28 Aug 19
Thirteen proved a lucky number for James Webber and Max Brackley as they set a scorching pace in the opening round of the Golfbreaks.com PGA Fourball Championship at Farleigh.
That was the number they finished under-par to lead the chase for the £5,500 on offer to the winners of the tournament that, sponsored by PGA Partners Golfbreaks.com, carries a £33,250 prize purse.
Webber, who is attached to The Rayleigh Club, Essex, led the way with seven birdies and an eagle while Brackley, his partner from across the Thames Estuary at Manston Golf Centre in Kent, weighed in with four birdies.
It all added up to a 13-under-par total of 59 but the pair were not alone in bagging a birdie bonanza or, in Michael Campbell’s case, eagles.
Campbell, who is attached to Kettering Golf Club, recorded a trio of them as he and his partner, Simon Lilly of De Vere Staverton Estate, signed for a 12-under-par round of 60.
The pair were first out and clubhouse leaders until Webber and Brackley completed the back nine of the Surrey course in seven-under.
In the meantime, two pairs - defending champions Jack Winer and James Watts and Tom Metcalfe and Alistair Waddell – posted 11-under-par rounds of 61 to trail the leaders by two shots.
Glen Portelli and Robert Daw plus Oliver Tite and Matthew Johnson also recorded a double-figure sub-par number to be 10-under and share fifth place.
Compared with the pairs snapping at their heels, that is almost akin to being in solitary confinement.
No fewer than eight are locked on nine-under, an octet that includes the duos that finished second and third respectively last year, Adam Keogh and Michael Reed and Richard O’Hanlon and Michael Watson.
It also includes Scottish pair 2019 PGA Cup team member Craig Lee and Heather MacRae, the 2019 Women’s PGA Champion (above).
MacRae is playing her first competitive round of golf following surgery for cervical cancer 10 weeks ago but showed few signs of ring rustiness, posting six birdies that counted.
“Well that was a fun day back,” she tweeted. “We had 17 birdies between us but could only manage nine-under! Hopefully we can dovetail better tomorrow.”
Full scores can be accessed via this link:
Mansell and Grace share pole position
16 Oct 19
County PGA chairman ends season with Hampshire Order of Merit victory
14 Oct 19
Harpin shoots a 12-under-par round of 59 at Holyhead Golf Club
14 Oct 19