Chris Gane wins battle of the lefties
Chris Gane (Lefthandedgolf@Silvermere) shot 66, 67 around the recently refurbished Kingswood course for a total of 11-under-par 133, winning the PGA Surrey Open* by six clear shots. Supported by Virgin Atlantic Little Red, Gane took home £2,111, one of the southern schedule’s largest winner’s cheques.
Explaining his performance, Gane said, “I drove really well, missing just one fairway over the two days, setting up the second shots where I could get close to the flag. With the greens really good and holding, I could pepper the pins where appropriate.”
A good example was his second to the 15th where the pin position made it essential to finish below the hole. Seeing his partner’s ball pitch in the middle of the green and stop dead instead of running down to the flag, he took on the pin and left it ten feet below the hole for a simple par on a green where others were three putting.
Tied for second place on five-under-par 139 was Paul Nessling (Cooden Beach), Adam Wootton (Oxford Golf Centre), and fellow left hander James Ablett (Lee-on-the-Solent) who earned £1,028 each, followed by Gary Marks (World of Golf), James Jones (Tonbridge Golf Centre) and Nicholas Olson (Chart Hills) on 141. Leading amateur was Conor Cull who got home in one shot less than the new Golf College Challenge champion Piers Berrington.
On a perfect day with warm temperatures, firm fairways and holding greens, Gane was in top form in the opening round, shooting six birdies in a flawless round of 66, with five of those on the front nine. However it was only enough to lead the first day by one shot from Ablett’s 67 with Wootton close behind on 68.
The breeze picked up on day two to make several holes more challenging, but Gane shot two birdies and an eagle on the ninth to stretch his lead to five, while his nearest rivals succumbed to Kingswood’s heavily bunkered and tree-lined course.
On the back nine Gane stretched his lead, birdieing the 11th and 12th, and while dropping one at the 13th, he made up for it with yet another birdie at the par five 14th. Although one more shot went west at the 18th, Gane had left his rivals long behind.
Leading both the Virgin Atlantic Little Red PGA South 2014 Order of Merit** with four events to go – The PGA in Sussex Open at Sweetwoods on August 10th, the PGA Southern Pros Championship at Kings Hill on 9th-10th September, the 72-hole Tylney Park Classic on 8th,9th and 10th October, and also the Keith MacDonald PGA South Match Play Championship, Gane is up for the fight to grab a place to Turkey.
He commented, “I’m really happy with my swing and form this year, and provided I can keep it up, then maybe, just maybe, I can earn myself one of those places to the PGA Play Offs.”