Monday, October 24, 2016

PGA Play-offs at Saunton GC, Devon

Greig Hutcheon (71) leading Scot despite 

a disappointing inward half

Greig Hutcheon was the leading Scot in a share of sixth place after a one-under-par 71 in the first round of the PGA Play-offs at Saunton Golf Club's East course, Devon today.
Hutcheon, representing Paul Lawrie Golf Centre Inchmarlo, had a good outward half of three-under-par 33 with birdies at the third, sixth and seventh, but a disappointing inward nine of 38 with bogeys at the 11th, 16th and short 17th.
Graham Fox (Clydeway Golf) shot Sa 73 (38-35) with birdies at the 12th, 15th and 16th to be joint 11th.
Paul O'Hara (North Lanarkshire Leisure) had two double bogeys in the first seven hols on his way to a 76 (39-37) and a share of 18th place in the field of 24 who are competing for places in next year's PGA Championship at Wentworth
The lead, on 69, is shared by England's Matthew Cort and Paul Streeter, and Ireland's Colm Moriarty.

Saunton GC East Course, Devon
par 72
69 M Cort (Eng), P Streeter (Eng), C Moriarty (Ire)
70 N O'Briain (Ire), D McGrane (Ire).

71 G Hutcheon (T6)
73 G Fox (T11)
76 P O'Hara (T18).
Field of 24 players

Challenge-Tour bound Matt Cort still on the crest of a wave

In-form Matt Cort continues to ride the crest of a wave after shooting a 69 at the PGA Play-Offs at Saunton Golf Club near Devon surfing hotspot Croyde Bay.
The Beedles Lake golfer, pictured left, who last week secured his Challenge Tour card by wrapping up the PGA EuroPro Order of Merit in Spain, carded a two-under-par opening round to join fellow Midlander Paul Streeter and Ireland’s Colm Moriarty at the top of the leaderboard in the 72-hole event.
The trio lead by a shot from Irish duo Damien McGrane and Neil O’Briain with two-time Play-Offs winner Greig Hutcheon and Andrew Willey at level par.
Cort, who plans to embark on a winter fitness programme to keep up with the Tour’s big-hitters, was making his first appearance in 15 years at Saunton’s East Course.
Despite blustery and drizzling conditions – and the lack of a practice round – Cort was in good shape with two birdies on each nine offset by dropped shots on six and 14.
“I didn’t have a practice round although I walked it yesterday and it was a good job I did just to familiarise myself with the course because I haven’t played it for 15 years,” admitted Cort.
“It’s the kind of course where you can get in a bit of bother – get in a few bunkers which are hard to get out of - so anything around par is a good knock.”
A busy season in which Cort has also topped the PGA in England (Midlands) Order of Merit and make the cut at the British Masters, reflects the positive state of his game since deciding to do his PGA qualifications after previously playing full-time on Tour.
“My career has been funny, I got on Tour quickly, did okay, then fell off Tour, got caught in a limbo and lost my game,” he added.
“I then decided to take the PGA route and it has been one of the best things I’ve done. It’s given me a back-up, I can choose to earn money in different areas, while playing in these events has given me the drive to have another crack at it.”
Cort’s fellow Midlander – Streeter from the Lincoln Golf Centre – served up some brilliant golf in his round with seven birdies including three in the last four holes.
Streeter also birdied the 122-yard par-3 fifth which he aced it the last time he played here in 1997 in the Brabazon Trophy.

“I said before starting I would take anything under par – one under par, I would take that every day and take my chances,” said Streeter.
“It’s a fantastic golf course but it doesn’t give you anything, you have to earn it, hit some good shots and hole the putts, and if you hit it off line there is some rubbish to be had.”
Moriarty, from Drive Golf Performance Ltd at Athlone’s Glasson Hotel and Country Club, spearheads the Irish challenge and his round warmed up in the autumn chill with three birdies in four holes either side of the turn.
Two dropped shots pegged him back to level par before a sparkling run of two birdies in the last four lifted him to the top of the leaderboard.
“The first few holes were quite tricky and I had to hole a very good putt for a par on the fourth to remain one over,” he said.
“But from that point for the next eight holes I was hitting really, really good shots into every hole, inside 20ft each time and maybe I didn’t hole my fair share of putts.”
A string of Tour starts including at the BMW PGA Championship and British Masters is available for the leading finishers while top three will also qualify for the Great Britain and Ireland PGA Cup team.






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