Ruth primed to capitalise on champion’s absence at Bowood

Ruth primed to capitalise on champion’s absence at Bowood


In-form James Ruth will be looking to go one better in this year’s English PGA Championship when it will be staged at Bowood for the third time.

The pro from China Fleet Golf and Country Club, Cornwall, was runner up at the Wiltshire venue last year, effectively finishing best of the rest after Adam Keogh dominated the tournament.

Keogh, who will not be defending his title, completed the three negotiations of the PGA Course in 15-under and finished seven shots clear of the field.

“Adam was nine-under after the first round, so it was always a race for second place after that,” recalled Ruth.

“I shot nine-under over the last 27 holes to finish second and was pleased with the way I played on a course I always enjoy and suits my game.

“It’s a ball-striker’s course, there are some tricky par fours and definitely no hiding places. I’m looking forward to playing it again.”

Established in 1992 the Dave Thomas-designed 7,309-yard par 72 parkland course is renowned as one of the finest in the south west and Ruth will tackle it buoyed by a hot streak of form in keeping with the recent high temperatures.

In the last three months the 37-year-old has earned selection for Great Britain and Ireland’s PGA Cup team that will take on the USA at Foxhills in September.

And he has established a healthy lead in the PGA South West Order of Merit after three events by winning two and finishing tied second in the other.

Reflecting on his purple patch of form, he added: “It’s been a good couple of months. I’ve been scoring really well and enjoying it.

“I’ve changed a lot of things mentally. We’ve got a 16-month-old baby now and that changes things.

“And I listen to a lot of podcasts. That’s been really good mentally. It relaxes me and has got me thinking clearly.”

Other high-profile members in the 144-strong field vying for the £5,000 first prize include Ruth’s PGA Cup team-mate Matt Cort and Paul Hendriksen.

Cort, winner of the PGA Professional Championship at Slaley Hall last month, won the English PGA Championship at Saunton in 2018 and Hendriksen followed suit at Bowood 12 months later.

They are the only players in the event to have won both the PGA Professional and English PGA Championships while, in terms of this year’s tournament, Andrew Willey, the 2018 PGA Professional Championship winner, is the only other competitor who can emulate their achievement.

CLICK HERE for live scores from the English PGA Championship.


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