Captain leads the way at Stoneham



James Ablett (Lee-on-the-Solent) shot five-under-par to tie for victory in the Stoneham Pro-Am with The PGA in England (South) Captain Guy Shoesmith (West Hill - pictured) and 2013 PGA Cup player Jonathan Barnes (Ampfield).

After a four way tie in the Copthorne Pro-Am the day before, Ablett found himself sharing the spoils once more, but enjoyed his fourth victory of the season in a regional event. Supported by Ridon Joinery and the Lexus Hedge End dealership, the Stoneham Pro-Am enabled the Captain’s charity, the Lord’s Taverners, to raise significantly more funds. This will help to enhance the prospects of disadvantaged and disabled young people by using sport and recreation to engage with them.

Rounds of 67 earned each of the three a cool £1,033, in a share of the year’s biggest winner’s cheque, edging out two of the other PGA Cup players from the South, Richard Wallis (Walmer & Kingsdown) and David Callaway (Milford) who both shot 68. Callaway had seven birdies and an eagle, but five dropped shots took the shine off what was otherwise a potentially spectacular card.

Shoesmith, on the other hand, had just the one bogey and made three birdies on the front nine and three on the way back for his 67. Barnes started like a train with four birdies in six holes, but a bogey, birdie, bogey run from the seventh saw him on three-under at the halfway point. A run of pars punctuated by a birdie at the 12th meant that he reached the 18th on four-under-par, and Barnes duly birdied the 18th to tie with Shoesmith.

Knowing what he had to beat, Ablett was out in three-under-par with no bogeys, but promptly dropped two in the next three holes. One-under-par on the 13th tee, Ablett dug deep and fired off birdies at the 13th and 14th to get back to three-under-par again. Two pars followed, but with two holes left Ablett managed to get back into top gear and birdied both the 17th and the 18th to share the lead with Shoesmith and Barnes.

Shoesmith said: “I played here for the first time 25 years ago in the Stoneham Trophy, the 36 hole scratch open amateur event, and shot 69 to lead after the morning round. I have never beaten that score since, so it was nice to improve on it finally!”

He added: “Stoneham was in terrific condition, and we had fabulous weather. The event was another great success, not just for the professionals, but for the amateur teams, the supporters and of course for the chosen charity, the Lord’s Taverners.”

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