Watson and Sheppard fly the flag for region in PGA Southern Open Championship

Watson and Sheppard fly the flag for region in PGA Southern Open Championship

20/09/2022

Michael Watson and Corey Sheppard flew the standard for PGA South West in the opening round of the PGA Southern Open Championship at Paultons.

Both posted five-under par totals of 66 at the Hampshire venue to lead the region’s representation in the joint venture with PGA South in what is the last Order of Merit event of the season.

Although their scores were level after the first of two negotiations of the course that is adjacent to the home of Peppa Pig at Paultons Park, the way they achieved them could hardly have been more contrasting.

Watson (above), who finished tied 34th with Thomas Bjorn in July’s Senior Open at Gleneagles, gave no hint of what was to follow on the back nine after two early birdies were erased by a pair of bogeys.

Like a horse with the scent of the stables in its nostrils, the pro from Wessex Golf Centre picked up speed on the way home, however.

Five birdies followed, including three in succession at 11, 12 and 13 and two more at 17 and 18.

Sheppard, meanwhile, trod water after back-to-back birdies at 10 and 11 and a rollercoaster front nine.

Having birdied the first, fourth and seventh holes, the pro from High Post Golf Club (above) almost undid his good work with a double bogey at the par-three eighth but made amends with an eagle at the par-five ninth.

All of which left him and Watson a shot clear of their closest challengers from PGA South West, 2022 Welsh National PGA Championship winner Sion Bebb and Paul Hendriksen.

However, they are four adrift of tournament leaders, PGA South’s Jordan Godwin (above) and Mike Bullen who recorded nine-under par rounds of 62.

CLICK HERE for a full list of scores

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