Hooper dominates at Stock Brook


0808East Hooper

Mark Hooper is setting the pace in the Virgin Atlantic Golf Classic at Stock Brook Country Club, reeling off six birdies on his way to a first day lead.

The Rayleigh Golf Range man carded an opening round of five-under-par 67 to lead the field by one shot – he was already leading the regional Order of Merit with four of the six events completed.

If he wins this tournament he will be certain to regain his place in the Titleist PGA Play-Offs in Turkey between November 23 and 25.

James Webber is one shot behind Hooper, but the former England boy international from Three Rivers Golf and Country Club is making his first appearance of the season in an Order of Merit event. He has plenty of experience on the PGA Europro Tour.

Three players in joint third with two-under-par 70 are Matt Spencer (Mill Green), James Johnstone (Manor of Groves) and Daniel Coughlan (Wyke Green).

Nick Pateman of Pinner Hill, lying second in the Order of Merit, is way down the leaderboard after an opening round of 79 while third-placed Barrie Trainor (Old Joe’s Golf Range) dropped seven shots in six holes between the 13th and 17th to sign for 75.

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