Kedleston Park Golf Club have proved kings of the glen by lifting the Lombard Trophy at Gleneagles over the 2014 Ryder Cup course – and carving out a slice of history in the process.
Head PGA professional Ian Walley and club captain Ian Neal emerged triumphant in an enthralling second day on the PGA Centenary Course with their seven-under-par 65 giving them an 11–under 133 total and two stroke victory over Shirland, represented by Tim Stevens and Keith Cornish.
It also means that Kedleston Park become the first club to have won the PGA National Pro-Am Championship twice, having captured it in 2005 when Paul Wesselingh and Chris Nye landed the prestigious title in that year.
Walley sealed the victory in style by holing a birdie from the fringe on the last to also secure the first prize of £12,000 which according to Neal, a chartered accountant, was richly deserved following an outstanding display of golf.
“Ian has just played a fantastic round, he must have had six or seven birdies and I just came in where I could,” said Neal, who will also team up in the PGA Pro-Captain Challenge grand final in November, where Walley is the defending champion.
“It’s awesome to win, I can’t believe it’s happening in my captain’s year.
“To qualify for two PGA finals is pretty amazing, the only decent competition round I’ve had all year is the one that qualified for this.
“It has just been a great experience.
“This is the most enjoyable golf I’ve played but also the most stressful I have ever played, but I like it and enjoy that challenge.”
Walley, who is in his first year at the club, revelled in the experience, particularly playing a daunting 18th pin which left him a potentially tricky conclusion to his round.
“I knew nine under was leading so had three shots to win but I didn’t do myself any favours leaving it on edge but that last hole is going to be so good for the Ryder Cup.
“That is a testing flag,” he said.
“This year has been tough with the new job and I’ve put in a lot of hours but the club and members have been great and it’s great to get the name on the trophy again.”
“Ian came in came in when it mattered and this is what this format is all about.
“There were holes where I was out of play and he probably made three or four net birdies out there.”