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Scotcraig pro wins TGI honour

0402CraigMackieRightCraig Mackie, (right) head PGA Professional at Scotscraig GC took the top honour at the TGI Golf Partnership awards night when he collected the Partner of the Year title from 2014 winner Mike Bradley (Notts).

The annual event, this year staged at The Belfry, brought together partners of golf’s leading retail services group and influential figures from the golf industry to celebrate those who had excelled over the last 12 months.

PING took the evening’s other top award – Partner Supplier of the Year – in a hotly contested category that included both Acushnet brands Titleist and FootJoy.

Mackie, who has been a partner of TGI Golf since 2005, saw off competition from fellow nominees Ryan Pudney (Mundesley), Paul Stevenson (Portadown) and Richard Lambert (Crosland Heath).

The 37-year-old from Tayport attended every one of the group’s events in 2015, including travelling as first reserve for the Ashworth Cup, where he supported his team-mates from the side as they took on rivals Foremost.

He said: “Thank you to all the TGI Golf Partners, the staff and our suppliers who have all been extremely supportive. All partners are worthy of this award, it’s difficult out there for everyone, and so to win is an incredible honour.

“Without the support of TGI Golf and the staff, business would be a lot harder, we are all incredibly thankful for their hard work, professionalism and ‘can do attitude’.”

Eddie Reid, TGI Golf’s managing director, who sat on the judging panel along with senior management and the group’s retail consultants, added: “Craig fully deserves to join this illustrious list of partners who have won this award. He embraces everything TGI Golf has to offer.

“He has been a true ambassador for the group, encouraging any PGA Professionals he is connected with to join TGI Golf and make the most of the same benefits he has.”

PING claimed its second Supplier of the Year crown having collected the award two years ago. It was the only double winner on the night as the PING G30 picked up a second successive Product of the Year award.

Steve Carter, PING European sales director, collected the award saying: “In 1959, when PING started, the PGA Professional was at the heart of the business. While the industry has evolved since then, our support of Pros remains very strong.

“We appreciate everything that you, as PGA Professionals, and TGI Golf as a group, do for us and we will focus on everything we do to ensure we earn your support, year after year.”

The supplier awards are voted for by TGI Golf’s 480 PGA Professionals across the UK & Ireland through its annual supplier survey, where partners score suppliers in a range of categories.

A total of eight awards were presented over the course of the evening with other winners including Pro Shop of the Year – Ronnie Bolton (Burnham Beeches), Most Improved Business went to Andy Rhodes (Keighley) and Paul Vaughan of Ardglass GC was New Partner of the Year.

Supplier awards also went to Titleist (Hardware Supplier of the Year) and FootJoy (Apparel Supplier of the Year).

For further information on TGI Golf visit www.tgigolf.com.

Cooperman cleans up at Stoneham

Cooperman cleans up at Stoneham

Sep 24, 2015

Tilgate Forest’s Lea Cooper produced the round of the day, shooting a seven-under-par 65 to win Hampshire’s biggest Pro-Am in 2015: the Stoneham Pro-Am.

Cooper’s super low round earned him one of the season’s larger winner’s cheques for £1,500, thanks to the generous support of Stoneham GC and their sponsors.

Having started in the morning, James Ablett (Lee-on-the-Solent) was the clubhouse leader with an impressive 66, but even though he was eventually pipped at the post, Ablett still took home a handy £900.

Speaking afterwards, Cooper said: “This is one of my best rounds this year, and my biggest cheque as well, thanks to all the supporters of this Pro-Am. Shame about that double bogey at the seventh, but despite that I played the other holes really well, and my putting was pretty hot.”

In a shotgun start from the 14th, Cooper made a very fast start with a birdie on his opening hole, and then deucing the 16th and making another birdie at the 17th.

He maintained his charge with more birdies at the first and second, and then the fifth and sixth to reach seven-under-par, but stumbled badly with a double bogey on the short seventh.

Pars followed until he got to the 12th where he made another birdie, and then followed that with one more on his final hole for his 65, snatching victory from Ablett by one shot.

Starting at the second, Ablett birdied the third but bogeys at the fifth and then the eighth left him with a lot to do.

Rising to the challenge and finding the gear that has delivered 12 victories in 2015, the current Virgin Atlantic PGA South Order of Merit** leader bounced straight back at the ninth with a birdie to get back to level par.

A slip at the 10th put him back on one-over, but then he charged through the next eight holes with six birdies to reach five-under-par with one hole left, the first, which Ablett birdied as well for his 66 and what would eventually prove to be the runner-up spot.