Kedleston Park reign supreme with Lombard Trophy triumph


0409Lombard Winners

Kedleston Park Golf Club proved monarchs of the glen by lifting the Lombard Trophy at Gleneagles over the 2014 Ryder Cup course – and carving out a slice of history in the process.

Head PGA professional Ian Walley (above right) and club captain Ian Neal (left) emerged triumphant in an enthralling second day on the PGA Centenary Course with their seven-under-par 65 giving them an 11–under 133 total and two stroke victory over fellow Midland club Shirland represented by Tim Stevens and Keith Cornish.

It also means Kedleston Park become the first club to have won the PGA National Pro-Am Championship twice having captured it in 2005 when Paul Wesselingh and Chris Nye landed the prestigious title.

Walley sealed the victory in style by holing a birdie from the fringe on the last to secure the first prize of £12,000 which according to Neal, a chartered accountant, was richly deserved following an outstanding display of golf.

“Ian has just played a fantastic round, he must have had six or seven birdies and I just came in where I could,” said Neal, who will also team up in the PGA Pro-Captain Challenge grand final in November where Walley is the defending champion.

0409Lombard Winners Celebrate

“If we were going to win today, Ian had to play well and we were due it because yesterday it was a bit of a struggle for him and he didn’t hole any putts.

“But today he’s holed two or three long ones and I’ve holed a couple myself.

“It’s awesome to win, I can’t believe it’s happening in my captain’s year. To qualify for two PGA finals is pretty amazing, the only decent competition round I’ve had all year is the one that qualified for this.

“It has just been a great experience. This is the most enjoyable golf I’ve played but also the most stressful I have ever played, but I like it and enjoy that challenge.”

Walley, who is in his first year at the Derbyshire club, revelled in the experience, particularly playing a daunting 18th pin which left him a potentially tricky conclusion to his round.

“I knew nine-under was leading so had three shots to win but I didn’t do myself any favours leaving it on edge but that last hole is going to be so good for the Ryder Cup. That is a testing flag,” he said.

“This year has been tough with the new job and I’ve put in a lot of hours but the club and members have been great and it’s great to get the name on the trophy again.

“Ian came in when it mattered and this is what this format is all about. There were holes where I was out of play and he probably made three or four net birdies out there.”

Shirland were leading at the turn at eight-under and two vital sand saves for par by Walley on eight and nine proved decisive.

“I got it up and down on greenside bunkers on nine and 10, and made two saves for pars – one of them was from 15 feet – when it looked like we were going to drop shots.

“I made birdie at 11 which was key having gone save, save and we just pushed on from there.

“I made birdie on 13, Ian made gross birdie 14 and net birdie on 15 and that turned things round and got us to 11-under. I knew Shirland had got it eight-under through nine so I said to Ian we’ve got to press on because we are not on our own up here.”

West Berkshire pro Paul Simpson’s brilliant eagle at the last earned he and Richard Muldoon a share of third alongside the Fynn Valley pair of Chris Smith and Kane Mayes on eight-under-par.

Overnight leaders Saunton shared fifth with Parkstone and Hendon a stroke further back.

Shirland head pro Stevens, who ironically succeeded Walley in the role, picked up £7,500 for runners up spot and described the event as a fantastic experience.

“It has been a great week with good company, great surroundings and superb hotel,” he said.

“Playing in the Lombard Trophy has been great for the club and it’s generated a lot of interest.

“I only took over in March so the first months have just been settling in. I haven’t managed to play too much so it’s just been nice to come here and have access to great practice facilities and few hours on range.”

His partner Cornish revelled in the tournament atmosphere which justified his decision to take up golf.

“I moved away from home when I was younger and gave up golf but always intended to take it up again,” he said.

“I was coming up to 50, eating too many bacon sandwiches and the most exercise was lifting a pen so thought I’d better do something.

“I did a bit of fishing but thought if I don’t do golf before I’m 50 I never will.

“My wife said they are doing winter offer at Shirland so I said I thought I’ve got to give it a go and here I am playing in a national final at Gleneagles – it’s quite surreal.”

Our Partners

  • Air IT
  • Banyan Tree
  • The Belfry
  • Coca-Cola
  • EVC
  • FootJoy
  • Gleneagles
  • PING
  • St. James's Place
  • Therabody
  • Titleist