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England and Wales (North) Region

Belt buckles up after stunning first round

18 Jun 14

1806NorthAlexBelt

Alex Belt (above) blitzed the course record at Sandburn Hall with an eight-under-par 64 in the first round of the PGA Yorkshire Masters.

And after clipping a shot off the old mark, he revealed that it was one of his favourite venues.

"I've played here lots of times because it suits my game," he said, as he racked up eight birdies and an eagle.

"I missed the cut on the PGA Europro Tour last week but I felt at ease today."

He evidently did as 24 hours earlier he won the curtain-raising pro-am with a 66.

The 28-year-old Scarborough-based professional, who won the PGA North Region Championship at Blackpool resort Herons' Reach for the second time last month, meant business from the start in the 36-hole tournament.

He birdied the 540-yard first hole, then proceeded to add 11 threes to his card, the most memorable being the eagle at the 504-yard 12th, where he rifled a six iron approach to 12 feet.

He regretted bogeys at the seventh, where his ball took an unkind bounce into the semi rough and 14th which he three putted, but if he can retain his form in the second round he hopes he can carry it on to the Scottish Hydro Challenge in Aviemore next week.

Belt, attached to Snainton Golf Centre in North Yorkshire and who also represents De Vere, has attended European Tour School five times but refuses to lose his desire to play at the higher level.

"Someone suggested I choke in the bigger events but I always reply that I learn from my mistakes. I feel there's already too much negativity in the game," he added.

His tour ambition is shared by Adam McCabe, who flits between coaching in Glasgow one day a week and spending the rest of it in working in the golf retail trade in his native Cheshire.

The 27-year-old multi-tasking professional is determined to play full-time and he took a small but important step to achieving that goal with 67, his first bogey-free round, to tie second with Andrew Herridge, from Leeds Golf Centre, and Abbeydale's Gareth Davies, the newly crowned Powerade PGA Assistants' champion.

McCabe works under the Gordon Sherry Golf banner, having met the former amateur champion at Stirling University while training for a business and golf management degree which he completed in Arizona.

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