11 Oct 17
Local pride is at stake for 15 PGA Professionals who will be hoping to lead their respective counties to success in the fifth staging of the PGA England & Wales Inter-County Championship Final. Steven Carpenter previews this year’s event.
There will be a new name on the PGA England & Wales Inter-County Championship trophy in 2017 as Cheshire & North Wales, Essex, Hampshire, Leicestershire & Rutland and Wiltshire battle it out at The Belfry to become champions.
Next week’s event features a strong and competitive field full of players who have performed admirably in their respective region’s Order of Merit events.
Former European Tour player Phillip Archer will be hoping to end an already memorable 2017 season on a high as he makes up part of the three-strong Cheshire & North Wales team. Archer played an important role in helping Great Britain & Ireland defeat America in the PGA Cup last month and will be joined by Graham Cox and Michael Jones.
ABOVE - Phillip Archer with the PGA Cup trophy.
Essex are in their second PGA England & Wales Inter-County Championship Final and will be hoping to improve on their third place finish in 2014. James Scade heads to The Belfry in good form after finishing fifth in the PGA East region’s Order of Merit and he will play alongside Jason Levermore and Brett Taylor.
Martin Adams, Jonathan Barnes and Adam Hickling make up a Hampshire side who are also preparing for their second appearance in the PGA England & Wales Inter-County Championship Final having finished fifth three years ago.
Michael Reed won the first Midland Order of Merit event of the season, the KCC Midland Open at Birstall, but finished just outside the top three in the final rankings. He will be hoping to sign off 2017 with a victory alongside team mates Oliver Booth and Craig Shave.
Wiltshire’s best performance in the PGA England & Wales Inter-County Championship came in 2014 where they finished fourth. Their team, comprising Greg Davies, Henry Pallas and Mark Sandry, will be looking to improve on that this year.
The Belfry is synonymous with world class golf having staged no fewer than four Ryder Cup matches as well as a of host European Tour events.
The resort boasts three courses and the PGA England & Wales Inter-County Championship will be contested on the PGA National, the only PGA branded course in England.
In addition to staging two European Tour events, it hosted the PGA Professional Championship in 2011.
With its inland links appearance, the PGA National presents a unique challenge with its fast running fairways, undulating greens and 70 strategically placed bunkers.
ABOUT THE EVENT
Three-man teams from Cheshire & North Wales, Hampshire, Leicestershire & Rutland, Wiltshire and Essex will compete over 36-holes in the strokeplay team event on October 17-18. The best two scores from each round will count towards the team total and the winners will be the team that end of with the lowest combined total.
There have been four different winners of the England & Wales Inter-County Championship since its inception in 2013.
Suffolk’s team of Lawrence Dodd, Kevin Earp and Peter Latimer won the inaugural event staged on the PGA National course at The Belfry in 2013 with a winning total of 294.
The Brabazon course hosted the 2014 tournament which saw Yorkshire crowned winners after Adrian Ambler, Alex Belt and Gareth Davies posted a total of 284.
ABOVE - (L-R) BB&O trio Paul Simpson, Guy Woodman and Scott Marshall.
Two-time winner of the PGA Assistants’ Championship Guy Woodman helped guide Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire (BB&O) to the title in 2015 with help from Paul Simpson and Scott Marshall.
And last year Scott Stevens, Thomas Muchmore and Peter Appleyard posted a record total for the competition of 275 on the PGA National to see Kent crowned winners.
Keep-up-to-date with live scoring from the PGA England & Wales Inter-County Championship Final by clicking here.
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