First glass – Thompson and O’Hanlon tee up some Turkish delight

First glass – Thompson and O’Hanlon tee up some Turkish delight

11/06/2021

Factory manager Wayne Thompson has earned the golf trip of a lifetime after qualifying for the final of the PGA National Pro-Am Championship with Richard O’Hanlon, a former winner of the event.  

The pair representing St Kew Golf Club in Cornwall booked an all-expenses paid trip to the final in Turkey by winning the PGA West region qualifying event at Woodbury Park Golf Club, Devon.

The duo amassed 45 points in the Stableford format event to finish two clear of Downes Crediton Golf Club’s PGA pro Barry Austin and Mark Mortiboys, his amateur partner.

As a result they will take their place alongside nine other pairs in the £25,000 grand final at Antalya Golf Club, Turkey, in November.

The competition, contested by 30,000-plus golfers, is Europe’s largest pro-am and O’Hanlon (above), in tandem with St Kew Golf Club member Andy Jones, won the event at Gleneagles in 2014.

Thompson, by contrast, had not played in a pro-am prior to the qualifier, neither was he due to partner O’Hanlon at Woodbury Park.

“We had a qualifying event at St Kew to play with Richard and I finished in second place,” explained the 28-handicapper.

“But the winner of that event couldn’t go, so I took his place. His loss was my gain so it was a little weird, especially as he’s a mate of mine who actually got me into the game.

“I didn’t know what the prize was for the winners until we’d finished, which was probably just as well as the nerves were there.

“Not only did we win, but it was my first pro-am event as well.”

Thompson has been a member of the club near Wadebridge for five years and says he now has the ‘golf bug’.

He lives three miles from the course and says he will be using his time away from managing a factory, which makes glassware for optical glass cells, to practise for the final.

“I’d never picked a club up until five years ago,” he added. “It was great to team up with Richard who played incredibly well on the day.

“He obviously knows the venue well and it’ll be an exciting occasion.”

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