In-form Ruth aiming to be the merriest of men at Sherwood Forest

In-form Ruth aiming to be the merriest of men at Sherwood Forest


In-form James Ruth will be looking to emulate his PGA Cup team-mate Matt Cort and fellow Devonian Paul Hendriksen by achieving a rare double in next week’s PGA Professional Championship at Sherwood Forest.

Cort, who will defend his title at the Nottinghamshire venue, and Hendriksen, are the only players to win the PGA Professional and English PGA Championships.

As the reigning English PGA Champion, Ruth is half way towards joining them. And given the way he has started the new campaign, he is looking more than capable of completing the journey.

Having embellished his triumph at Bowood in winning the English PGA Championship by topping the PGA South West region Order of Merit, Ruth’s start to the new season has been seamless.

He has already established a healthy lead in his region’s Order of Merit by winning both the events staged to date as well as finishing first in one pro-am and tied-first in another.

“It’s been a really good start to the season,” said the 38-year-old. “I’m playing well and with a bit of confidence.

“I’ve also had a lot of support from people and companies this year and that means a lot as it makes it a lot easier going out on the golf course.”

A more tangible reason for his continuing hot streak is the presence of some new clubs in his bag.

“I’ve got some new clubs,” he explained. “I’ve got some Srixon irons and Titleist woods. They went in the bag a month or so ago and have fitted in nicely.

“In fairness, I’ve been playing really well over the last year or so and I’m trying to keep that going.”

That purple patch also includes him finishing tied-fifth in last season’s PGA Professional Championship at Slaley Hall, a performance that prompted DJ Russell to choose him as one of his two Captain’s picks for the PGA Cup.

Despite his good form, Ruth is leaving nothing to chance in his quest to improve on last year, not least acquainting himself with the venue.

“I haven’t played Sherwood Forest before,” he continued. “But the guys from the Midland region I’ve spoken to say it’s an excellent golf course.

“I’ll be going up there a couple of days beforehand to practise and get a feel for it. I’ve made a great start to the season and am determined to press on.”

While Ruth strives to claim the £10,000 first prize and achieve a rare double, the presence in the 144-strong field of four times WPGA Championship winner, Scotland’s Heather MacRae, creates the possibility of a unique double.

In addition, to Cort, Hendriksen, Ruth and MacRae, other high-profile figures vying to win the PGA’s most prestigious tournament, include former champions Paul O’Hara and Andrew Willey, PGA Play-Offs winner Craig Lee, as well as two Legends Tour winners, Phil Golding and Paul Streeter.

The event also signals the start of the qualification process for the 2023 Great Britain & Ireland PGA Cup team. Players will accumulate points next week and at next year’s PGA Professional Championship. Full details about the qualification process and the event can be found by CLICKING HERE.

CLICK HERE to keep abreast of live scoring from the 2023 PGA Professional Championship.


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