Hendon GC's Goddard qualifies for PGA Asisstants' Championship final
PUBLISHED: 13:00 24 May 2019
Former Walker Cup player Luke Goddard has taken his first step towards completing some unfinished business by qualifying for the final of the Birdietime PGA Assistants' Championship.
Goddard, a PGA Assistant at Hendon Golf Club who represented Great Britain and Ireland in the match against the USA in 2009, finished eighth in last year's tournament.
Now the 31-year-old is looking to improve on that after winning the PGA East region qualifier at Ely Golf Club by posting a four-under-par round of 68 to leave the remaining 40 participants in his wake.
The band of pursuers included Nicholas Cunningham of Bedford & County Golf Club and Kingsway Golf Centre's James Watts, runner-up in last year's final at Farleigh Golf Club in Surrey.
Watts finished two shots behind Lee Corfield, the winner, and three ahead of Goddard on that occasion.
That margin was reversed at Ely, however, and Goddard said: "He's a friend of mine and phoned on the way home to congratulate me.
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"Apart from a double bogey at 14 I had a solid day. There were six birdies and my short game was good, so I'm pleased with the way I played."
Goddard, Cunningham and Watts, who posted rounds of 70 and 71 respectively, were the only ones to break par and will be joined in the final at Pleasington, Lancashire, by 10 others from the event.
That group includes the Rayleigh Club's Ben Wyatt and Scott Hudson of the Warren Golf Club who prevailed in a three-man play-off to claim the last two qualifying places.
Looking ahead to the 54-hole Birdietime-sponsored final which carries a £32,000 prize fund with £5,000 going to the winner, Goddard added: "I played Pleasington in my amateur days a long time ago.
"It was a good course and I'm looking forward to going back there, especially if I can improve on last year."
Goddard has certainly shown he has it in him to triumph in the overall final after his impressive showing in the qualifiers.
And the Hendon GC PGA Assistant is sure to fancy his chances of triumphing overall.