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Queen rules over Swinley Forest

West Sussex’s Joseph Queen proves his mettle to claim pole position in the Trainees Challenge

Joseph Queen (West Sussex) used his heathland golf experience to shoot a one-under-par 68* for a one stroke victory in the Swinley Forest Trainees Challenge, supported by the CK Group.

Taking home a cheque for £500 for his performance around the course that designer Harry Colt described as his ‘least bad course’, Queen edged out Sian Evans’s (Kings Hill) even par round of 69. Tied third on one-over-par was the four way grouping of Matthew Hart (North Foreland), Adam Clough (PGolfCoaching@Pedham), Sam Passmore (Cottesmore) and Ben Wall (Tournerbury).

A delighted Queen spoke about the similarity between his home course and Swinley, as both aren’t long by today’s standards, but they’re very well defended. Amateur and professional tournament results at both courses prove time and time again that one-under will probably be in the frame.

As Queen explained: “I know my way around Swinley now after the Winter Series events, and even with two bogeys at four and five I remained confident, provided my short game stayed sharp. This time my putting was good and besides getting the long putts close, I was also making some of the shorter ones.”

Queen’s results in 2017 didn’t suggest a dramatic change of form, and after two dropped shots at the third and fourth, Queen was under pressure yet again. But he bounced right back with a birdie at the par five fifth and after negotiating the challenging par fours at the sixth and seventh, he deuced the eighth and turned in level par.

He continued: “I made a number of good up and downs for pars on the way back home, and despite three putting the 15th for a par instead of what should have been a birdie four, I made birdie at the next, the 16th and got up and down for a par from the bunker on the 17th.”

In the group behind, Evans dropped a shot at the same hole, but she deuced the spectacular par three 17th to get back to one shot behind Queen.

At the 18th Queen then faced down a 40 feet downhill sliding putt from the back of the green, cosying it up to two inches for a solid par. With Evans parring her last hole as well, it was Queen who walked away with the title and the £500 cheque, thanks to The PGA in England (South)’s keen supporter CK Group.

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