Ford hits top gear in winning the PGA Professional Championship

Ford hits top gear in winning the PGA Professional Championship

09/10/2020

Given his surname and the margin of his victory, the suggestion that Matt Ford lapped the opposition in winning the PGA Professional Championship at Trentham Golf Club is irresistible.

The 42-year-old’s four round total of 19-under-par left him seven shots clear of the field and effectively turned his fourth and final negotiation of the Staffordshire venue into a victory procession.

That appeared an unlikely scenario at the end of the penultimate round, however. Having led the tournament after rounds one and two, he lowered the curtain on the third with successive bogeys and was joined in pole position by Paul Hendriksen.

Ireland’s Simon Thornton was also in close contention but any hopes his rivals harboured that Ford would suffer a hangover from his discouraging finish were quickly dashed.

The back-to-back bogeys of the day before were erased immediately by back-to-back birdies and Ford was on his way.

Four more followed in a six-under-par round of 66, the last coming at the par-five 18th and typifying his bogey-free performance.

Having landed his approach just short of the green, Ford chipped to within three feet and holed out to claim the £10,000 first prize and add his name to a distinguished list of winners.

Reflecting on his round, he said: “I had a good start and the guys around me didn’t start as well as they probably hoped.

“I knew they were going to be there or thereabouts so I tried to keep my foot on the gas and keep going.

“I probably didn’t hit the ball as well today as I did over the first three days but I holed some crucial putts after missing a few yesterday.

“It was key I made a few today, especially on the front nine. That kept my round going nicely.”

    

It also maintained a purple patch of form that Ford has enjoyed for much of a season blighted by the coronavirus pandemic.

He went into this tournament having lost in a play-off to Hurly Long in a Challenge Tour event, the Italian Challenge Open Eneos Motor Oil.

There were no such dramas, by contrast, in the Westcoast Pro-Am in mid-August when Ford earned £13,000 for winning what is the most lucrative pro-am in the UK for professionals.

Ford, who represents the CK Group, also won the PGA Surrey Open Championship but the legacy of these successes has been twofold – fatiguing but financially rewarding.

“It’s been a good couple of weeks,” he added. “I’m a bit tired after the last two weeks to be honest - it’s been pretty draining.

“I’ve done quite a lot of travelling and played a lot of golf. There’s also been a lot of pressure and that takes its toll as well.

“It’s been a very strange year. Financially I wasn’t in a very good place in the spring and during lockdown.

“A few months down the line and I’ve turned things around, played some good golf and all of a sudden the bank balance is looking better.

“I’ve earned some good money over the last few months and that makes a big difference to me and my family.”

In financial terms, two members of Great Britain and Ireland’s 2019 PGA Cup team, Matt Cort and Jordan Godwin, who posted rounds of 67 and 68 respectively, received a boost.

They each earned £5,460 as result of sharing the runner’s up berth while Thornton, who finished on 11-under for the tournament to claim fourth place, picked up £3,450.

Full scores are accessible here

 

 

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