Barham Darts ahead



Benn Barham (King’s Hill) shot four birdies in the last four holes for a flawless seven-under-par 62 for victory at the Dartford Pro-Am.

The Kent ace’s performance earned him a cool £1,000, leaving Jack Harrison’s four-under-par 65 in second spot after making seven birdies and three bogeys, and former Virgin Atlantic Order of Merit champion Andy Raitt in third place with a bogey-free 66.

Busy with a full coaching diary, Barham had played in the last five Pro-Am events but wasn’t overly happy with his performances. Checking his swing on video revealed a couple of things needing correction, and his 62 proved his analysis was correct. “I made some changes and played very solidly at Dartford,” he said, “it’s a tight course where you’ve got to be in position to make a score.”

Barham’s last round at Dartford was in a junior match which as he recalled he was keen to finish and watch Nick Faldo on his way to a five shot victory at The Open at St. Andrew’s in 1990. “I had some good players in my Pro-Am team,” he said, “who reminded me what to avoid to stay in good shape. Things got better as I went along, and I made the most of the back nine with a very strong finish.”

Barham’s finish included chipping in at the dangerous short 16th. “It needed a shot that let the ball feed into the green,” he explained, “and although mine stayed short, I holed the chip for a birdie. I heard later that several players pitched on the green, only to go out of bounds through the back.”

Barham is happy his swing is in good shape again with the PGA Surrey Open coming up, and he’s looking forward to the PGA Cup at De Vere Slaley Hall where he joins three other Southern stars in the GB&I team: David Callaway, Jonathan Barnes and Titleist PGA Play Offs champion Richard Wallis.

“I’m really looking forward to the PGA cup,” he said, “as four players from the region are in the side and of course I want to do my bit to help the GB&I team win. In the meanwhile, there are the remaining Virgin Atlantic PGA South Order of Merit events and a lot more Pro-Ams on good courses where I can sharpen up my game.”

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