Thursday, August 18, 2016

McGhee and Hillson in the mix with round to 

go at PGA Four-ball Championship

Alex Belt helped fellow competitor James McGhee out with painkillers for a bad back but still left his Scottish rival with a headache as he and Mathew Webb carded another 62 to lead the PGA Fourball Championship at Carden Park Golf Club, Cheshire..
Snainton Golf Centre-based Belt and Bedlingtonshire Golf Club’s Webb bagged nine birdies plus an eagle finish to overpower the Jack Nicklaus designed course for the second day in succession.

Their second ten under par tally leaves them 20 under for the SkyCaddie and BMW supported event and three ahead of playing partners McGhee (Whitehill House) and Mark Hillson (Kilconquhar Castle) who carded a 63.
Tied second with the Scottish pairing is defending champion Lee Clarke (Beeston Fields) whose partnership with PGA Cup team-mate Jason Levermore (Channels) bore fruit with a 62.
Despite a three shot cushion going into the final round of the £32,500 event, Webb insists they will retain their aggressive tactics.
“Because of the type of format it is you’ve got to go for birdies, if you don’t you are going to get caught so we’ve got to be aggressive,” he said.
Belt blamed a mental error for the pair’s solitary bogey on 15 but other than that is confident of carving out more gains over the Cheshire course in pursuit of the £5,500 first prize.
“With the par fives and some short par fours I don’t think it’s unachievable to do three 62s in a row really,” he said.
“When he’s not been in it, I’ve been in it and vice versa which obviously helps. It’s always nice to be in the mix and we won’t be doing anything different.”
Meanwhile McGhee and Hillson kept a bogey off their card but were again left to rue the par five 18th, having only parred it.
“The funny thing is we’ve come off having shot 64 and 63 but have parred the last on both days, so feel a bit sick because you know it’s a shot gone and playing with those guys, they’ve eagled it both days so we’ve lost four shots on the last hole,” said Hillson.
McGhee though, who tweaked his back before the round, is enjoying the format and won’t be phased going into the final round in contention.
“I don’t feel a great deal of pressure, although this is a big event it feels like a ‘play with your mates’ fun thing,” he added.
“Alex and Matt are good golfers, play aggressively and go for everything and after six or seven holes yesterday we knew that if you keep pace with these guys you are going to be there or thereabouts.
“All you are trying to do is hole shots. It’s getting to the stage where par isn’t good enough.”
Also hoping to hang on the coattails of the leaders are Clarke and Levermore.
The pair finished with six straight birdies but Levermore revealed it was a three putt on 13 that fired them up.
“We both hit it on the green, both hit if five feet past and both missed it coming back and that sort of gave us a bit of a kick up the backside because we were just plodding along,” he said.
Clarke and last year’s partner, Jack Lynch, fired a final round 62 to reach 27 under and he believes that will be required again if he is to again reclaim the title.
“We’re going to need that tomorrow, looking at the scores, there are a lot of good players there. We’ll just do the best we can and see what happens.”

Par 144 (2x72)
124 Matt Webb (Bedlingtonshire) and Alex Belt (Snainton) 62 62
127 Lee Clarke (Beeston Fields) and Jason Levermore (Channels)
65 62,  Mark Hillson (Kilconquhar Castle) and James McGhee (Whitehill House) 64 63


131 Gareth Wright (West Linton) and Graham Fox (Clydeway Golf) 67 64 (T7)
136 Cameron Marr and Norman Huguet (Musselburgh) 70 66 (T21)

 MISSED THE CUT (to leading 24 teams and ties)
139 Gareth Hardy (Prestwick St Nicholas) and Michael Rae (Drumoig) 69 70.

For full leaderboard click here.



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