Dan's the man at Slaley Hall



Dan Greenwood landed the biggest prize of his professional career after sealing an emphatic nine-shot victory in the Glenmuir PGA Professional Championship.

The 39-year-old Forest Pines Professional showed few signs of nerves as he held off his rivals in the Peugeot-supported tournament at De Vere Slaley Hall, Northumberland.

Having been top of the leaderboard from the opening day, he produced his best round of the week, timed to perfection, as he carded a four-under-par 68 to finish eight-under for the championship.

With victory came a significant bounty of riches as he picked up a cheque for £10,000, secured use of a Peugeot 208 for a year, a place in the 2013 Great Britain & Ireland PGA Cup team and a spot in the end-of-season Titleist PGA Play-Offs in Turkey. He also qualifies for two PGAs of Europe events.

Greenwood, who finished sixth last year, bought a new putter at the start of the week from fellow PGA Professional John Wells, which came to the good with four birdies and an eagle on his march to victory – offset by two bogeys.

“It’s fantastic as it’s not a tournament I ever come to thinking I am going to win,” said Greenwood, who missed his wife’s birthday at the start of the week but returns with presents galore.

“I can compete in something like this but maybe I’ve proved to myself I can win something now. Maybe it’s something for me to use to move forward with the belief factor.

“I was nervous and found it hard even swinging the club back on the first but I got a good par and settled down. I got an eagle on four which was fantastic and the nerves were gone straight away.

“I looked at the leaderboard at the back of six when I got to seven-under then and I was seven or eight clear and I thought as long as I could stay under par I’d be OK. I knew someone might charge as my nearest challenger Mark [Hooper] was playing well but holed no putts. It was quite comfy in the end which was a surprise.”

Reflecting on the making the PGA Cup team, which will see a 10-strong team from these shores take on their United States rivals over the same Hunting Course in September in the biennial Ryder Cup equivalent for PGA Professionals, he said: “It’s fantastic. I know Stephen Bennett from Grimsby who has been in it and he’s said what a fantastic experience it was. It’s a step into the unknown as I’ve never really done anything like that. I never did team amateur golf so it will be a new experience.”

Milford’s David Callaway shot a level par 72 to finish one-over for the championship to claim the runner’s up spot and prize money of £6,280. He will also join Greenwood in the PGA Cup team and at the PGA Play-Offs.

“Finishing first would have been fantastic but second is still a dream come true,” he said.

“I struggled a little bit last week but I worked with my coach and it all seemed to go really well as I putted lovely.

“I was nervous at the start of the day, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t. I just kept it going, grinding it out. On the back nine I played lovely. The last hole I was a little bit nervous but it was great experience to be in that position and to learn from it.

“It’s fantastic to be in the PGA Cup. I would have bitten someone’s arm off if they’d said at the start of the week I’d finish second and be in the PGA Cup. It was a massive goal to be there at some point in my career and I’m chuffed to be there and I can’t wait to be back here in September.”

Former Tour player Benn Barham took third place, playing through the pain of a back spasm, to card a level par 72 to end on two-over. He also made the PGA Cup team.

“I almost withdrew as my back seized up on me when I went to put some stuff in my car as I was checking out,” he said.

“I spent an hour trying to stretch it out and just took a few painkillers and played through the pain. I went on the range and struggled and had it been any other tournament I’d have pulled out but I really wanted to play PGA Cup as I’d never played in it before and it looks like a great thing to do.

“I battled on, struggling making bogeys all over the place. I made a good bogey on nine and got some momentum from that and had a four-under back nine, holing a nice putt on the last so it was relief to get in.”

Also qualifying for the team via the championship was Graham Fox (Clydeway Golf), Nicolas Brennan (Bowood G&CC) and Jon Barnes (Ampfield Par 3 GC). Banchory’s Grieg Hutcheon, past winner of the PGA Play-Offs and the top PGA player at last month’s BMW PGA Championship, was named as the captain’s pick.

Completing the team, via the PGA Play-Offs, are Richard Wallis (Walmer & Kingsdown), Scott Henderson (Kings Links) and Gareth Wright (West Linton).

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