James plots his way to the top


James Pickard relished both the beautiful scenery and the inviting golf course on his first visit to the Isle of Purbeck Golf Club overlooking Poole Harbour in Dorset.

The 31-year-old Honiton assistant took the first day lead in the South West PGA Race to Woodbury Order of Merit 36-hole Bournemouth Fourball, sponsored by Ringwood Brewery and Dudsbury Golf Club, with a four-under-par 66.

He made a perfect start and picked up four shots over the front nine at the second, third, seventh and ninth holes.

Although he dropped his only shot at the 414-yard 10th, the longest of the par fours, he birdied the 14th and finished with a flurry of pars. 

Gary Emerson, now representing Playgolf, Bournemouth, after a successful European Tour career that included a win in Russia, returned to form with 67 to remain handily placed for the final round at Dudsbury today.

He knows the course well from his days playing in the Bournemouth Alliance and carded eight birdies. But for bogeys at the second and 12th and a triple bogey seven at the unlucky 13th he would have been comfortably ahead.

The West chairman James Lee (Caerphilly) also carded 67 while fellow Welshmen Simon Bebb (The Vale Hotel) and Brian Lee (Parc) with Cornwall’s Richard Sadler are a further shot back. Richard Dinsdale (Parc) was the only other player to break par.

One of the favourites, Lee Thompson (Dudsbury), who lost in a play-off to Matt Dearden (Llantrisant and Pontyclun) a year ago, had a disastrous seven and six start and then only managed two birdies and another bogey to sign for four-over 74 to virtually put him out of the running.

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