Harper refused to hit panic button



Kevin Harper admitted he stayed calm and carried on as he and Christian Vine won the Golfbreaks.com PGA Fourball Championship West regional qualifier at Exeter Golf & Country Club.

Harper (pictured on right), of Sidmouth Golf Club, and Vine, representing Woodbury Park (left), carded an eight-under-par round of 61 to win by one shot ahead of David Hart and Scott Marshall of The Lambourne Club in Buckinghamshire.

They will join five other qualifiers at the £28,750 BMW-supported final which will be held at Forest Pines Hotel on Lincolnshire on October 2-4.

But Harper admitted that their qualification was by no means guaranteed early on after a shaky start.

Harper explained: “We bogeyed the first hole but we didn’t panic, we knew if we showed some patience then we could qualify.

“But it went really well after that. It was just a brief setback for us.

“We thought we’d need five-underr to get through, but once we’d got over that first hole we were fine.

“I ended up making seven birdies and we played well in the end.”

Harper hopes he can make his first appearance in the final after missing out in previous years.

Vine won this event last year and made the final with Exeter Golf & Country Club’s Stephen Buzza.

But Harper has yet to make it to Forest Pines.

He said: “I won the qualifier one year with Chris Gill, but then the final clashed with his European Tour School so I couldn’t make it.

“But this time we’ve both penciled it in so there’s no reason I shouldn’t go and play it.

“I hear it’s an excellent venue so I’d love to go, especially as I’ve never been there before.

“In recent years, I’ve been concentrating on the PGA Assistants’ Championship but this is something to aim for now.”

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