Friday, November 22, 2013


Lightning strikes leave honours even in Turkey

13Golf Plan GFwinners
They say lightning never strikes twice but it has for Ian Walley after the Kedleston Park pro and amateur partner Ian Neal shared victory with Windermere Golf Club's Simon Edwards and Ian Gordon  in the Golfplan Insurance PGA Pro-Captain Challenge in Turkey today.
Persistent thunderstorms forced the second round of the £25,000 event to be abandoned and with no chance of a play-off to decide its destination, the joint overnight leaders were both awarded the title.
It means Walley (above right) has successfully defended the event he won last year at Antalya Golf Club and gives him a third PGA trophy in the space of 12 months after also winning the PGA National Pro-Am Championship with Neal (second right) in September.
The two club partnerships had carded first round seven-under-par 64s amid glorious sunshine in the Canopius supported event but today they only reached the fourth fairway when they were called off the PGA Sultan course as thunder and lightning plus torrential downpours (at one point 16mm rainfall in one hour) closed in on the Mediterranean resort, leaving Walley and Windermere pro Simon Edwards to share the first prize fund, each earning £4,350.
“I’m over the moon, it would have been nice to win outright but it’s been a great year or two for me and to hold both this and the Lombard Trophy is brilliant. It is just a shame that the weather intervened,” said Walley who only took over at the Derbyshire club earlier in the year.
“It is a quite a good run but these events don’t come along very often. Up until three years ago I had never qualified for anything.
“I’m also really pleased for Ian (Neal), he has been a fantastic captain for me and it means his year as captain has been especially memorable.”
Neal added: “It is a disappointing end but you can’t control the weather. It’s been a wonderful tournament, superb organisation, hospitality and a good bunch of blokes.
13Golf Plan GFFlooding
“The tournament has been great for the club, we have had literally hundreds of well-wishers, and it has generated a lot of interest. Hopefully that will also be reflected in the club and people knowing what Golfplan are about.”
Windermere captain Ian Gordon (second left in picture at the top of the report) whose opening round exploits including a hat-trick of net birdies from 12 which helped earn his club a share of the lead, echoed the sentiments of Neal.
“It’s very frustrating we didn’t get the chance to play and finish the second round but it has been a fantastically organised event and the sponsors, Golfplan and Canopius, and The PGA, have done a brilliant job in extremely difficult conditions.”
His playing partner Edwards (above left) was more philosophical, as he reflected on adding another PGA title to his CV.
“A win’s a win, it doesn’t matter how you get it. It was unfortunate with the weather but all the players and captains have had a great week which is what it is all about and everybody enjoyed themselves.”
“I said this was the one PGA event I hadn’t won so can tick this off now I’ve got my name on it.”
Nuneaton’s Craig Phillips and Tim Parker were third with a 66 while Lee on the Solent and Renishaw Park tied fourth after 67s.
Golfplan Insurance managing director Roger Harvey added: “Despite the weather on the last day we have had a tremendous couple of days in Turkey. It has been great to meet all the PGA pros and club captains and also see so many friendships formed in such a short period of time.
“The whole event has been a terrific success stretching back to the first regional final qualifier and we’re looking forward to building on this next year.”
West Lothian Golf Club Alan Reid and Maureen Shanks, the first woman ever to play in the tournament, were sixth overnight on three-under-par 68 in the field of 10 partnerships who had all qualified through being regional winners.
And sixth was their final placing after the rains came. Alan Reid
collected £2,100 in prizemoney.

Par 71 (second round washed out)
Pros' names first in each pairing
64 Ian Walley and Ian Neal (Kedleston Park); Simon Edwards and Ian Gordon (Windermere) (£4,350 to Walley and Edwards).
66 Craig Phillips and Tim Parker (Nuneaton) (£2,900 to Phillips)
67 Rob Edwards and  Michard Izzard (Lee on the Solent); Nigel Parkinson and David Brown (Renishaw Park) (£2,450 to Edwards and Parkinson).
68 Alan Reid and Maureen Shanks (West Lothian) (£2,100 to Reid).





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