Appleyard, Stevens and Muchmore take title back to the South East after winning at The Belfry
By Lewis Longmuir
Kent swept to an impressive six shot victory in the PGA of England and Wales Inter-County Championship showpiece at The Belfry. Peter Appleyard, Scott Stevens and Thomas Muchmore were the dominant force from start to finish in the £10,000 event, leading on day one with a four-under team score before running out clear winners on nine-under.
Ridge professional Stevens admitted: “It’s a great event and we are proud to have won it. We are glad to be taking the trophy back to our region. We did the ground work on the first day. Conditions were difficult. So a four-under-par team score was pleasing. Even with the advantage going into day two, you know there are plenty of good players out there so the aim was to try and shoot around par.”
Appleyard produced the lowest round on day one, firing a 68 over the PGA National Course on Tuesday and going one better 24 hours later. Adam Keogh, however, led the Lincolnshire fight back on Wednesday with a five under 66, the best round of day two, to go with his opening 71. Daniel Greenwood fired successive one over 72s while Scott Emery fired 75, 72.
While the quick greens were causing many of the other pros difficulties, the Sittingbourne pro Appleyard revealed changing the way he gripped his putter transformed his round. Regarding his putter, Appleyard said: “I struggled to get the pace early on. After five holes I changed to left hand low on the putter and that seemed to make all the difference.”
Appleyard opened with a birdie, but it wasn’t until the ninth, when he rolled in a par saver, that his round burst into life.
He said: “Putting left low is something I practice. I feel comfortable swinging that way. Glad I made the change.”
Muchmore was left concerned after he walked off the course off the 18th hole on the Wednesday, fearing he could be the first player hit with a fine.
“I forgot my suit,” he revealed. “I had to have it sent from home by UPS. Paying for delivery seemed a better option than paying a fine.”
Lincolnshire moved to second place with a three under par, Yorkshire came third with 12-over, followed by Devon on 13-over and Hertfordshire on 17-over.
Despite a rocky start and a clothes dilemma, Kent still managed to bag the victory.