England and Wales (North) Region
21 Sep 13
David Shacklady continued his sparkling form when he won the Manx Classic, the jewel in the PGA North pro-am crown, at Ramsey.
But the Mossock Hall maestro, who wrapped up the PGA in England (North) Order of Merit earlier in the month, was taken to the second extra hole by James Barr who had matched the course record equaling seven-under-par by Alex Belt in the first round.
It looked like a case of déjà vu for Shacklady who lost in a sudden death play-off in the same event last year. He suffered a similar fate in the James Brearley Lancashire Open two weeks ago but this time he made sure with a 15-foot birdie putt to deny Barr, professional at Chilli Dip Academy in Bolton.
It’s 10 years since Shacklady, winner of the Manchester Open and Yorkshire Masters in the summer, prevailed in the Manx Classic but he was always favourite this time because he has been consistent throughout the campaign.
An eagle at the long 14th, where he pitched in from 25 yards, set up his eventual victory although he thought he’d blown his chance when he bunkered his approach to the next hole and walked off with a bogey.
Shacklady, who has in excess of 250 assorted events in more than two decades, has only four years to wait in his quest to play the senior circuit.
“That’s my target,” said the former PGA Cup player. “Most players in the region hit the ball longer than I do because they’re so much younger but I can still keep in touch with them.”
As overnight leaders Belt and fellow Europro player Danny Wardrop, from Didsbury, finished four shots off the pace, Barr missed a golden chance not only to win outright but beat the course record.
His wedge shot at the par three final hole, where the play-off was enacted an hour later, almost hit the flag and then he missed a four-foot putt for birdie.
“It was downhill but I should have boxed it,” said the 33-year-old. “But that was my best score at this level so I can’t really complain,” he added after birdying three of the first four holes and eagling the 14th.
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