03 Sep 14
Cornwall golfers Richard O’Hanlon and Andy Jones hailed their close friendship as they secured victory in the Lombard Trophy final at Gleneagles.
St Kew PGA Professional O’Hanlon, left, and his amateur partner Jones hit form over the resort’s King’s Course on day two of Europe’s largest pro-am, ending the championship with a sensational 20-under-par score of 122.
In truth they were always in contention to claim the £43,600 final, having finished just one shot shy of the lead on the first day.
But low scoring throughout, including a hole-in-one from rivals Sleaford on day one, threatened to overshadow their good form.
In the end the consistency of the southern duo paid off, with a string of birdies from holes 12 to 17.
From there Jones, a builder by trade whose two children have golf lessons with O’Hanlon, came into his own.
The 17-handicapper hit a nett eagle on the 18th to ensure the duo took the title by three shots from nearest challengers Hart Common.
“The whole occasion has been unreal,” he explained. “To come to Gleneagles and not only play but win has been incredible.
“I never expected this, the whole experience has been something else, it’s been a really good trip.”
For O’Hanlon, the win was fine reward for the hard work put in on the practice ground since his move to St Kew earlier this year.
Unlike a generous portion of the 16-team field that had made it through the regional finals, the Cornwall pro had never made it to the Lombard Trophy final before.
And that is something he had been aiming to put right heading into 2014.
“For me this is the biggest event on The PGA calendar, and to win it is really special,” he said.
“I’ve been lucky to play in a lot of big events in my career including the PGA Pro-Captain Challenge last year, but this achievement is up there with the best.
“I think the key for us is that we get on really well, so we dovetailed well and hit plenty of birdies.
“But the strength of the competition really showed today, we kept on hitting a birdie, asking how many we were ahead, and then finding out we hadn’t made any shots at all on the pairs behind us!
“But we made it in the end, and it was a real relief when we holed out on the 18th green.”
Manchester amateur Terry Battersby and his Hart Common PGA Professional Steve Parry finished one shot behind at the end of the second day, after carding a more-than-respectable 17-under-par 125.
The duo equalled the best score of the day, a 59 which was also carded by the victors, to finish ahead of third place Graham Farr and Shawn Thomas (Worcester).
“It’s all about teamwork in an event like this and we were definitely good at that,” explained Battersby, who celebrated his 40th birthday last week.
“To come to Gleneagles and play on a course like this is definitely a big highlight, and to play as well as we did and finish in the top two has been amazing.”