End of an era beckons for Ashford PGA pro Sherman



Ashford Golf Club captain Mike Leutchford (left) wants to help his pro secure a swansong victory in the Golfplan Insurance PGA Pro-Captain Challenge in Turkey.

Leutchford will play alongside Paul Sherman (right) for what is the PGA Professional’s final major event representing the Kent club.

Sherman will leave for a new position at Beckenham’s Langley Park Golf Club in January, but he will be looking to go out on a high note with a winning display at the £25,000 final, which is supported by Canopius.

Ashford-based Leutchford, a retired 65-year-old who plays off a handicap of 16, admits he will have mixed feelings when the duo take to the PGA Sultan course at Antalya Golf Club, from November 21-22.

“This will be Paul’s last major event at Ashford,” he said.

“I’m chuffed in that I’ll be playing alongside him in Turkey before he leaves for Langley Park, but it will also be tinged with disappointment as we will be saying goodbye to Paul in the New Year.

“It’ll also be the end of an era at the club. Paul’s father Hugh was the professional at Ashford. He introduced Paul to the club when he was just five years old, so the Shermans have been linked with the club for over 30 years.”

Sherman hopes that his in-form pairing with Leutchford will count in their favour.

“Myself and Mike have gelled well this year, we must’ve played 20 Pro-Captain events and only lost four,” he said.

“So we’ll be going there looking to do well if we can, we have to fancy our chances in what is quite a small field.”

Although Sherman has experienced European Tour golf, he rates this event highly.

“Going to a final like this is special because you’re with the club captain in what is a very prestigious event. It’s going to be very competitive with some good professionals.

“I’ve never played at this course before, although Mike has. I’m not sure it’s a disadvantage for me, it will be a new course and that’s always a challenge.”

New sponsor Golfplan is backing the tournament to raise its profile in clubs and make golfers aware of its comprehensive insurance product.

The product  includes replacing stolen clubs with brand new equipment, liability cover in case a wayward shot damages someone or something and can even cover your bar bill if you manage a hole in one!

Roger Harvey, managing director of the Bristol-based firm, commented: “We’re looking forward to our first grand final and wish all the finalists the best of luck.

“The final in Turkey caps a great first year of sponsoring the event in which we’ve seen some fantastic golf and also been able to highlight our comprehensive insurance product which is aimed at golfers seeking unrivalled cover.”

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