It’s a hat-trick for Cort!


0309Midland Cort

Marvellous Matthew Cort made it a hat-trick of wins in the Midland Order of Merit by taking top spot at the Midland Professionals Championship.

The Leicestershire ace, from Rothley Park GC, had a two-stroke lead going into the second round of the world’s oldest professional golf tournament, and maintained that margin to finish 11-under-par.

Northamptonshire’s Cold Ashby hosted the prestigious 36-hole event for the first time and the hilly course was in stark contrast to the flat Lincolnshire fairways of De Vere Belton Woods where the competition has been staged in recent years.

Cort’s opening round was blemish-free, his seven birdies taking him to a seven-under-par 64.

An early dropped shot on the second failed to knock him off his stride on day two and a four-under par 67 proved enough to secure the trophy – first played for back in 1897.

“I’ve played nicely again and got off to a good start, shooting seven-under,” he said. “That kind of laid the foundations and I managed to hold on.

“Cold Ashby is a tough course – this is the fifth time I’ve played it and it takes a while to know where to miss and where to leave the ball.

“I am really busy working in the shop or playing so I’m not actually practicing that much. But that seems to be working for me at the moment – not having too much time to think about my golf, just turn up and play.”

James Whatley (Morley Hayes GC) stormed through the field on the second day to secure the runners-up prize. He started the day five strokes off the pace but an excellent second round 64 took him to nine-under for the tournament.

Steady Nick Taylor (Kedleston Park GC) carded back-to-back 67s for an eight-under-par total while Lincolnshire pair Paul Streeter (Lincoln Golf Centre) and Tom Rastall (Sleaford GC) were next on the leaderboard at seven-under.

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