Ireland’s Barrie Trainor carding a stunning six under par 66 to claim the £2000 first prize at the recent PGA East Region Championship staged over the News course at Essendon Country Club in Hertfordshire.
32 year-old Trainor, who plays out of Old Joe’s GolfRange, near Sudbury, Suffolk, carded six birdies and an eagle to shoot through the field and finish on seven under par 137 in the first professional event to be staged at Essendon since its major renovation programme was started last summer.
The Irishman’s rounds of 71 and 66 saw him finish one shot ahead of Chelmford Golf Club professional, Andrew Pestell, who shared the first round lead with Costessey Park’s Ian Ellis but was overhauled by Trainor after carding a second round 71.
Ellis dropped back into a tie for third place alongside Orton Meadows professional, Stuart Brown after a second round 72 while Nicholas Pateman from Pinner Hill was alone in fifth place after posting rounds of 71 and 69 for a four under par total of 140.
Welwyn Garden City’s James Ruebotham and Danny Field from East Herts were both among the group that shared sixth place on 142.
Trainor’s win at Essendon was ideal preparation for his next competitive appearance in the Irish Open at Carton House, near Dublin.
“Essendon Country Club is a great venue and I really enjoyed it,” said the man who was Irish PGA champion in 2011 before moving to Suffolk in January. “I’m looking forward to returning next year.”
The new champion was among a large number of competitors to praise the venue which was purchased last year by new owners, Kieran and Liam Griffin, and has seen both membership and green fee income increase as a result of a major investment programme.
“I thought the course was in fantastic condition, but not only that, the amateurs and professionals were welcomed with first class hospitality,” said Ruebotham. “It was great day all round”
Pateman was one of several professional to applaud the condition of the greens.
“The greens were fantastic this week,” he said “Craig Gibson and his team did a marvellous job in the past week considering the strange weather we’ve had. It was very nice to hit a putt online and see it roll perfectly truly and I’d also like to thank Kieran, Elaine and the rest of Essendon team for looking after us so well.”
Essendon’s owners see staging events like the PGA East Region Championship as an integral part of raising the profile of the facility. “We have committed a large sum of money upgrading all the facilities here at Essendon and events like the East Region Championship give us a great opportunity to showcase what we’ve done,” said Kieran Griffin.
“It is the first time that we have hosted a PGA East Region event but it won’t be the last.”
“The feedback has been phenomenal,” he added. “We have been bowled over by all the positive comments we have received.
Essendon Country Club http://essendoncc.co.uk