Oliver hopes to be sent to Coventry
BRAMALL Park Golf Club’s Oliver Whiteley will be aiming to avoid the perils of Penwortham when he tees off in the Galvin Green PGA Assistants’ Championship north qualifying event.
Former European Tour player Whiteley made it to the final last year and clinched eighth spot, but that seemed a long way off when he began his attempt to qualify at Penwortham Golf Club near Preston.
He made a seven at the par-four first hole and had to stage a recovery to make sure he booked his place.
Now he returns to the Lancashire venue on June 29 hoping for a smoother passage.
Players from all over north England and Wales will be aiming to qualify for the £32,500 grand final to be held at Coventry Golf Club on August 5-7.
“I’ll certainly be aiming to qualify and I’ll enjoy going back to Penwortham,” said the Stockport-based player.
“That was the first time I’d played it last year, I still managed to qualify even though I didn’t make the best of starts with a seven!
“And if I get through, I’ll look forward to playing at Coventry again. It was a good course that demands a lot of you.”
Whiteley, 37, a second year PGA assistant, is cautious of improving on last year’s display in the final.
“I was pleased with the way I played last year, and I was glad to see my old tour mate Gareth [Davies] winning it,” he recalled.
“We were roommates on tour, but he always used to beat me!
“I’d like to improve on last year, it’d be nice to think I could but it’s difficult to predict.”
Whiteley is in the middle of his PGA training and says he hopes the qualification will give him more stability.
“I decided to go down that route as it opens your eyes to a few more options in the game,” he said.
“Golf’s a good life to have, so to get into things like coaching can only be a good thing.
“When I knew I was about to start a family a couple of years ago I knew I had a decision to make as regards to being on tour.
“I know where I need to be to do well there, and I’m probably not there at the moment. So I knew I needed a bit more consistency in my life and the PGA training has offered me that.”
Timothy Dykes (Penrith Golf Club), Daniel Harrison (Runcorn Golf Club), James Murray (Leeds Golf Centre), Jonathan Elsden (Leigh Golf Club) and Andrew Earlam (Stamford Golf Club) are also among the competitors at Penwortham.