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Wright on! Smith is double tops


Oliver Smith didn’t ask for anything more when he became the first PGA professional to win the Sue Wright Trophy twice since it was inaugurated 15 years ago, writes David Birtill.

The Ashton-on-Mersey assistant, who was 12 when he joined the club, birdied the 16th and 17th holes to claim the coveted title.

He said: “I’ve been an assistant for three years and my next object is to put in more practice hours now the season is in full swing.”

Smith, 31, is determined to pass his PGA exams as he weighs up the prospects of attracting a second sponsor.

“I’m aiming to compete on the Euro Pro and Challenge Tour and I hope I get some backing because there are a lot of good players in our region. Unfortunately we play an expensive sport,” he added.

Meanwhile, history repeated itself when Andrew Palmer won a three-man play-off in the PGA North Region Championship at Pleasington. For his Chorley boss Mark Bradley won the same title several years ago so both names can be seen on the trophy.

He admitted: “I don’t play as often these days because I do a lot of coaching so I was delighted with my win,” said.

“If I had a sponsorship I would play a lot more but I have to teach to earn a living,” explained Palmer. “I’m not guaranteed to earn any money from playing because the standard is so high but this has been my best win so far.

“It has lifted me up the Order of Merit and that means I can play against almost anyone in the region in future.”