16 May 18
Grant Hamerton beat the clock by a minute to set up his place in the English PGA Championship Final.
The Pike Fold Golf Club Professional was caught up in a traffic jam close to the venue for the North West Qualifying event, Manchester’s Marriott Worsley Park Golf Club.
But the Bury player made it with seconds to spare, and his reward was to finish joint top of the leaderboard with Kieron Gaskell (Crosland Heath), David Smith (Swinton Park Golf Club) and Tim Dykes (Penrith Golf Club).
They all finished the day with one under par rounds of 70 and will join 13 other qualifiers at Saunton Golf Club in Devon for the £30,000 grand final which is being held between June 27-29.
The event has been re-introduced to the PGA schedule after a gap of eight years.
Hamerton was keen to make the final after a disappointing result at the qualifying event for the PGA Professional Championship.
“I missed out there by one shot, so I saw this as a second chance to get to a national final,” he said.
“For that reason, I’m glad it’s back on the calendar as it keeps the season going.
“But, I almost didn’t make it. I was stuck in a traffic jam due to an accident on the M60 and I made the start with a minute to spare. I didn’t even have time to do my shoelaces up!”
After little by way of preparation, Hamerton had a steady front nine, making pars all the way.
It was only after that when he started picking up birdies, although two bogeys stopped him pulling clear of the rest of the field.
“I tried to keep some momentum going, but I was hoping to qualify from this event and get to the final,” he said.
“I did qualify for this event in 2010, but I couldn’t play because I was injured which was a shame. So I’m especially looking forward to this final.
“Worsley Park is the sort of course where you know you can get good opportunities towards the end and I managed to take a couple of them."
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