Vale of Llangollen pair head for SkyCaddie PGA Pro-Captain Challenge final via Humber bridge detour

Vale of Llangollen pair head for SkyCaddie PGA Pro-Captain Challenge final via Humber bridge detour


Vale of Llangollen Golf Club duo Matt Davies and Andy Brown were perfect partners on the course in the SkyCaddie PGA Pro-Captain Challenge North region qualifier but not while travelling to it.

The pair qualified for next month’s final at The Belfry by racking up 46 Stableford points to win the event at Huddersfield Golf Club after making their tee time with five minutes to spare.

Instead of heading to Huddersfield they were bound for Hull but when Davies, the head PGA Professional at the Welsh club (pictured, right), spotted signs for the Humber bridge he knew something was amiss.

“Let’s just say there was a misunderstanding between us,” he explained. “Andy was driving and he thought I’d said the qualifier was in Hull. I’m convinced I said Huddersfield.”

The lack of time to practise clearly did not have any ill-effects, however. Davies and Brown, who plays off 12, recorded nine birdies and an eagle in their 10-under-par round that saw them finish four points clear of the field.

“We gelled really well and both contributed,” added Davies, who was responsible for the eagle on the par-five 18th and has coached his club captain.

“Hopefully we can do the same in the final, which we’re really looking forward to. One thing, though – I’ll do the driving this time!”  

The pair will be joined in the final by the duo from Forest Park Golf Club near York as a result of 11-handicapper Laurence Beckett becoming Captain Marvel in the same qualifier.

Beckett eagled the par-four 16th and birdied the par-three 17th and, unknowing at the time, effectively booked the club’s place at The Belfry.

Having finished level on 42 points with Huddersfield Golf Club pair head PGA pro Alex Keighley and Andrew Marlow, the runner’s up berth was determined on countback over the last three holes. And Beckett’s contribution proved crucial.

Mark Winterburn, Forest Park’s head PGA Professional, explained: “We were making steady progress until then, just plodding along really.

“Then I had a 30-foot putt for a birdie on the 16th which lipped out and Laurence had one on the same line from about 26 foot.

“Mine gave him the line and he holed it for a nett eagle. He also had a shot on the par-three 17th where, after his tee shot landed in a difficult position off the green, he produced as good an up-and-down as you’ll ever see for a birdie.”

Beckett’s crucial contribution is an appropriate reward for the club entering the competition for the first time.

Winterburn added: “I hadn’t played in this before but when Laurence took over as captain he was really keen to enter.

“He’s had lessons off me but we’d only played together once before the qualifier. We really gelled as a partnership so hopefully we can do the same at The Belfry. We’re really looking forward to it.”

The final of the popular competition will comprise two rounds at The Belfry on October 13 and 14.

The first will be played on the resort’s PGA National course, the second on the Brabazon, the stage made famous by the exploits of Seve Ballesteros, Christy O’Connor Junior, Sam Torrance, and Paul McGinley in the Ryder Cup.

As in each of the seven qualifiers, the players will be offered free use of a SkyCaddie SX400 that will come loaded with the day’s pins.

Full scores can be accessed here