08 May 19
Chris Crowder’s birdie blitz on the back nine in the PGA North regional qualifier for the PGA Professional Championship at Delamere Forest proved a case of perfect timing – unlike his start.
Crowder, who is attached to Lee Park Golf Club, Liverpool, was a member of the quartet tied for first place after posting six-under-par rounds of 66.
That earned them an equal share of the prize money earmarked for the first four places and qualification for the final of the Titleist and FootJoy sponsored tournament which carries a £78,000 prize purse with £10,000 going to the winner.
However, Crowder was named winner on countback – a scenario that looked unlikely given his preparation for the round. Or lack of it.
“I got my tee time mixed up,” admitted the 41-year-old. “I thought I was off at nine but was down to start an hour earlier.
“So I had no time for any practice, breakfast or even to get a Mars bar from the pro shop. I had to rush to the tee and just made the starting time. It wasn’t ideal.”
A double bogey at the par four fifth on the Cheshire course after four successive pars suggested that rushed start had caught up with him but Crowder recovered in fine style.
An eagle at the par five seventh was bookended by birdies at six and eight and Crowder reached the turn in two-under.
Four more birdies followed on the way home and resulted in him finishing first on countback above Scott Howarth of Davenport Golf Club, Royal St David’s Golf Club’s Lee Rooke, and the 2011 champion, Carlisle Golf Centre and Driving Range’s Craig Goodfellow (right).
“It’s the second time I’ve won a qualifier,” added Crowder, “and I’m really looking forward to the final at Hunstanton. I haven’t played there before but hear it’s a great course.
“It’s primarily a links course which, as I used to be at West Lancs, I prefer and should suit my game.”
Crowder, Howarth, Rooke and Goodfellow will be joined in the final in the third week of June by: Craig Corrigan (Chilli Dip Golf Academy), Matthew Tottey (North Wales Golf Club), Charles Le Sueur (Alderley Edge Golf Club), Benjamin Stanier (Wilmslow Golf Club), Michael Jones (Royal Liverpool Golf Club), Grant Hammerton (Pike Fold Golf Club), Jonathan Graham (Key 2 Sports), Michael Lane (Davyhulme Park Golf Club) plus Alex Evans of Bromborough Golf Club and Penrith Golf Club’s Timothy Dykes who secured the final qualifying places as a result of winning a five-man play-off.
Full scores can be accessed via this link: