Fieldsend sets sights on going one better at English PGA Championship

Fieldsend sets sights on going one better at English PGA Championship


Matthew Fieldsend will be aiming to make up for a near miss and achieve a rare double when he tees off in the English PGA Championship at Bowood this week.

Fieldsend, the short game and putting coach at Broadlands Golf Centre, Wolverhampton, finished runner up to James Ruth in last year’s event on the PGA branded course at the Wiltshire resort.

And in doing so, having won the PGA Assistants’ Championship in 2017, he was just a shot and successful play-off victory away from winning what would have been his second national PGA title.

However, given he had lost a close relative just days before the tournament, the disappointment he felt was put into perspective.

“My grandfather passed in the week before the tournament and I wasn’t really in the right frame of mind to play golf,” he explained. “In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever played a tournament in which I’ve cared so little about where the golf ball went. So, if anyone had offered me second place before the start, I would have snapped their hand off.”

Although Fieldsend will be in much happier frame of mind than he was a year ago, his game is not following suit.

“The tournament programme is very bunched so there have been plenty of opportunities to play lately but not much time to practise,” added Fieldsend, who turned 30 nine days before the tournament.

“My expectations for Bowood are low but I do love the course. For me the key to success is my tee shots. The deep rough is punitive and if I can avoid that I may have a chance.”

Should Fieldsend improve on last year, he will emulate the achievement of Matt Cort who followed up a record-breaking hat trick of victories in the PGA Assistants’ Championship by winning the English PGA Championship at Saunton in 2018.

Cort’s success could also be equalled by James Walker, the reigning PGA Assistants’ Champion or his predecessor Michael Farrier-Twist.

By contrast, Lee Rooke (pictured), the head PGA Professional at Royal St David’s, Harlech, could register a unique double. Rooke is a proud Welshman who has twice won the Asbri Welsh National PGA Championship.

His first success came at Royal St David’s in 2013 when he represented Llangollen Golf Club, the second at Aberdovey Golf Club eight years later following an epic nine-hole play-off.

Now, thanks to qualifying to play in the event due to a parent being born in England, he has a chance to become the first to win both the English and Welsh titles.

However, as well as the challenge presented by the 7,300-plus yards Dave Thomas-designed par-72 course, there is a substantial posse of accomplished opponents intent on preventing Rooke or other hopefuls from making history.

Not least the quartet of previous winners comprising Paul Hendriksen, Adam Keogh, Cort and Ruth, the defending champion, all of whom will be looking to lift the trophy for the second time and claim the £5,000 winner’s cheque.

Closer to home Harry Brewis will fly the flag for Bowood in the 144-strong field as the venue stages the tournament for the fourth year in succession.

“We are honoured to host this prestigious event once again, and welcome some of the best golfers in the UK to play on our greens,” said Bowood Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort general manager Jeff Condliffe.

“We look forward to delivering another unforgettable tournament for all involved and I’m proud of all the effort that goes into the preparation and the smooth running of the tournament from everyone at Bowood.”

CLICK HERE to find out more and follow live scoring from the 2023 English PGA Championship at Bowood.


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