England (South) Region
25 Oct 18
Jon Barnes won the PGA in Hampshire Order of Merit for a remarkable 10th time - but was still left feeling a bit flat, writes Ken Gaunt.
Barnes finished in the top five places in almost every event he’s played in since late July, including several wins, but as he explained: “I lost in the play-off for the PGA in Hants Open, lost in the play-off for the Stroke Play Championship as well, and lost in the semi-final of The PGA in Hants Match Play Championship.
He commented: “So even though I won the Order of Merit, to my mind it was a ‘nearly’ year. I’ve been a bit unlucky in some ways.”
Barnes, who has set up his own coaching business after leaving Lee-on-the-Solent Golf Club, was a model of consistency through the 2018 season, finishing first or tied first in six events. In the process the 47-year-old celebrated Skylark Golf and Country Club’s first ever pro-am in early September with a record-busting round of 61.
“That has to be the highlight of the season for me.” he said, “It was the first for a while, I also did it at Southwood, so that was good. I’m also proud of the fact I’ve never been out of the top three in Hampshire since I turned pro at 24.”
Chris Blunden (Sandford Springs) came second in the Order of Merit with Elliot Groves (Ampfield Par 3 Course) third. Barnes added: “There are some fine young players coming through, which is good to see.”
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