Brown showing great early-season promise
THERE was no place like home for Stuart Brown when the city ace stormed to victory in the Beds and Cambs PGA Championships at Orton Meadows.
Brown started his season in sizzling style to retain the trophy and wrap up his third win in the competition with rounds of 67 and 68 to finish one over par on his home course - three shots clear of the field.
But despite the obvious advantages of competing on his own patch, Brown later admitted the pressure of expectation made the win anything but a formality.
He said: “Obviously I am delighted to have won such a big tournament at this stage of the season. And defending the trophy makes it that bit more pleasing, especially on my home course.
“In some ways playing the event at Orton meant I had an advantage over a lot of the field as I know the place so well but being the home professional brings a bit more expectation too and a bit of pressure.
“I think it helped me that over the winter I switched to Titleist clubs. That seems to have worked very well for me and I am particularly happy with the way I am hitting my irons at the moment.
“And starting the season with a win gives me plenty of confidence that my game is in good nick at the right time.”
Brown carried that early season form into the John O’ Gaunt Pro-am on Monday where he finished second to pocket a cheque for £1,200.
Now having made such a strong start to the campaign, the Orton Meadows professional is aiming for another strong showing at the East Region Championships next Wednesday.
The Championships are the first PGA Order of Merit event and as defending champion, Brown is determined to do well at Orsett to get his campaign off to the best possible start.
“I had a great season last time out when I finished in second place and made it to the PGA Play-offs in Turkey and I see no reason to think that I cannot go one better this time round,” he added.
“I am playing really well at the moment and I intend to commit to the Order of Merit events and hopefully win the series this year. I know it is going to be tough but I’m confident I can be up there again.
“And this time if I make it back to the end of season PGA Play-offs I would back myself to do better than I managed last year on my debut.”
Stuart Brown won the Beds and Cambs PGA Championship.
HE may only have been playing golf for less than a year, but James Ablett is already having a big impact at Greetham Valley.
The 24-handicapper took first place in both the net and the gross competitions at the club’s 19-28 Championships at the weekend after shooting a gross 95 to finish ahead of Neil Beckingham on countback.
Effion Hughes came in third with a gross 97 while in the net event Ablett’s net 71 saw him finish two shots clear of Phil Douty in second with Beckingham in third place with a net 76.
Ablett’s cracking performance saw his handicap cut to 22, raising his hopes of earning a place in Greetham’s 0-18 Championships next season.
He said: “I only took up golf seriously when I joined Greetham in September 2011 and prior to that I have only really played once or twice a year with friends.
“So I was amazed to find out that I had won. It has given me a lot of impetus to practice more and try to improve by playing in more competitions so that hopefully I can get into the 0-18 Championships next year.”
PRIZEWINNERS: Pictured are the prizewinners at the Thorpe Wood Ladies Open.