Pro from Arbroath is SPGA Champion

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A PROFESSIONAL golfer from Arbroath who works at Ladybank Golf Course in Fife was the winner of the Scottish PGA Championship played on the King’s Course, Gleneagles, last week.

Alan Lockhart extended thanks to Artisan Club professional Lindsay Ewart who introduced him to the game when he was only 14. He remained a member at the Artisan Club until he was 20 when he started his PGA training at Dunblane New Golf Course.

He is a former pupil of Hayshead Primary School and Arbroath Academy and lived in East Abbey Street and then Millfield Road. He now lives in Bridge of Allan, near Stirling.

The Scottish PGA Championship is the flagship event of the Scottish PGA Tartan Tour and previous winners include major winners Paul Lawrie and Sandy Lyle.

Alan commented: “The competition holds a lot of prestige and is the greatest golfing achievement of my life. I also won the under-25s equivalent - the Scottish Young Professional Championship - six years ago at Forres Golf Course, so it is a nice double.”

The Scottish PGA Championship is a four-round tournament. The par of the King’s course is 71 and Alan carded scores of 71, 68, 68 and 68 for a nine under total and a one-shot victory over Chris Currie, Caldwell Golf Course, and Greig Hutcheon, Banchory Golf Course.

Alan revealed that he was two shots behind overnight leader Jim McKinnon at the start of the final round, but three birdies in his first 10 holes had him in a tie for first position.

He went on: “After holing a 25-foot putt for par at the 13th and making a birdie at the short par 4 14th, I found myself with a one-shot lead for the first time in the tournament.

“A good par at the tough 15th kept my nose in front and then the drama began. After a pulled tee shot at the par 3 16th I found myself in an impossible lie in thick rough, on a downslope behind a bunker. After playing a poor shot my ball still wasn’t on the green with both playing partners in position to make easy pars.

“Anyway, ‘the shot of my life’ proceeded as I chipped the ball into the hole for an unlikely par! This was the turning point as I managed to par my last two holes for a narrow one-shot victory over Greig Hutcheon who birdied his last hole and Chris Currie who birdied the 17th and just missed his birdie attempt on the last hole to force a play off.

“I was a very relieved and happy man.”

Alan concluded: “For winning the title I received £8,600 in prize money and am invited to play in the Johnny Walker Championship at Gleneagles in August of next year, which is a European Tour event. I now also qualify to represent Scotland in the team championship which is played in Portugal in November.”