From: Professional Golfers' Association
Published: Fri Apr 15 2005

Qualifying rounds for the Glenmuir British Club Professional Championship rarely throw up the kind of competitiveness that was on display yesterday (Wedy) at Saunton.

As 70 players from the PGA’s West Region bid for 16 places in the 72-hole final at Woodhall Spa in mid-June, no fewer than five of them tied for first place over 18 holes, all returning a one-under 70 over the East course of the famed North Devon links.

And if last year’s winner there, Martyn Thompson, hadn’t taken three putts from no distance on the 17th, and then lipped out from 15 feet for a birdie on the last, he would once again have been taking home the sponsors’ commemorative crystal. Instead that went to Bristol & Clifton’s Paul Mitchell, whose inward 33, though matched by James Lee from Caerphilly, edged the Welshman by dint of having taken a stroke fewer on the last three holes.

Thompson, though, was upbeat. "Can’t complain", the 35-year-old Dorset pro’ put it succinctly afterwards. "I didn’t hit one bad shot today – and I can’t say that very often. We had a new clubhouse and pro’s shop built last year, and I didn’t play any regional Order of Merit events at all. But I’m really looking forward to the rest of this season."

The unlikely pace had been set early in the day by Wheathill’s John Goymer, the Somerset man burdening himself at two over after just four holes. But three gains in the next four holes, including a chip-in from 30 yards at the seventh, had him out in a one-under 35. A birdie and bogey coming back gave him a level-par 35.

Former English amateur champion, Jon Langmead, still managed a tidy 70 despite devoting much of his time to his new job as golf director at Exminster Golf Centre, whose course he designed.
"It’s a bit of a juggling act, trying to be competitive and look after affairs at Exminster, but it was a delight to play Saunton today. I’m really looking forward to going to Woodhall Spa."

The 37-year-old returned a curate’s-egg card of five birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey, the last coming at the 463-yard 15th. "I missed the green left with my second, finished in the cabbage, took two swipes and scarcely moved the ball, and by the time it was in the hole I’d run up a simple seven." Qualifiers:

70 – J Goymer (Wheathill), J Langmead (Exminster), P Mitchell (Bristol & Clifton),
J Lee (Caerphilly), M Thompson (Parkstone)
71 – R Goodey (Exeter Powakaddy Centre), G Milne (Exeter G & CC), D Clark
(Mountain Ash), P Jones (Canford Magna), R Davis (Iford Golf Centre), M
Stimson (Milford Haven). P Mayo (Newport)
72 – A Norman (Libbaton Golf Complex), M Evans (Langland Bay), G Howell
73 - R Dinsdale (Parc), after a six-man play-off.

Company: Professional Golfers' Association
Contact Name: Ron Marshall
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Contact Phone: 0044 141 570 2869

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