Lee-on-the-Solent’s lefty star shows who’s boss with epic 64
Fresh from his win over two rounds at Shanklin & Sandown the day before, Lee-on-the-Solent’s star James Ablett claimed The Richmond Pro-Am as well with a stunning six-under-64*.
The third victory in six days having tied at Dartford, and his fifth of the 2017 schedule so far, Ablett added a further £800 to his prize fund to edge closer to the PGA South Money List leader, the new PGA Southern Open champion Richard Wallis. Ablett’s round of 64 was three shots clear of nearest rivals David Copsey (DCGS Poult Wood) and Tom Muchmore (Kingsnorth).
Speaking afterwards Ablett commented: “The weather was once more pretty well ideal, while Richmond’s fairways were still pretty fiery despite the recent downpours a couple of days back but the course was in great shape and the greens were fast and firm. Having driven back the night before to make the early start, I was delighted to find the form I’d found at Shanklin & Sandown was still there, indeed the last few days have been pretty good for me.”
Had just one more putt dropped, Ablett and his three amateurs might have nabbed the team event as well, but instead they lost out on a countback to Stephen Burridge’s, the home PGA Professional, team with 86 points.
Starting at the third in a shotgun start, Ablett charged through the seventh, eighth and ninth, only to trip up on the 10th with a bogey. Suitably inspired, the Lee-on-the-Solent lefty then eagled the 11th and made another birdie two holes later at the 13th. Now five-under-par, he added one more at the 18th, and with pars through his last two holes he carded the winning 64.
Starting on the sixth, Copsey soon got into gear with a birdie at the next hole, but offset that with a bogey at the eighth. A birdie at the ninth got things back on track, but another bogey put him back on level par. Birdies at the 14th, 17th and the first added up to a 67 for the runners up spot.
Muchmore started perfectly on the short 14th with a deuce, but gave it back two holes later by bogeying the 16th. He birdied the 17th and 18th, but managed to give those back with bogeys at the second and fourth.
Now level par again, Muchmore birdied the seventh, ninth and eleventh to reach three-under but yet another bogey at the 12th left him needing a birdie at his last hole, the par five 13th to get in the frame and duly grab it with both hands to share second spot with Copsey.