Hillson high fives at Hankley

15/11/2013

1511SouthMarkHillson

After some close results in the last three months, PGA assistant Mark Hillson (Tandridge) shot a four-under-par 66 at Hankley Common to win the first of the 2013-2014 Titleist & FootJoy PGA in England (South) Winter Series.

Hillson (above) commented: “Thanks to my coach Ian Butcher at home in Kings Acre, Edinburgh, my golf’s been quite a bit better over the past few months and earned some good results like the second place in the Assistants & Trainees Championship this year.”

He not only claimed victory, but as the leading Assistant he also got his hands on one of the valuable Titleist & FootJoy shoe, glove and ball contracts. As he explained: “I’ve managed to win one of these contracts in both the last two years and I really appreciate it - it helps a lot to get you through the season. We all owe a lot of thanks to Titleist & FootJoy for continuing to support PGA Professionals and these Winter Series events in this way.”

Hillson’s victory was two strokes ahead of second placed Oliver Lewis (Farnham) with 68, while Virgin Atlantic PGA South Order of Merit star and Titleist PGA Play-Offs contender Robert Gowers (South Winchester) came third with a 69.

Yet it wasn’t Hillson’s putting that was making the score. Four-under-par after the front nine despite a three putt bogey at the eighth, Hillson explained: “I stiffed it at several holes to make a birdie at the third, an eagle at the fifth, a two putt birdie at the seventh and another birdie at the short ninth!”

Things calmed down a bit as he negotiated the tricky 10th and 11th holes, but a birdie on the par five 13th was soon traded for a bogey at the 14th after blind-siding himself on the right with what turned out to be Hillson’s only poor shot of the round.

He added: “Considering all the rain we’ve had, and the fact it’s effectively winter now, Hankley was in great condition, and the greens were really good.”

Played at some of the finest courses in the South for winter golf, the next event in the Winter Series is at Wentworth’s East Course on the 21st November.

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