 71 71, M Molina (Arg) 72 68 73, G Wolstenholme (Eng) 73 69 71, J Coceres (Arg) 71 70 72; 214 S Brown (Eng) 72 69 73, C Williams (RSA) 73 75 66; 215 J Kingston (RSA) 70 73 72, P Fowler (Aus) 72 71 72, P Streeter (Eng) 72 73 70, J Sallat (Fra) 72 71 72, J Lomas (Eng) 73 70 72; 216 N Job (Eng) 71 74 71, S Luna (Esp) 71 70 75, P Wesselingh (Eng) 73 72 71, M Farry (Fra) 72 70 74.

Hogarth’s final flourish seals U16 title

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PRIZE GUY:  Kieran Hogarth receives the trophy from Lancashire president Michael Lay

KIERAN Hogarth conjured up a dramatic  ending  on his way to being crowned Lancashire U16 champion.

The Royal Lytham & St Annes player produced a birdie-birdie finish as he edge ahead of the field over 18 holes at Dean Wood Golf Club.

And it capped a fantastic fightback from the 15-year-old who had slumped to three-over-par after the first five holes.

Birdies at holes six, seven and nine got him back to level by the turn, before dropped shots at 12, 14 and 16 threatened to derail his hopes.

But Kieran’s final flourish to sign for a 72 turned the tables in dramatic fashion to ease out Southport and Ainsdale’s Matthew Jackman by a shot.

“I just tried to stay calm after the first few holes,” said Kieran. “I had played a practice round there, so I knew there would be opportunities to get shots back, particularly on the par fives.

“Even on the back nine, I felt I was still in with a chance. I knew that one over had won the championship in the past, so just wanted to get back to that mark.

“As a 15-year-old this is the big championship for my age group, so I definitely wanted to win it and now I have the chance to defend the title, too.”

Kieran, who lives in Kirkham, Is a member of the Lancashire Golf Union’s county squad under the guidance of Southport and Ainsdale pro and former European Tour player Jim Payne, having made his debut last year against Yorkshire – the county he has also played against this summer.

A pupil at Saint Bede’s Catholic High School in Lytham, Kieran first started playing golf at Myerscough College at the age of six after attending an open day. He continued with weekly lessons there until the age of 11.

“I received great coaching from the team there under John Barclay, who continues to be my coach, based at Lancaster Golf Performance Centre at Lancaster Golf Club,” added Kieran, who moved to Royal Lytham in 2014 after playing in a junior match for Myerscough at the Open venue.

Starting out with a handicap of 21, he played in competitions and inter-club events, with the coaching team under Ben Squires – and the support of junior organisers Alison Maguire and Dai Mistry – helping cut his handicap by more than half.

Kieran continued his development as part of the Lancashire County Academy programme while joining a second club – Fairhaven – to broaden his golfing experience.

Five handicapped Kieran rates his win at Dean Wood as the highlight of his blossoming career, although he is also part of the three-strong team representing Royal Lytham juniors in the English Junior Club Championships at Frilford Heath in Oxford.

Away from the golf course, he plays for both Kirkham Juniors Football Club and Kirkham and Wesham Cricket Club.

He added: “I’m looking forward to continuing my progress with the county golf set-up and would love to play for England one day, but I already owe a debt of thanks to the people who have helped me along the way including John Barclay at Lancaster, all the coaches and organisers at Royal Lytham, Fairhaven and the Lancashire Golf Union.

“I would also like to thank a local organisation, the Richard J Wilson Sports Foundation, who helped to fund my new equipment for this season, which was a fantastic gesture and one which has really helped me.”

 

RESULTS:  72 Kieran Hogarth (Royal Lytham and St Annes); 73 Matthew Jackman (S&A); 74 Oliver Duck (S&A); Adam Mujahid (Nelson); 75 Andrew Haswell (Dean Wood),  Adam McLean (Formby), Thomas Watson (Hillside); 77  Elliot Tickle (Blackley), Thomas Ratcliffe (S&A), Kieran McCarthy (Dean Wood).

 

Webb feat as he wins PGA North crown

MATTHEW Webb has certainly been getting around in his quest to make a break-through into big-time golf.

But the 28-year-old newly-crowned PGA North Region champion, who honed his game under the watchful eye of his dad Marcus, professional at Bedlingtonshire Golf Club, is seriously considering a fresh career in coaching.

Last summer he tried his hand on the China and Asian tours, the latter proving the most profitable.

“I also played the Challenge Tour once but I didn’t feel that the best route to take because you can’t make much money out of it,” he reasoned.

Two years ago he won the National Assistants’ Championship at Little Aston and followed up by claiming a similar title in Australia.

Webb, who finished top the shots as he claimed the regional title at Bolton Old Links today (July 17) admitted he has played little golf recently.

“I’ve been doing other things such as coaching in Thailand alongside fellow pro Frederick Edmunds who’s from Sussex,” he said.

“I’m planning to carry on with the work at the end of next month. I don’t like living in a suitcase. Also, I’ve not played well this year. It’s all been a bit of a struggle without a sponsor.

“There’s twice as much pressure when you don’t get any funding. Golf is not a bottomless pit. Deep down I know I can’t afford to play.”

Much-travelled Webb has recently lived in Manila and his next stop will be Bangkok.

LEADING SCORES: 134 Matthew Webb (Bedlingtonshire) 67 67; 136 David Shacklady (Mossock Hall) 67 69; 137 Andrew Palmer (Chorley) 70 67; 138 Jamie Howarth (Davenport) 68 70, Phil Archer (Poulton Park) 68 70; 139 Gareth Davies (Abbeydale) 70 69, David Smith (Swinton Park) 69 70, Graham Cox (Lymm) 68 71, Tim Dykes (Penrith) 66 73, Grant Hamerton (Pike Fold) 65 74.