Tuesday, September 03, 2013


    Albert Mackenzie (left) and amateur partner Will Hunt.
                  Picture by courtesy of the PGA website

Scot Albert Mackenzie, the Saunton Golf Club, Devon professional, and his amateur partner from Barnstaple, Will Hunt, birdied eight of their last 10 holes to lead the £43,600 Lombard Trophy Grand Final by one stroke at the halfway stage over the Centenary Course, Gleneagles.
They shot a five-under-par 67 despite a double bogey 6 at the eighth.
In all they had birdies at the first, long ninth, short 10th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th.
They also had a bogey at the 11th.
Mackenzie and Hunt lead by one shot from three pairs.
Other Scots among the 16 winning pairs from qualifying venues across the golfing nation are Craig Sutherland (Cherry Lodge) and his amateur partner Chris Witts. They are lying 11th on level par 72.
Stuart Morrison, the Tain pro, and his amateur partner, Iain Cowper are 12th on 74.
Prestonfield pro Gavin Cook and his partner Kevin Wood are sharing 13th place on 75.
The winning pro earns £12,000 

Par 72
67 Albert Mackenzie (Saunton) and Will Hunt (am).
68 Ian Walley (Kedleston Park) and Ian Neal (am); Martyn Thompson (Parkstone) and Darren Budd (am); Paul Simpson (West Berkshire) and Richard Muldoon (am).
69 Chris Smith (Fynn Valley) and Kane Mayes (am); Brian Cosgrove (Killeen) and John Mcleady (am); Chris Crowder (Lee Park) and Ronald Singleton( am); Tim Stevens (Shirland) and Keith Cornish (am).

72 Craig Sutherland (Cherry Lodge) and Chris Witts (am). (11th)
74 Stuart Morrison (Tain) and Iain Cowper (am) (12th).
75 Gavin Cook (Prestonfield) and Kevin Wood (am) (T13). 


A teenage amateur who only got his first handicap a year ago had his PGA pro partner marvelling in admiration as he sank eight single putts on the back nine of the Ryder Cup course to lead the Lombard Trophy at Gleneagles.
Will Hunt’s red hot putter helped yield seven birdies in eight holes as he and Saunton’s Albert MacKenzie  stormed to the top of the leader board at five-under-par in the 36-hole tournament which carries a first prize of £12,000 for the winning pro.
The duo’s 67 gives them a one-stroke advantage over former champion Martyn Thompson and Darren Budd from Parkstone, Ian Walley and Ian Neal from Kedleston Park and Paul Simpson and Richard Muldoon from West Berkshire who carded 68s.
MacKenzie and Hunt's playing partners Brian Cosgrove and John Meleady from Killeen Golf Club in Ireland were six under through the turn but had to settle for a 69 to share fifth with Chris Smith and Kane Mayes (Fynn Valley), Chris Crowder and Ronald Singleton (Lee Park) and Tim Stevens and Keith Cornish (Shirland).
MacKenzie likened his 19-year-old partner's prowess with the short stick to two-time Masters champion Ben Crenshaw but at one stage the pair were heading the wrong way on the leaderboard when they both double bogeyed the eighth to go to one over.
“I had birdies at nine and 10 that probably galvanised the round but Will holed four putts in the last six holes from over 12 feet,” said MacKenzie.
“His putting is quite unbelievable for someone who genuinely plays off a 16 handicap. It is quite extraordinary. Give him a line and he is just threatening the hole from all over the green. I think in the last six or seven holes he’s made five nett birdies. I was a bit part player today.”
Hunt from Barnstaple admitted to being intimidated when he teed off but warmed to his task in blustery conditions on the PGA Centenary Course.
He only took up golf after returning from a round the world trip to Australia and south east Asia but is relishing playing in a national final.
“When you are playing with a pro who knows where it is going to break it certainly helps. Putting makes up for the other areas in my game," he said
“It has been an unbelievable experience to come here and sample Gleneagles since I haven’t played golf outside of Devon. The only downside is having to share a room with my dad!”
Parkstone pro Thompson, sitting a shot back, was pleased with a 68. "It was tricky. Bogeys were very easy to come by. We knew if we could hang on to the coat tails of Kedleston we would be doing okay because they played well. They were three under through the turn and we were level.
“But Darren made two good net birdies on 12 and 13 and I birdied 14 and got a little bit of a run and I’ve birdied the last and suddenly we’ve come back four-under-par.
“It’s nerve-wracking, there’s a bit of money at stake, you’re trying to look after your game, and your amateur’s game, because you need them. I’ve been here before and it’s nice to get into this situation again.”
Thompson’s partner Budd, from Poole in Dorset revelled in the occasion especially teeing off at the first.
“I love all that, the people watching and having your name announced, it is a great feeling. It’s the closest I’m going to get to professional golf so it was special.”
Walley, who has a second PGA national final to look forward to with partner Ian Neal later in the year, declared himself happy with a 68.
“I only had a couple of birdies and my captain threw in a couple – he had a great birdie on the first but it was tough out there to get it close.
“Four under is a nice start, my captain played well, I can’t complain he’s doing the business.”
West Berkshire amateur Richard Muldoon, a nine-handicapper, has only played three times since qualifying so was delighted to be in contention having had little chance to practise in the build-up.
“My boss went on holiday for three weeks so it’s been 60 hour weeks with no time to practise and then I went on holiday for two weeks but I managed a game last Thursday when I borrowed some clubs just to hit a ball and remember what it was like.”
His partner, former Glenmuir champion Paul Simpson, added: “We didn’t hit the ball great but we dovetailed well. It was a good course – it was fair. We didn’t hole much and got away with a couple and made a birdie out of the rubbish so that was nice especially after starting with a bogey.”


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