England (South) Region
22 Jul 19
Andrew Cloke has more reason than most to be savouring the prospect of playing in The PGA in Hampshire Open, sponsored by Be Wiser Insurance, at Hayling on Tuesday July 23rd, writes Ken Gaunt.
The county’s former captain had to take an enforced absence from tournament golf in 2016 and 17 because of debilitating injuries. He explained: “I had an operation on my hand due to arthritis on one of the joints. It took a long time to heal because of all the physio.”
He continued: “Then in 2017 i snapped my achilles tendon , which left me trying to get strength back in my leg. So that year was wiped out as well. I missed it in a way, playing in tournaments but at the end of the day it is my work at the club that goes to paying the bills.”
He dipped his toe back in the water at Alresford last September and has now played in two recent events at Test Valley and Basingstoke, his home town. While he finished down the field in both Pro-Ams, the Andover pro, who joined the club in January 2016, is keen to keep on competing.
He said: “I’m trying to play a bit of golf this year. With work as well there are time constraints on practising and playing. I am finding it a bit difficult but want to play in a few more tournaments by the end of the season."
In the Basingstoke Pro-Am** Adam Hickling took the honours at Basingstoke, winning by two shots with a three-under par 67. Hickling has built on his victory in the PGA in Hampshire Stroke Play Championship with a string of top 10 finishes on the circuit.
It was nip and duck going down the straight against Mark Dowdell and Gary Stubbington who were also in contention for top spot. Hickling held his nerve, however, and finished with successive birdies with his rivals tied second on 69.
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