31 Oct 19
Peter Crowe has earned the sobriquet Captain Cool with Surrey Downs Golf Club members after holing the four-foot putt that won the SkyCaddie PGA Pro-Captain Challenge in Italy.
The successful putt ensured he and the club’s PGA Professional, Craig Cowper, signed off with a nett birdie to pip Stoneham Golf Club for victory and complete a remarkable turnaround.
That involved fashioning an 11-point swing that erased the six-point advantage established by first round leaders, County Louth Golf Club captain Paul Riley and PGA pro Enda Macguire.
In addition, they had to repel Stoneham’s challenge.
Stoneham, represented by club professional Adam Hickling and captain Mike Earney and four points off the lead at the start of day two, enjoyed a similar transformation of fortunes.
They signed off with 82 points courtesy of a birdie at the 18th which meant Surrey Downs needed to match that to claim the trophy and £5,000 winner’s cheque on offer in the competition supported by Prostate UK.
Crowe (above left), who plays off 10, found the green with his approach thanks to some sage advice from his partner.
“Craig told me to take an extra club,” he explained. The advice was spot on, the ball landing some 20-feet from the hole.
Crowe’s first putt for a nett eagle stopped four-feet shot but Cowper had no misgivings about his partner’s ability to deliver the coup de grace.
“Pete’s a great short putter, without a doubt,” he said. “I wasn’t nervous about that putt because he doesn’t miss from there.”
Crowe was less assured. “Now I know what professional golfers playing in tournaments for a living have to deal with,” he said. “It really made me think as I lined up that putt.”
Reflecting on their success, Cowper (above left) added: “It was team effort – we both made lots of birdies. We struggled together and fought together.
“Above all, we gelled. Peter started off well - he was three-under after six. We had a bogey on eight then we made three birdies in the next four and that got us back in it.
“We played very well on the back nine and the putts just went in whereas yesterday they didn’t.”
Not least at the par-four 18th, a putt that meant different things to Crowe and Cowper.
“This is the highlight of my golfing life, without a shadow of a doubt,” said the former.
“I’ve played on many tours but this is the biggest win,” said Cowper who was impressed with the venue, the home of The PGA National – Italy.
“It’s a great course, a real test of golf and very interesting,” he added “And the resort is really nice; the rooms fantastic, the staff amazing and the food is excellent. I’d love to come back – perhaps to bring a group here.”
Leading scores: Surrey Downs Golf Club (38, 45) 83; Stoneham Golf Club (39, 43) 82; County Louth Golf Club (43, 34) 77; Oakmere Golf Club (33, 41) 74