Booth wins battle of attrition at Hurlston

Booth wins battle of attrition at Hurlston

20/07/2022

Rob Booth claimed his second PGA North Order of Merit title after he came out on top in the Northwest Masters hosted at Hurlston Hall Golf Club.

Playing in the largest event on the regional calendar for 2022, Booth claimed the £7,500 winners’ cheque by virtue of pipping ever present Steve Parry by one stroke on the testing Hurlston course.

With birdies at a premium over the week, Booth stuck to his task over the three rounds to claim winners bragging rights by finishing the tournament on two-under-par with Parry the only other player under par for the week on one-under-par.

Playing the excellent Hurlston Hall in only the second staging of the PGA Northwest Masters, more than  95 Regional players began the week chasing the largest first prize of the season and a share of the £47,000 prize fund.

With a new course layout and testing pins and tees, this was a battle that called on the region’s players to be at their best throughout the week. With the tournament format being changed to a 54-hole event with a cut after 36, this was the first time many regional players had entered a tournament of this calibre on the circuit.

First round honours were taken by both Mark Pilkington and Craig Corrigan who shot opening 69’s to jointly hold the new course record, which stood for only 24 hours as Steve Parry shot a sparkling 68 (-4) in round two, a round which included five birdies.

On the day of the cut, it looked like Parry would hold a commanding lead going into the final round, that was until Booth holed a 25-foot putt on the 18th for an eagle three which set the final pairing up with only a two shot difference.

The wind was at its strongest for the final round making a tricky course much more difficult and with a final day crowd of around 100 spectators, all eyes were on the final group heading out onto the course.

With a two-shot lead and the course yielding high scores, it looked like Parry was favourite for the title, but with opening hole bogies for Parry and Booth, Parry added another on the second and the fourth, which meant both players were tied stood on the Par 5 6th hole.

A monstrous chip in for eagle from Booth could only be matched by a birdie from Parry which meant for the first time in the tournament, Booth held the lead, but a blip at the next par 5, Parry‘s par was good enough to tie the lead once again.

Both players had a nervy back nine and playing the tricky 16th hole, it looked like Parry would have the opportunity to claim the lead after a Booth bogey, but his five-foot par putt trickled to the right of the hole to leave him one behind.

After navigating the tough par 4 17th hole with pars both players stood on the final hole with Booth holding a slender one-shot advantage and after Parry narrowly missed an eagle from a delicate chip, Booth was left with two putts for the championship which he duly delivered.

Booth commented: “It has been a great week, it was my first time here and the course is an excellent test, one of the best on the circuit in the region.”

“It’s fantastic and on behalf of all the players I would like to thank Hurlston Hall for allowing us the opportunity to play in such an event for the money on offer, it really makes a difference knowing that that opportunity exists for us.”

Commenting on the event, Jonathan Paine, Regional Manager for the PGA North region, said: “To have the opportunity to play a tournament of this size within the region is fantastic.

“We started our relationship with Hurlston when sadly Covid struck and to have the opportunity to grown this event with the club is fantastic. My thanks must go to Gerry O’Brien and Lee Williams who have provided the opportunity and to Tom and his Green Keeping team who have provided a true test of golf and certainly some of the smoothest greens we have played an event on.”

CLICK HERE for a full list of scores from the Northwest Masters.

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