Hendriksen puts the brakes on Ford in race to win PGA Professional Championship

Hendriksen puts the brakes on Ford in race to win PGA Professional Championship


Paul Hendriksen is well-placed to win the PGA Professional Championship for a second time after unleashing a birdie blitz in the tournament’s penultimate round at Trentham Golf Club.

The 41-year-old, who represents Ivybridge Golf Club in Devon, began the day four shots behind the tournament’s pacemaker Matt Ford but erased the deficit thanks to a a six-under-par round of 66.

Consequently the pair go into the final round sharing pole position on 13-under-par, two shots clear of Ireland’s Simon Thornton.

Hendriksen’s previous triumph in the Association’s most prestigious tournament came on the links at Burnham & Berrow in 2015 but, as he did in winning the PGA English Championship at Bowood last year, he showed he is equally at home on a parkland course.

In the Staffordshire venue’s case, however, it was a somewhat soggy one as result of the rain that curtailed play on day one and delayed the start of round three.

“There was a bit of wind and the course was very soft because of the rain,” he explained.

“Controlling the spin on the greens and trying to get the ball not to spin too much was probably the trickiest part. We’re not used to that - we’re always trying to add spin to get the ball to stop.

“Having said that it’s a great golf course and it’s been a really good test.”

Reflecting on his round, he added: “I played nicely today. All parts of my game came together which doesn’t happen very often.

“I hit the ball well from tee to green, kept out of trouble and landed a few iron shots close. I also putted well – every opportunity I had I took.”

Not least on the front nine after getting off to a flying start with birdies at the first two holes. Three more followed before the turn and another three, tempered by two bogeys, after it.

The final birdie came at the par-five 18th and coincided with Ford (above) surrendering his advantage with his second successive bogey. All of which showed what a capricious game golf can be.

Just 24 hours earlier, Ford, who represents the CK Group, eagled the hole to go three shots clear of the field in the chase for the £10,000 first prize.

Rochester & Cobham Golf Club’s Jordan Godwin headed the pursuing posse at that point but now, in terms of numbers, Thornton and Christopher Croucher pose the biggest threat to the joint leaders.

Thornton, who represents the Tulfarris Golf Resort, posted a five-under-par total of 67 to go 11-under while the Dyke Golf Club’s Croucher is a shot further back after emulating Hendriksen with a 66.

St Kew Golf Club’s Richard O’Hanlon and Andy Palmer of Chorley Golf Club also posted six-under-par rounds – a score Hendriksen reckons may be necessary for him to repeat to have his name engraved on the trophy for a second time.

“I think we’ll be looking at a really low number that’s going to be the winning score,” he added. “I’ll have to keep the pedal on the gas and keep pushing.”

Full scores are accessible here




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