Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Most bookies would quote you 100-1 against Greig Hutcheon repeating last year's win in the Titleist PGA Play-offs - being played this week over the Antalya Golf Club's Sultan Course in Turkey.
Eight strokes behind all-the-way leader Richard Wallis (Walmer and Kingsdown) with only one round to go, the Banchory tour pro will give it his best shot.
Still bothered by a "bad" back, Hutcheon managed to repeat his opening round of 70 for a two-under-par tally of 140. That leaves him in sixth place, eight shots place behind the leader by two, Kent's Richard Wallis who is on 132 with scores of 65 and 67.
Hutch deviated from par only three times in his second round - a birdie at the first hole, a bogey at the 15th, and a birdie at the long 16th. The five men ahead of him on the leaderboard have all scored in the 60s. That's what Hutcheon must do to have a chance of a top-three finish.
David Patrick (Elie Sports Centre) is sharing eighth place on 142 with scores of 70 and 72.  The former Walker Cup man got off to a dreadful start with bogeys at the first three shots and then another at the short sixth after he had begun to redress the balance with a birdie at the fourth.
Patrick steading the ship and stopped the rot by reeling off nine successive pars before finishing on a high with birdies at the long 16th and short 16th.
Tartan Tour No 1 Stephen Gray (Hayston) continues languish at the bottom of the heap - 24th in a field of 24 - but he will be grateful for small mercies in that his second-round 74 was three shots better than his nightmare opening round.
Gray still chalked up more bogeys - six - than he usually has in a week of Tartan Tour pro-ams but there were birdies to savour at the long seventh, 15th and long 16th.

He wasn't firing on all cylinders but Richard Wallis still tops the Titleist PGA Play-Offs after a gritty second round 67 at Turkey's Antalya Golf Club.
The Walmer and Kingsdown pro's four under par score leaves him 10 under for the 54-hole tournament with former champion Paul Streeter lurking two shots back after a superb 65.
Ireland's David Higgins sits third on seven under following a 67 with Midland ace Matt Cort (Rothley Park) at six under while Wellingborough's Simon Lilly, who recently shot 59, gave himself an outside chance of victory with a 66 to lie five strokes adrift of the leader.
Wallis was delighted with his score, admitting he had paid the price for a practice session with a different driver that hampered his rhythm.
"My timing was out because I used a slightly stiffer shaft in practice so was hitting it a bit harder," he explained.
But the Kent pro revealed his battling qualities with four birdies and no dropped shots.
"I birdied the first and that was probably the best I played to be honest," he said.
"I just scratched it around on the first nine but holed a couple of nice 10-12 footers and made a cheeky three up nine after finding a bunker to turn in three under which I probably didn't deserve considering how I'd struck the ball."
Wallis added his fourth birdie with a well-flighted four iron on the par five 16 - one of the PGA Sultan Course's signature holes.
With a string of victories to his name following successive South Region Order of Merit titles, Wallis is relishing the opportunity of leading from the front in tomorrow's final round with a number of European and Challenge Tour starts at stake in addition to being crowned the PGA's No. 1 ranked player.
"I'm quite happy to lead from the front," he added. "I can't change how anyone else does, I can only affect what my golf ball does.
"I will be going out to try and make as many birdies as possible and eliminate the mistakes."
Lincoln Golf Centre pro Streeter, who lifted this title back in 2007, will be pushing Wallis hard having struck a rich vein of form with his splendid 65 which included an eagle on the 592-yard par-5 seventh.
"The eagle really got the ball rolling and then I holed a 20 footer on the next for birdie so I was five under through nine," said Streeter.
"On the back nine I gave myself chances but just didn't make them. I hit a poor shot off 12 into the trees and got punished as you should do with a bogey but had good birdie chances on 13 and 14.
"I hit two lovely shots into 16 for birdie, nearly holed it on 17 - hit it two foot so that was a nice birdie and made a solid four down the last."
Streeter will be aiming for more of the same tomorrow.
"If you can hit it straight off the tee, the fairways are in good nick and the greens are generous. There's no secret to any course, if you can hit it straight it gives you a chance," he added.
"I've won this before and to get my name on such a prestigious trophy twice would be fantastic."
Waterlooville Links player Higgins will be out in the last group with Wallis and Streeter but believes he will need to be more aggressive in his play if he is to triumph.
"I played nicely but I need a low one because Richard is playing well," he said.
"I will have to put my foot down tomorrow, may be play a little bit more aggressive and attack the course more. I will have to do better."



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