Nigel's red letter day in Blackpool


2006North Nigel Parkinson

Nigel Parkinson leads such a busy life as head professional at Renishaw Park and as a dad to three youngsters that he rarely finds time to play golf.

And when he failed to qualify at the regional tour school he seemed resigned to keeping his clubs in the locker for another season.

But he jumped at the chance to fill a vacant tee time in the De Vere PGA North Region Championship at Herons' Reach and never expected to end the first day as leader.

"I had a practice round yesterday and I did not play well at all," he said after posting a six-under-par 66.

"It's usually a famine of feast with me and it's 10 years since I won anything of note so I was a bit surprised to shoot such a low score. But I had 11 single putts and 26 all told, three of which accounted for my one bogey at the 16th."

Parkinson, 38, added: "It was just like the old days but I'll have to keep it going in the final round."

He leads by a shot from Lee Park's Chris Crowder and Hexham-based Phil Waugh who reeled off eight birdies.

Crowder said he had to thank his old pal Bolton-born Donald Stirling, a three-time Leeds Cup winner who coaches in Austria. 

"I often consult him on course management issues and he gave me a putting tip the other day," he said. "I was solid from tee to green and his advice was a big factor."


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