Suffolk Win PGA Inter-County Championship

LD PGA Team winnersBirthday boy Kevin Earp thanked team-mate Lawrence Dodd for giving him an extra special present as Suffolk captured the inaugural SkyCaddie PGA England & Wales Inter County Championship title at the Belfry.

Joining the celebrations was Peter Latimer who completed the three-man squad that received the brand new Dave Thomas Memorial Trophy and the winner’s cheque of £4,000.

Bury Golf Range pro Earp, 36 today, and Latimer (Felixstowe Ferry) both praised Dodd (Bury Golf Range) after his second round five-under-par 67 proved the difference in their winning tally of six-over-par, with the best two rounds from three counting on each day in the £10,000 event.
Earp weighed in with a 75 for a combined second round score of two-under-par 142, 10 shots better than the first round when ‘brutal’ conditions on the opening day saw Dodd (77) and Latimer (75) give the East Anglian side a share of the overnight lead.

In second place, three shots further back on nine-over was the Lancashire trio of David Shacklady (Mossock Hall), Barry Taylor (Houghwood) and Jeff Mathews (Oak Royal), who earned £2,400. The Warwickshire threesome of Jak Hamblett (Handsworth), Darren Murphy (Stonebridge) and Fred Jewsbury (Stratford upon Avon) finished third in the five-team event on 10-over-par.

A smiling Earp said: “I said to the guys this morning go out and shoot a low one as I’d like a nice birthday present and Lawrence obliged!
“It’s been a great tournament as Lawrence and I are very good friends and I’ve got to know Peter over the last 18 months or so.
“We’ve spent time together up at the Belfry having a practice round and socialising between rounds and it’s been good. It’s nice to play a team event as we don’t get to do it as professionals very often.

“Yesterday was such a slog and must have been playing near 8,000 yards with the wind, the rain and off the back tees. It was brutal and a real test. Today, it was much better and gave us a much better chance of some scores and five-under-from Lawrence is just brilliant and that’s won us the tournament.”

Dodd, whose 67 included a flawless back nine, added: “It’s a bit unexpected to shoot that low, but I drove the ball great and putted very, very well.

“I thought level par for today would be good but for us to shoot a couple better was really good. It’s tough not knowing what your team-mates are doing but it just makes you keep going and you hope it all turns out all right.

“It’s a great event to play team golf as we don’t get to do it very often. This is a nice way to cap the year off.”

Latimer, a Scotsman by birth, also congratulated Dodd for his key role in the win, adding: “I’ve just got to say thanks to Lawrence. What more can you say. He did it for us today. It’s fantastic that we managed to win it.

“Yesterday I got my head down and played well whereas today I had a couple of bad swings and a couple of big numbers and that killed me. Overall it’s been a great event for all of us.”

The tournament was staged over the PGA National, designed by former PGA captain Dave Thomas, who recently passed away, and Peter Alliss. In recognition of Thomas’s contribution, his son Paul was on hand to present the trophy.

Thomas said: “Dad held the Association in high regard and I’m very honoured to present this trophy as part of this tournament and wish it every success for many, many years to come.”

PGA England & Wales Inter-County Championship sponsored by SkyCaddie

Pos. Score Team Names
1 294 (+6) Suffolk Lawrence Dodd, Kevin Earp, Peter Latimer
2 297 (+9) Lancashire David Shacklady, Jeff Mathews, Barry Taylor
3 298 (+10) Warwickshire Darren Murphy, Jak Hamblett, Fred Jewsbury
4 302 (+14) South Wales Sion Bebb, Joe Ferguson, Richard Brookman
5 308 (+20) Surrey David Callaway, Alan Lovelace, Nico Els

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