Senior service prevails



Age and experience held sway in the first round of the Powerade PGA Assistants’ Championship at Coventry Golf Club.

At 41, Sam Jarman (above) is almost twice the vintage of some of his rivals but he left the remainder of the 120-strong field in his slipstream after posting a six-under-par round of 67.

Similarly, Matt Cort has more miles on the clock than the majority of his rivals for the £5,000 on offer to the winner of the tournament, which is supported by FootJoy.

The experience of winning the tournament twice in succession, however, served him well in the Warwickshire sunshine.

The 38-year-old from Rothley Park, Leicestershire, began his quest for an unprecedented hat-trick of titles with a five-under-par round of 68.


By contrast, Adam Wootton (above) claim spring chicken status at 25, but the experience of competing in The Open at Sandwich two years ago served him well.

As did his putter. “Putting has been my weakness for much of the season,” admitted Wootton, a PGA assistant at the Oxford Golf Centre. “But I’ve done a lot of work on it recently and it paid off today.”

And how. A round that featured eight birdies was spoiled by a bogey at the par five sixth and a six at the par four 11th.

Jarman, who teaches at Master PGA Professional Luther Blacklock’s studio in Milton Keynes, was also left to reflect on what might have been.

“It could have been better – I missed a three footer on the last,” explained Jarman, who finished 15th last year. “But it was good to get off to a flyer. I was three-under after four holes and kept it going.”

Three more birdies followed in succession after the turn and the only blemish, which was erased two holes later, came at the par four 14th.


Cort (above), who went into the tournament buoyed by victory in the Midland Open last week, also enjoyed a high octane start by posting three birdies in the first four holes.

Three more followed during the inward half as did a bogey at the 13th, one of five par fives on a course that earned rich praise from the leaders.

“Course is playing beautifully and the greens are rolling,” confirmed Jarman.

The pace of the greens, however, did cause Cort some problems.

“The greens were really fast so I probably need to work on the pace before the second round,” he said. “It’s going to be a low-scoring week so you’ve got to take your chances when you can. I left a few out there today: I missed just one green, so I had plenty of chances.

“But I’ve got to stay patient and can’t complain about being five-under. I know what I’m capable of and feel I’m playing well enough to win.” 

First round leaders: Six-under: Sam Jarman; Five-under: Matt Cort (Rothley Park), Adam Wootton (Oxford Golf Centre); Four-under: Frederick Jewsbury (Stratford-upon-Avon), Nicky Maddison (Saunton), Jack Harrison (Wildwood).

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