Barham re­tains ti­tle

Golf

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Sport -

Benn Barham shot a 14-un­der­par three-round to­tal of 202 to re­tain his Sam­sung PGA South­ern Pro­fes­sional ti­tle at Kings Hill.

The 39-year-old for­mer Euro­pean Tour pro, who lives in Ten­ter­den, picked up the win­ner’s cheque of £3,000 to­gether with another £500 af­ter fin­ish­ing tied with Lit­tle­stone’s Charles Wil­son as joint-win­ner of the event’s Pro Am.

Barham came from five shots off the lead to over­take new course record holder Craig Cow­per, of Sur­rey Downs, whose 10-un­der first round 62 set the early pace.

Cow­per fin­ished sec­ond, one shot be­hind, with fel­low Sur­rey man Chris Gane, third on 204.

Barham’s vic­tory leaves him in real con­tention to suc­cess­fully de­fend his Vir­gin At­lantic PGA South Or­der of Merit ti­tle with two events left.

It looks a straight shoot-out be­tween him and leader James Ablett (Lee-on-the So­lent). Only six points sep­a­rate the two play­ers, with Gane third.

Barham shot 68, 67, 67, in­clud­ing only two bo­geys but said: “Frus­trat­ingly, I was strug­gling with my putting on what were some of the best sur­faces we’ve played on this year. But I stuck at it and for­tu­nately for me, no-one shot the lights out in the third round.”

Cow­per didn’t hide his dis­ap­point­ment af­ter shoot­ing 73 in his fi­nal round.

He said: “I had 25 putts and mis­judg­ing my ap­proach to the fi­nal green end­ing in a bo­gey was the only er­ror, while two other make­able birdie putts went beg­ging.”

Barham’s suc­cess fol­lowed another tie with Gane in the Seve Bal­las­teros Foun­da­tion Pro-Am at Fox­hills in Sur­rey, both play­ers carding nine birdies in their rounds of 63.

The event, now in it’s sixth year, has helped raise funds to­talling more than £250,000 in aid of a cure for brain can­cer and pro­vid­ing chances for un­der­priv­i­leged chil­dren to play.

Bar­bara Down and Jill Gam­bling (West Malling), and Kate Dilks and Sheila Waddell, fin­ished sec­ond and third re­spec­tively in Lit­tle­stone War­ren’s four­ball bet­ter­ball com­pe­ti­tion.

Lady cap­tain Down and Gam­bling fin­ished with 44 points, four be­hind win­ners Shell Foster and Lynette White­head, of Bearsted, with vice- cap­tain Dilks and Waddell on 43 points.

They fin­ished ahead of Ch­eryl Denne and Jenny Hook (Lon­don Beach), fol­lowed by six teams – all on 42 points.

Eigh­teen club mem­bers and guests from other Kent and Sus­sex clubs com­peted.

In­di­vid­ual prizes went to guests Gam­bling and Mau­reen HopeWatts, of Dale Hill (East Sus­sex) and Lit­tle­stone pair Gill Sing­field and Glo­ria Foster.

From left, Bar­bara Down, Jill Gam­bling, Lynette White­head, Shell Foster, Sheila Waddell and Kate Dilks

Benn Barham – won ti­tle at Kings Hill GC

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