North Foreland star Richard Wallis hit the front again with a barrage of birdies to win The London Golf Club Heritage Pro-Am, sponsored by Vestra Wealth.
Despite a strong field of multiple winners and less than wonderful weather, Wallis managed to rack up 8 birdies and an eagle in his three-under-par round of 69. In the process he managed to beat the man-in-form Benn Barham (PGolfCoaching@Pedham) to pole position by one stroke, with a share for third spot between Tom Fleming (Newbury & Crookham) and Paul Sherman (Langley Park) each shot one-under 71.
However, Wallis’s and Barham’s cards told two very different stories. While Barham had four birdies and a couple of bogeys, which in the circumstances of some of the worst weather this year was an impressive performance, Wallis did things very differently.
Starting with an opening birdie at the first, he birdied the fourth and eagled the fifth to be four-under, and then out of the blue he made a triple bogey seven. Always a great one to bounce back, Wallis made birdies at the next two holes, but again let things slip at the ninth with another bogey.
Two-under at the turn and in good shape, he then made another bogey at the 10th but proceeded to fire off three birdies on the trot on a course that’s hardly anyone’s idea of one that gives away birdies.
Back to four-under, Wallis double-bogeyed the 16th to drop to two-under, but the former Virgin Atlantic PGA South Order of Merit champion produced his final flourish with a birdie at the final hole to finish on 69.
Wallis was still pleased with his performance, saying, “I’d like to think that the bad holes were uncharacteristic, but on the other hand, despite the weather I still managed to make up for those mishaps. Generally speaking I played well, and given that I have played a lot less this season, to make my third win on a tough course despite a very strong field, is what I’d call a good result!”
Wallis is in the process of developing his career in golf, as he’s now switching from playing to teaching, and will doubtless be putting all the experience he’s gained over the past few years as one of the region’s top winners to good use. “Now I have a young family, things have changed and as I’ve always enjoyed coaching other players, I want to put all my experience to good use, whether it’s to get more beginners into the game, or to enhance the low handicap amateurs and potential stars of the future.”