Cheetham holds his nerve at Valley

Best of the locals: Darren Rands pictured at the Willow Valley event this week
Best of the locals: Darren Rands pictured at the Willow Valley event this week

NEIL Cheetham put the experience gained during a winter’s golf on the sunshine tour in South Africa to good use when winning this week’s Yorkshire PGA Championship at Willow Valley.

Cheetham, born in Sheffield, held a two-shot lead after an opening round 72 and retained that advantage with a 74 to beat Moor Allerton’s Adrian Ambler, who formerly spent 17 years at Walton Golf Centre at Wakefield.

The Clifton course again provided a tough test on the second day in wet and windy conditions but the scores generally improved, reflecting the knowledge the players had gained from their previous round.

Hallowes’ David Sturgeon came out of the pack after nine holes, moving to two under par against the two over from Cheetham.

However, Cheetham pulled away again and Ambler was unable to get within striking distance after a first round 75.

Local favourite and teaching professional Darren Rands, from the host club, made an early charge and was tied with the leaders after nine holes.

However, he droppped four shots on the back nine but stuill finished as the top local professional just four shots behind the winner.

RESULT: N Cheetham (Johannesburg) 72-74-146, A Ambler (Moor Allerton) 75-73-148, D Sturgeon (Hallowes GC) 74-75-149, J Drinkall (Allerthorpe Park GC) 76-74-150, J Wells (Beverley) 78-72-150, N Ludwell (Selby) 75-75-150, D Rands (Willow Valley Golf) 76-74-150.

HALIFAX GC’s run of success in the Yorkshire Union’s scratch team championship continued at the Fourth Division event at Bondhay GC near Worksop when they clinched another promotion.

Chris Lander showed the way as Halifax finished third on 649 behind runaway winners Bingley St Ives (624) and the host club (644).

Lander had rounds of 75 and 76 for the joint best score of the day while Mark Birkett had rounds of 78 and 79, Clive Crawshaw 81 and 85 and Halifax-Huddersfield Union junior team captain Jamie Smith found it tougher going with rounds of 89 and 86.

Halifax, who started the season having to qualify for the Division Seven event, are now through to the Division Three Championship at Scarborough next Wednesday.

Wednesday’s top six are promoted and the bottom six relegated which means Woodsome Hall also go up while fellow Halifax-Huddersfield Union sides Crosland Heath and Meltham are down.

DIVISION SCORES RESULT: 1, Bingley St Ives 624; 2, Bondhay 644; 3, Halifax 649; 4, Scarcroft 650; 5, Headingley 652; 6, Woodsome Hall 658; 7, Rudding Park 661; 8, Skipton 663; 9, Phoenix 669; 10, Abbeydale 669; 11, Brough 669; 12, Shipley 670; 13, Hallamshire 671; 14, Crosland Heath 673; 15, Keighley 680; 16, Hillsborough 685; 17, Wheatley 698; 18, Meltham 710.