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Saturday, 30 May 2015

Hexham golfers shine in spotlight

HEXHAM golfers continue to steal the limelight with further success at prestigious events.

Former assistant professional at the club, Chris McDonnell, made an eye-catching debut at the Glenmuir PGA Professional Championship by bringing home the trophy, while talented teenager Matty Lamb helped England Boys to the coveted Home Internationals championship.

McDonnell, an ex-England schoolboys international himself, recorded the biggest win of his career by claiming the prestigious victory at Blairgowrie, in Scotland.

The 32-year-old, who now works as an assistant at the Royal Golf Club, in Bahrain, for Troon Golf Management, held on to record the memorable win despite dropping shots on the final two holes following a break for rain.

McDonnell, who was assistant to current Hexham pro Andy Paisley, said: “The rain suspension definitely affected me.

“You start to cool down and you’re out of your rhythm and then you start to think about what you need to do.

“I got back out there and it was difficult to get a rhythm going. I thought the green on 17 was going to be a bit slower after the rain, but it was actually quicker and I made bogey. I just got over the line on the last.

“Before that I played fantastic golf. I hit the ball well, putted well and just got off to a fantastic start.”

He added: “I recently won the Austrian PGA title, but this tops that one. This is definitely the biggest win of my career.”

Before dropping shots at the end, McDonnell had been a model of consistency as he carded three rounds of 69 and one of 70 during the week.

The triumph secured him a prize fund of £10,000, a place in the end of season Titleist PGA Play-Offs in Turkey and has also put him in a strong position to qualify for next year’s Great Britain and Ireland PGA Cup team, which will take on the USA in California.

Meanwhile, star in the making Lamb won three of his five matches in the series to help his country to success over the three other teams represented.

Playing at number one for England on the opening day, he was beaten 3&2 by Ewen Ferguson, the current British and Scottish U18 strokeplay champion. However, England won a close match 8.5-6.5.

Against Wales the next day, Matty won his foursomes match and then his singles match very convincingly 5&4 as England won 10.5-4.5.

With England leading by a single point as they prepared to play Ireland, Matty bounced back from four down after eight to claim the singles game on the 17th, seeing his nation take the championship.

Back at the Spital Lane club, the Ladies Captain’s Day was contested with June Lomax (41) winning Division One ahead of Paula Forster (38) and Val Pesarra (37).

Division Two was won by Joyce Whitfield (42), with Lorraine Pratt (40) second and Margaret Dowdeswell (39) third.

Suzanne Phillips (34) needed countback to win Division Three, edging out runner-up Sheila Bell (34). Joan Young (32) was third.

Simon Clayton-Hibbott (38) came out top in Division One of the latest Thursday Stableford. Mark Fletcher (37) and David McGlasson (37) battled it out for second spot.

Guy Beauchamp (41) won Division Two, with William M. Stevenson (38) and Nigel W. Robson (38) making up the top three.

With a score of 77-9-68, Michael Inglis was the winner of Division One of the August monthly medal, ahead of Martin Bayley (80-12-68) and Kim Steward (76-7-69).

Paul Shrimpton (85-15-70) won Division Two, with Ray McGhee (88-17-71) second and Geoffrey Harrison (89-17-72) third.