Taylor measures up to open chance



Barry Taylor has a score to settle in the PGA in Cheshire & North Wales Bathgate Open at Portal on May 15-16.

The Houghwood teaching assistant fired a best-of-tournament five-under-par

62 in the final round at Mobberley last year but only finished second.

He lost by a shot to fellow PGA Cup player Will Barnes but with the Garstang Hotel professional not in the field this time Taylor fancies his chances.

“I’ve already won a county event this season and was runner-up in a pro-am in Portugal but I’ve also been working hard on my game and it’s in as good a shape as it’s been,” he said.

There will be little rest for Taylor after the Bathgate Open because two days later he’s planning to play the fastest round of golf at his club to raise money for Acquired Brain Injuries – a charity close to his heart because he coaches some of the victims.

Meanwhile, there’s a whole posse of experienced players gunning for glory at Portal, among them Mossock Hall’s David Shacklady, the North’s most prolific winner who’s chalked up more than 200 assorted victories in 20 years.

He’s also benefited from competing in the PGA Cup in the United States while among other seasoned professional expected to be in the hunt in the hunt are Styal-based Jonathan Cheetham aiming to repeat his 2011 victory; Hart Common’s Steve Parry, a former De Vere Leeds Cup winner, and  Haigh Hall’s Mr Consistency Craig Corrigan.

More than 70 competitors from as far afield as East Yorkshire will peg up in the 36-hole event which carries a £3,500 prize-fund.

PGA North secretary Graham Maly said: “Since it was upgraded to an open competition two years ago it has attracted some of our best players so hopefully it will continue to go from strength to strength.”

Sandbach-based Bathgate supply sand to some of the world’s top courses and this is their third year sponsoring the tournament.

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