Pilkington leads Asbri Welsh PGA Championship

Pilkington leads Asbri Welsh PGA Championship


Mark Pilkington flew the flag for north Wales as Conwy Golf Club bared its teeth in the first round of the Asbri Welsh PGA Championship.

Pilkington, who is attached to Porthmadog Golf Club, was the only competitor in the 77-strong field to break par in conditions made difficult by wind gusting in from the Irish Sea.

He posted a one-under-par round of 71 to lead the chase for the £1,500 winner’s cheque but his advantage is a slender one.

Hot on his heels is a trio on level par that comprises Nick Lofthouse of The Belfry and two from the south of the country, Sion Bebb from Morlais Castle and Creiglau Golf Club’s Richard Brookman.

Of the three, Bebb has previous in this competition. He has won it three times, most recently at Celtic Manor in 2017, and victory this time would take him to joint-fourth on the roster of multiple winners.

It would put him level with Craig Defoy, one behind Harry Gould and Stephen Dodd, and two adrift of Sid Mouland, the winner in 1966 when the tournament was last staged here.

Sion Bebb Story

In addition to Bebb (above) there are three other previous champions taking part in a tournament that was first contested in 1904, three years after The PGA was founded.

Two of them, however, found the going tough. Royal St David’s Lee Rooke, the winner in 2013, is on six-over, one shot better off than Toby Hunt, the defending champion from St Mellons Golf Club.

By contrast, Richard Dinsdale is handily placed to repeat his success of 20 years ago.

Dinsdale, who represents Asbri Golf, the sponsors, is four shots behind Pilkington after posting a three-over-par round of 75.

That four-shot margin, however, embraces almost a third of the field that remains to contest the final round on a course that will host next year’s Curtis Cup.

Which, with the weather forecast predicting rain but less wind, suggests a good chance of a new name being engraved on the trophy.   

Full scores are accessible via this link:






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