Hendriksen and Cort battle it out on moving day at PGA Professional Championship

Hendriksen and Cort battle it out on moving day at PGA Professional Championship


Paul Hendriksen (Ivybridge Golf Club) and defending champion Matt Cort (Beedles Lake Golf Club) jostled for the top-spot in what was a thrilling third day in the PGA Professional Championship at Sherwood Forest Golf Club.

Hendriksen started the day with a five-shot lead but a tough stretch midway through his third round meant a change in strategy.


Hendriksen explains: “It’s not easy going out in the last group, but I’ve been in these situations quite a few times now so I know what to expect and know that I can handle those situations, so I pull on that experience really.


“My mental side helped me today - it’s usually a strong part of my game so that worked well today because I wasn’t playing very well but I managed to grind out a score and kept myself in contention, so that definitely helped.”

Through 13 holes, Hendriksen was 3-over for his round but birdies on 16 and 17 meant he finished the day with a score of 72 (+1) and remains two-ahead of second-placed Cort going into the final day.


“I was struggling,” Hendriksen added. “I knew I had a five-shot lead and it’s quite tough to play with a five-shot lead, I’ve not played with many!


“I was trying to stay attacking, but midway through the round I realised I wasn’t playing well so I had to reassess what I was doing and it was more damage limitation - try to get in the clubhouse with the lowest score possible, get ready for tomorrow, hopefully get back to where I was the first two days and just stay aggressive tomorrow.


“I think if you try to defend a lead you start getting in trouble so I’m going to try and push, get as many under par as I can and we’ll see where that leaves me.”

Cort started his round in the chasing position, five-shots behind Hendriksen, and took advantage of the popular scoring holes over the first eight holes of the course, with birdies at 1, 5, 7 and 8. 


Cort said: “The front nine was a little bit up and down, middle of the round was really good - I started five shots behind Paul, so it was important to peg a few back, which I have done, so I’m only two behind going into tomorrow and I’m feeling confident that I could maybe do something tomorrow.”

Being somewhat local to the area is proving to be a welcome situation for Cort, who added: “I’m staying at home which is nice so I can relax tonight. With this course I don’t know if you can plan what you’re trying to do off the tee because it’s so tricky. If you hit the fairways it’s quite score-able because you can control your second shot, but if you miss the fairways then you’re in a lot of trouble. That’s the key thing, to try and hit good tee shots and get yourself in a position to score from then on.


“I’m quite comfortable here, it’s not that far away from home so I play it a few times a year, and I’ve been in this position before - this is where I want to be - in the last group, to have a chance to win.”


Having won the tournament in 2022, a win for Cort tomorrow would provide a rare back-to-back victory in the competition, a feat not accomplished since Russell Weir at Royal St David's in 1988.


“It would be something to go for tomorrow,” Cort continued. “I’ve been playing well this year but every new round is a new round - that’s how I look at it - so try and hit the fairways and go from there tomorrow.”

Thomas Higson (The Gleneagles Hotel) and Zak Morgan (Rochester & Cobham Golf Club) both scored under par in their third round, positioning them in tied-3rd place going into the final round on -3.


Hendriksen (-7) and Cort (-5) will be joined by Higson in the final group tomorrow, teeing off at 11.00 at Sherwood Forest Golf Club.


CLICK HERE to view the current scoring heading into the final round of the 2023 PGA Professional Championship.


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