Tuesday, August 05, 2014




They may not have been dripping in gold, silver and bronze but it was the English who were again dominant in Scotland – this time with golf clubs.
Just 48 hours after the curtain came down on the highly-acclaimed Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, the Glenmuir PGA Professional Championship kept the nation firmly in the sporting spotlight.
The feel-good factor from Glasgow headed north as there was a seasonally warm Scottish welcome for the 144-strong field as they descended on Blairgowrie Golf Club, Perthshire for the four-day Glenmuir PGA Professional Championship supported by Peugeot.
But just as England topped the medal table, two Englishmen grabbed the mantle – Devonian Paul Hendriksen (Dinnaton) and Midlander Ian Lyner (The Leicestershire) firing four-under-par 68s until the leaders were gate crashed by Bristol Golf Centre’s Giuseppe Licata, who flies the flag for Italy.
However, even Licata has found inspiration from one of England’s gold medal heroes of Glasgow – gymnast Claudia Fragapane, who just happens to be his second cousin.
Licata, whose round was flawless, admitted that his appearance in the event was in jeopardy as he prepares to become a father for the second time in a matter of weeks.
“I’ve had some help this week as my auntie and uncle have supported me with some funds to take the pressure off,” he said.
“I’ve some other support and that’s really helped me relax. I’ve got my second child arriving in six weeks so it was a bit touch and go about coming but the extra support helped with the decision.”
Hendriksen, who has secured a week off from his role as golf manager at Dinnaton to compete, began his challenge like a man on a mission as he birdied the opening four holes on the Lansdowne Course. 

He extended that with a birdie at the 13th but failed to stay bogey free handing a shot back on the 16th.
Having been a force in qualifying for the championship over the years, he is finally looking to transfer that form to the main event.
I’ve always qualified well, I think I’ve won the qualifier three times, but never really done very well in the finals,” he said.
“I don’t think the courses have suited me and my game but this one does a lot better so hoping to have a good finish this year.”
The trio of leaders is completed by Lyner, who has rediscovered his desired to compete having stayed out of the spotlight in recent years.
The 48-year-old, who oversees the academy coaching programme for the Leicestershire County Golf Partnership, mirrored Hendriksen in notching five birdies with one bogey.
He said: “I just played solid and hit just one bad shot on the eighth, where I hit it in a bush, but other than that I didn’t miss many greens or fairways which is what you have got to do round here.
“I have not played a lot of the bigger events for quite a while but this last six months I have been playing a bit more – not much tournaments but practising and playing a bit better. I’m 50 in a couple of years, which is my motivation.”
The host nation, basking in their success at the Games, have two players on the upper echelons of the leaderboard in PGA Cup duo Graham Fox (Clydeway Golf) and Craig Matheson (Falkirk Tryst) after their two-under 72s, while the Irish are represented by first-timer Michael McDermott (Pure Golf Leopardstown), who is among a group of six on three-under.
Defending champion Dan Greenwood (Forest Pines) opened his account with a level par 72.
The winner of the championship will pocket £10,000 and the use of a Peugeot car for 12 months. 

The top two will also secure their place in the end of season Titleist PGA Play-Offs.
In addition, the field are also playing for PGA Cup points, which will count towards next year’s qualification for the Great Britain and Ireland team that will compete against the USA in California in September 2015.
Lansdowne Course, Blairgowrie G C, Perthshire

Par 72
68 Paul Hendriksen (Dinnaton), Ian Lyner (Leicestershire), Giuseppe Licata (Bristol GC).
69 David Corsby (Fleetwood), Christopher McDonnell (Troon Golf Management), Michael McDermott (Pure Golf Leopardstown), Andrew Willey (Bulwell Forest), Russell Berry (Professional Golf Europe), Craig Swinburn (Brierley Forest).
70 Paul Jones (Canford Magna), Graham Fox (Clydeway Golf), Craig Matheson (Falkirk Tryst), Philip Waugh (Hexham), Chris Gane (Silvermere).
71 Ian Campbell (Heathfield Park)
72 Calum Callan (Cottesmore), Albert Mackenzie (Saunton)
73 Andrew Crerar (Panmure), Greg Paxton (Ralston)
74 Stewart Savage (Dalmuir), David Orr (Mearns Castle), Fraser Mann (Carnoustie), Iain Stoddart (Uphall)
75 Garry Forrester (St Andrews GS)
76 Ross Leeds (Turnberry Hotel), Craig Everett (Caldwell), Scott Catlin (Greenburn).
77 Andrew Fulton (Largs), Chris Morris (Kingsknowe), Chris Robinson (Portpatrick Dunskey), Ken Campbell (Machrihanish), Scott McLaren (Blairgowrie), Gordon Law (Uphall), Alan Reid (West Lothian).
79 Greg McSporran (Kinross), Anthony Mackrell (Playsport)
80 Alastair Webster (Edzell).



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