01 Jun 17
Luke Towler will head to the Titleist & FootJoy PGA Professional Championship Final looking to put his fears of the big stage behind him.
Towler, of Telford Golf & Country Club, won the qualifying round at Fulford Golf Club in York with round that came close to equalling Ian Woosnam’s course record of 62.
The Midlander fell one short of that but his nine under par score saw him dominate the event and finish four shots ahead of Renishaw Park Golf Club’s Michael Ramsden.
They will join 10 other qualifiers at the £78,000 grand final which is being staged in Ireland this year - with Luttrellstown Castle Golf & Country Club hosting the event between June 13-16.
And Towler wants to make up for his previous final appearance four years ago when he ‘imploded’ at Slaley Hall.
He made a first round score of 73 then after holding a six shot lead, only to miss the cut.
“I don’t want a repeat of that, back then if I made a big score I was almost frightened by it,” he said.
“At Slaley Hall, I’d only been qualified as a professional for a year and never even seen my name on a leaderboard before.
“I was leading the field but then I just imploded. I made 83 in the second round and I fell away.
“Now I feel more confident about seeing out a tournament from that position and I want to go to Luttrellstown Castle to try and win.
“That’s how I felt here. Before the round even started I asked what Ian Woosnam’s course record was but I couldn’t quite manage that.”
Towler made a slow start and when he bogeyed the par four second hole there was no sign of what was to come.
But then he birdied the fifth hole and built up momentum from there - making eagles at the ninth and 18th holes - to coast to the top of the leaderboard.
“I feel more confident now, the past few years I tried to go full time as a player but didn’t have that financial security,” said Towler.
“Now I’m back working at the club and it feels so much better playing without having those worries at the back of my mind and I think that’s showing.”