Golf: Pannal pair fly the flag for Yorkshire to land title

The white rose of Yorkshire bloomed for the second successive year as the Virgin Atlantic PGA National Pro-Am Championship, supported by SkyCaddie, went back to 'God's own county'.

In the tropical climes of the Bahamas it was Pannal Golf Club that etched itself into PGA history with victory in Europe's largest pro-am, which saw more than 50,000 amateurs and 700 clubs embark on the chase for the cherished silverware.

It ended up in the firm grip of PGA professional Dave Padgett and amateur partner Jonathan Honeysett, who basked in glory with a one shot success after two majestic days of golf over the sun-kissed Emerald Reef Golf Course at Sandals Emerald Bay Resort on the island of Great Exuma.

The Harrogate-based duo were overjoyed having come from a shot behind the overnight leaders Windermere to capture the title, which also secured Padgett a 5,000 winner's cheque.

They completed the win in front of their wives to cap a memorable day and follow in the footsteps of fellow Yorkshire club Far Grange Park who won last year.

Having opened with a 68, the duo completed the task with a three-under-par 69 for a seven-under total and Padgett, coach to a number of professionals on the European and Challenge Tours, admitted he had heeded his own advice to play a part in his team's triumphy.

"I do a lot of putting and chipping coaching with a load of guys on the Tours doing well with my coaching and I actually followed what I've been telling them and holed some great putts all week," he said.

"It just goes to show that it's not all about hitting it a long way but chipping and putting and following my own philosophy worked under pressure."

Padgett, who finished fourth at the Senior PGA Professional Championship and made the cut in the De Vere PGA Seniors Championship this year, admitted adding Pannal's name to the honour rolls was an incredibly satisfying achievement.

"I think this is personal for John because he has come all this way and, as I said to him, I'd seen the winner's roster and our name – Pannal – is going to be there.

"I'm a typical club pro who does a lot of teaching and doesn't play that much, but I love playing and my members will think it's great.

"But all credit to John. We've put him under extreme pressure all week, but he's come through smelling of roses."

Six handicapper Honeysett, who has quit banking to run his own golf clothing distribution company, added: "It's a great relief to win.

"We had a great run from the eighth but it all started to unravel down the last however we had given ourselves a cushion. It was a fabulous feeling to win.

"As time goes on we will fully appreciate what we have done putting Pannal's name on the trophy.

"Dave was a great partner. He played well both days and when it got tough he kept me going."

The duo's card was a mixed bag with a nett eagle, five birdies and four bogeys spread across it.

But it was enough to thwart the challenge of Windermere pro Simon Edwards and his amateur John Baines, whose second round 71 saw them close at six-under-par.

? Rudding Park claimed the spoils at the latest Harrogate and District Union Winter Alliance, staged at the Ripon City club.

Result

1, 43pts Rudding Park – M Walker (15) and D Rook (13); 2, 42pts Romanby – C Cox (5) and C Beadling (10); 3, 42pts Thirsk & Northallerton – M Nicholson (Scr) and R Helliwell (10); 4, 42pts Oakdale – N Hart (13) and S Brown (3); 5, 41pts Bedale – C Dickinson (8) and L Kitching (17); 6, 41pts Ripon City – G Nelson (13) and A Emsley (15).

gary.walker@ypn.co.uk