Paul O’Hanlon took the plaudits in the first round of qualifying school for the 2009 PGA EuroPro Tour with a hole-in-one at Stoke by Nayland.
Four courses stage the 36-hole first stage of qualifying and O’Hanlon (Curragh) leads in Essex at five under par after the first 18 holes. O’Hanlon’s ace came on the 186 yard fifth and was sandwiched between birdies at the second and seventh to go out four under par. A bogey on the 11th set him back to three under but the Irishman picked up two further shots in the last holes to finish five under, two shots clear of amateur Benjamin Collins who carded three birdies in the last four holes to move into a strong position before tomorrow’s final round.
The final stage of qualifying takes place begins at Frilford Heath next Tuesday (April 7) and the top 46 players from the field of 74 will get through, with three players currently tied in 45th spot at six over at Stoke by Nayland. Ross Cameron (Saltire Energy) leads by a stroke at Forest Pines in Lincolnshire after his opening round 69 that sees him sit at four under. The Scotsman fired seven birdies in total to edge in front of Joe Senior (Heysham), James Hepworth (Ilkley GC) and Scott Jamieson who recorded opening rounds of 70 – the top 56 players from the field of 92 at Forest Pines will progress to Frilford Heath.
Robert Watkins (Crews Hill GC) shot a four under round of 68 at Mentmore Golf Club in Bedfordshire to lead by a stroke going in to the final day, where 58 of the 92 players will make it through to the final stage. Watkins birdied the first, fifth and ninth holes to go out three under par and picked another shot up at the 16th in a faultless round to sit in front of Rory Kirwan and Oliver Bettis (Sedlescombe GC) – although Bettis will rue two double bogeys in his round of 69.
At Cumberwell Park in Wiltshire, Paul Reed (Bristol & Clifton GC) recorded five birdies and no dropped shots in his round of 66 to lead the way at five under, two shots clear of Calvin O’Carroll (Unifab Ltd), Paul McDonald (Elm Park GC) and Martin Sell – with 30 players from the 48 entrants qualifying for Frilford Heath.
To view the full results from all four venues, click on Score Updates on the home page.
Date Posted: 01/04/09