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England and Wales (North) Region

Andrews stages a grandstand finish

10 Sep 13

1009KrisAndrews

Kris Andrews, who has never won a PGA North tournament since joining the paid ranks 13 years ago, lifted himself into pole position in the James Brearley Lancashire Open at Blackpool North Shore with a spectacular first round seven-under-par 64.

And he achieved it with a grandstand finish when he holed his approach shot with a nine iron for an eagle two on the 415-yard final hole.

For once, his putter stayed in his bag but he used it only 27 times, seven strokes below his average, and attributed his success to fellow professional Grant Hamerton, from Bury club Pike Fold.

Andrews, 31-year-old incumbent at Ashton-on-Mersey, explained: "I'd been struggling on the greens and just before I teed off he gave me a couple of tips then changed my set-up.

"After that I felt I could hole everything. I only had 12 putts in the first nine holes, the longest from 35 feet on the fifth, and I started to think I couldn't miss."

Andrews opened his round with a bogey which became a distant memory after he reached turn in five-under thanks to half a dozen birdies.

He rolled in two more on the home stretch, negated by as many bogeys, before he produced his stroke of genius on the elevated home green. "I could not see the ball go in but when I spotted a member with his arm raised I thought he was signalling I'd hit it out of bounds," he added.

His nearest challenger, a shot behind, is Mossock Hall's David Shacklady who is seeking his third victory of the season.

Leading amateur on 68 is former England international Paul Kinnear, from Formby.

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