Clapp earns a round of applause

PUBLISHED: 13:50 21 May 2008 | UPDATED: 22:27 26 October 2009

Winners Tom Hoskin and pro Andy Clapp

Winners Tom Hoskin and pro Andy Clapp

A COUNTY golf professional has made up for missing out on the final of Europe s largest pro-am a year ago by taking the team that beat him to this season s Turkish showpiece. Andrew Clapp left Barnet s Old Fold Manor club downcast 12 months ago after be

A COUNTY golf professional has made up for missing out on the final of Europe's largest pro-am a year ago by taking the team that beat him to this season's Turkish showpiece.

Andrew Clapp left Barnet's Old Fold Manor club downcast 12 months ago after being denied a place in the PGA National Pro-Am Championship grand final on countback to rivals Brickendon Grange.

However, in a strange twist of fate Clapp is poised to make his debut in the £30,000 final at Antalya Golf Club - representing Brickendon Grange.

Clapp, who recently joined Brickendon from Hatfield London Country Club in Essendon, and substitute partner Tom Hoskin swept to victory after carding a six under par 65 in the regional final.

Their win was real 'Roy of the Rovers' stuff with Clapp's entry just beating the deadline, while 23-year-old Hoskin only got the call to say that he was playing in the event last week.

To cap it all, Clapp pitched in a 40-yard wedge at the final hole - after being forced to take a drop - for a par to ensure the duo went into the clubhouse top of the leaderboard.

After the disappointment of last year, the victory was certainly sweet, especially given the circumstances.

"I've only just started at Brickendon Grange, who won last year with a different pro, so I'm delighted to have got them back to the final so soon," said Clapp.

"It certainly makes up for last year because I was gutted, more so for my amateur.

"I've done some travelling in my playing career but to think one minute you're going to Turkey and then to lose it on countback is really hard to take.

"There were times today I was hoping we wouldn't suffer the same fate as we were only one under for the back nine, but given the tough playing conditions I thought we posted a good score."

Clapp added: "Tom was a great partner and I can't believe how positive he is as he's already asking what happens when we win in Turkey!"

Hoskin, who has been on a gap year since graduating from university last summer, played a key role in booking the pair a place in the grand final later in the season.

He eagled the third and added birdies at eight, nine and 17, with Clapp adding three.

Their only blemish came at the par three 14th.

"I'm really enjoying my golf and can't wait for the final," said seven-handicapper Hoskin.

"I only found out a week and a half ago I was going to be in as I finished second in the club medal but the winner couldn't play.

"I was happy with how I played, though I missed a few putts.

"However, the finish when Andrew chipped in was pretty amazing.

"It gave me a free run at a birdie but it just wasn't to be."

The duo won by one shot from Ashridge pro Peter Cherry and amateur partner Stephen Langford and Dunstable Downs' Darren Charlton and Glenn Jasper.

The winning pair will compete against 15 other regional finalists during the five-day five-star trip to the Sirene Beach & Hotel Resort on the shores of Turkey's Mediterranean coast from November 30 to December 4.

The tournament, which attracts more than 100,000 entries, is now in its 24th staging and has been held in Portugal, Spain, Grand Bahamas and Sardinia prior to Turkey last year.

RESULTS

PGA National Pro-Am Championship

Regional Final at Old Fold Manor

1 Andrew Clapp & Thomas Hoskin (Brickendon Grange) 65

2 Peter Cherry & Stephen Langford (Ashridge) 66

Darren Charlton & Glenn Jasper (Dunstable Downs) 66

4= Andy Lavers & Dennis Gibney (Bourn) 67

Richard May & Andy Fordyce (WGC) 67

Ian Taylor & David Willey (East Herts) 67

7= Kevin Evans & Patrick Collins (Malton) 68

Lee Scarbrow & Stephen Anthony (John O'Gaunt) 68


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