Threesy does it in opening round of English PGA Championship

Threesy does it in opening round of English PGA Championship


Golfers named Ryan O’Neill and Paul Newman were in the field contesting the English PGA Championship at Bowood, but the opening round ended with three pairs of hands grasping Oscars of the golfing kind.

The first of three negotiations of the Dave Thomas-designed parched course at the Wiltshire resort saw Bruce McDonald, Matthew Fieldsend (above) and Kevin O’Connell post three-under par rounds of 69 to lead the chase for the £5,000 first prize.

Inevitably, given that 144 golfers are bidding for a portion of the £30,000 prize fund, their advantage is a slender one.

Within two shots of the leading trio is a 17-strong pursuing posse that includes the 2022 PGA Professional Championship winner Matt Cort and the 2021 PGA Assistants’ Champion Michael Farrier-Twist.

Fieldsend is also a former national PGA champion, having claimed the Assistants’ crown in 2017, and like his co-leaders, it’s fair to say he benefitted from the morning as opposed to an afternoon tee time.

The mid-morning heat was tempered by a cooling breeze and golf brollies doubling up as sunshades. Come the afternoon, however, brollies fulfilled the purpose for which they were designed. Squally showers, a drop in temperature and wind that increased as the day progressed made conditions more challenging.

Earlier, McDonald complemented the scorching conditions with five birdies in the first 10 holes before he lost momentum by dropping shots at 13 and 15.

Fieldsend also enjoyed an impressive start posting four birdies in the first 10 holes. Successive bogeys at 12 and 13 checked his progress but a birdie at 18 repaired half the damage.

O’Connell also needed a birdie at the final hole after reaching the turn in two-under and then cancelling out a birdie at 10 by dropping a shot at the par-three 12th.

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