How Poulter and Monty inspired Goodwood golfer’s Thailand dream

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Goodwood golfer Darren Harrison has proved the old saying ‘third time lucky’ and qualified to play in the world final of the BMW Golf Cup International in Phuket, Thailand.

Harrison, who plays off 12, will represent the UK and compete against 112 fellow competitors from a staggering 37 countries in this 54-hole tournament which celebrates its tenth anniversary later this month.

Darren, partner Karen and 15-month-old son Oliver will make the 6,000-mile trip in style via business class, a reward for being crowned 2010 UK champion for the BMW Golf Cup International at Turnberry last September.

Incredibly, Harrison returned to competitive play only last season following a lengthy sabbatical to set up a car-leasing company.

In his first year back he reduced his handicap from 15 to 12, win the singles knockout at Goodwood and after making the UK national final for the third time, he was crowned UK national champion.

“Last year was just amazing,” he said. “I was entered into the tournament by Snows BMW and qualified for this prestigious amateur tournament at Great Salterns Golf Club in Southsea, then the regional final at Celtic Manor’s 2010 course in August and then the UK national final at Turnberry.

“Now I’m practicing like mad. I’m aiming to hit 1,000 golf balls as part of my preparations.”

Harrison, due to marry Karen later this year, believes part of his success is down to picking up great hints and tips from some top names, having watched Ryder Cup star Ian Poulter in last year’s PGA Pro Am at Goodwood.

He also attended golf clinics with former Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie last year and team member Ross Fisher.

Golf At Goodwood is offering a special course to encourage budding young golfers to take up the sport. The club’s golf pros, Craig Gardner and Nick Smith, will run the junior golf camp over two days during the February half-term and the Easter break.

The camp will be held at the Golfing Academy at the Goodwood Hotel on Monday, February 21 and Tuesday 22 and on Monday, April 11, and Tuesday 12.

Over two three-hour sessions, juniors will learn about the short and the long game, with a focus on continued improvement for existing golfers and an introduction to novices.

It is £30 per person, and open to all ages and abilities. All equipment can be provided. To book please phone Craig Gardner on 01243 755133 or email craig.gardner@goodwood.com

COWDRAY PARK

A bright sunny day greeted Cowdray Park seniors for the rescheduled first round of the Captain’s Prize. Each player had dreams of emulating John Lee’s astonishing initial round score of 48 points, but the closest anyone managed was nine points short.

This score was achieved by both Roger Poat and Wally Mitchell. Roger took the honours on countback from Wally, who has hit a rich vein of form and is turning in some excellent rounds.

He is now the closest challenger overall to Lee with 77 points while Lee has racked up a two-round total of 80. In joint third place on the day with 38 points were Harvey Terry, Cliff Davis and veteran Irishman Pat Bonner.

Added to their first-round scores, this put Bonner in overall third with Mike King, while Davis is lying fifth.

On the day the best combined score was returned by Pat Harrison and Ken Newberry (pictured) with 72 ahead of Allen Sibley and Roger Poat with 70, on countback from David Heard and Phil Harrison.

n Cowdray Park’s Winter League side suffered another heavy away defeat, his time 4-0 at much-improved Guildford. Despite this and because of the many abandonments, Cowdray are still in close contact with the other teams and a couple of victories would boost their season. Hankley Common are leading the table at present but have played virtually all their games.

BOGNOR

Bognor Regis GC ladies held a stableford.

Results: Silver: 1 Sue Crossen 37pts ocb, Nicki Vincent 37, Denise Duquemin 35; Bronze A: 1 Marge Fenwick 33 ocb,

2 Pat Rishman 33, 3 Val Robertson 33; Bronze B: 1 Eileen Morris 35, 2 Cynthia Hall 30; Vets: 1 June Smith 33, Yvonne Potter 30.