Young star from East Sussex National maximizes new found opportunities
Chris Croucher (East Sussex National) has notched up his fourth win of the season, shooting a cool three-under-par 69 to claim victory in the Bletchingley Pro-Am and take home the winner’s cheque for £900.
With a stunning performance over the back nine, Croucher overtook PGA Southern Open champion Andy Raitt’s (St George’s Hill) round of two-under-par 70, while Lea Cooper (Tilgate Forest), Callum Scott (Silvermere) and Ben St. John (Woodcote Park) all tied for third spot on one-under-par 71.
In his fourth season on the Southern schedule, Croucher believes his winning form this season is down to one thing, “It’s simple –Steve Graham, the GM at East Sussex National is very supportive. He’s making sure that I’m playing in a lot more events and that’s really helping me to make the most of my potential.”
Raitt was two-under-par after nine and reached four-under after fourteen, but things came adrift with bogeys at the 15th and 16th. His deuce at the 17th was offset by another dropped shot at the 18th to finish on 70.
Playing Bletchingley for the first time, Croucher’s outward nine was in his own words, “…a bit scrappy!” with two birdies and two bogeys to be out in level par. As he got the hang of the course management required at Bletchingley, Croucher then started setting himself up with the birdie opportunities he needed to challenge Raitt.
He charged through the next eight holes with birdies at the 11th, 13th, 15th and 16th to reach four-under-par. Despite three-putting the last green, his 69 was still just good enough to edge out Raitt and snatch his fourth win of 2015.
Croucher commented, “I holed my fair share of putts at Bletchingley and played well for what was my first time out there. Thanks to being able to play more often, my golf’s better this year and I’m certainly enjoying my best season so far playing in the Southern schedule.” He continued, “It’s great to be playing plenty of competitive golf in a region where the overall standard is very high, and it’s making me even more determined to maintain this kind of form for the rest of the season.”
Croucher is one of another strong field competing in the next major tournament in the Virgin Atlantic PGA South Order of Merit, the Samsung PGA Southern Professional Championship on September 9th to September 10th at the stunning Kings Hill Golf Club in Kent.