GOLF: Dan’s the man as he eases to big victory in Portugal

Meghan MacLaren enjoyed winning the New South Wales Open in the traditional style
Meghan MacLaren enjoyed winning the New South Wales Open in the traditional style

Northants professional Dan Wood was the outstanding player in the NPGA Winter Series Overseas Pro-Am in Portugal.

The 32-year-old, who represents Golfers Choice, carded four solid rounds of 71, 72, 70 and 71 to finish eight strokes clear of Kettering’s Michael Campbell.

It was the same story in the team event as Wood combined with amateurs Kevin Bassom, Derek Bott and John Faulkner to nudge two ahead of Campbell’s team of Neil White, Nick Keech and Ryan Seaman.

British Junior Golf Tour

Talented youngster Jack Meakin grabbed a share of the top prize in the 7-8 Age Group of the opening British Junior Golf Tour event at The Bedford.

The Wellingborough member carded nothing worse than a bogey as he covered the front nine in 38 strokes to finish level with Gravesend’s Michael Haywood.

Priors Hall’s Jake Sheridan was also successful in his first tournament of the year as he compiled the best gross (77) and net (68) rounds in the 18-hole competition.

Staverton Park

One point was the margin of victory in both the February Stableford and February Seniors Stableford.

Allen Halliday (37) edged out Matthew Smith in the men’s event, while Cliff Pooley (38) beat Martin Lane in the seniors competition.

New South Wales Open

Northants golfer Meghan MacLaren held her overnight lead to win the Women’s New South Wales Open and claim her first Ladies European Tour title in Australia.

The 23-year-old Wellingborough professional carded a level par final round in hot and humid conditions to finish on 10-under-par at Coffs Harbour Golf Club.

LET rookies Casey Danielson, from the United States, and Marita Engzelius, from Norway, ended two back alongside Silvia Banon from Spain.

MacLaren’s first Ladies European Tour win comes in her 11th event, but she had previously won two titles on the LET Access Series as well as the circuit’s order of merit in 2017.

The second-year professional looked on course for the win after making two birdies in her first three holes to build a four-stroke advantage.

Although she bogeyed the seventh, she made another gain at the ninth, to hold four-shot lead through the turn, before carding seven pars and just two bogeys on the homeward stretch.

MacLaren, who thanked her dad, Staysure Tour CEO David MacLaren, for carrying the bag over the weekend, said: “It feels incredible.

“I didn’t think those words would be coming out of my mouth so soon!

“All parts of my game were good. To go out there and to still feel in control of my ball striking and all of that, it gave me a little bit of margin for error towards the 
end.

“I played well in the few events that I played last year, but you’ve got to be patient. It can take some players years before they get over the line. To do it now gives me a lot of confidence.

“I struggled a little bit out here in Australia and had a few ups and downs with my game, but you only have to look at the pictures back home in England to know that that’s not the place to be.

“The course set-up every single week over the last 
few weeks has been fantastic. Both the LET and the ALPG have done a fantastic job.”

MacLaren joins a select list of New South Wales Open champions, including former world number ones Dame Laura Davies and Lydia Ko.

Collingtree Park

A TOTAL of 43 points was the leading mark in the Seniors Dicala Stableford as Andrew Mills took the honours by one from Graham Warren, with Arthur Johnson in third place on 40.

Daventry

James Berry hit the winning trail once again as he clinched the February Stableford with a total of 36 points.

The nine-handicapper, who also led the scoring in 
the February Medal a 
fortnight earlier, finished 
one ahead of Tyrone Power, with Nigel Smith in third spot on 35.

Hellidon Lakes

Scoring proved difficult in both the 16th round of the Tigers Merit League and the Three Club Competition.

Ted Craig’s 35 points proved enough to beat 
Jim Robinson by one in 
the Tigers event, while 
Paul King needed only 33 points to get the better of Len Edwards with his smaller bag of clubs.

Overstone Park

Douglas Smith overcame a slow start to shoot the best tally of 41 points in the February Yellow Tee Mid-week Stableford.

Marcus Pinny matched the score to take second place by one from Peter Harrison and high-handicapper Denise Collacott.

LPGA

Northants ladies pro Charley Hull continued her solid start to the season on the LPGA Tour as she finished 16th in the HSBC Women’s World Championship event in Singapore.

The Kettering golfer, who has enjoyed good results in events in Australia and Thailand already this season, carded rounds of 70, 68, 69 and 71.

European Tour

Ryan Evans maintained his record of collecting prize money in every tournament he has played this season after finishing 21st in the Tshwane Open in Pretoria, South Africa.

Competing in his seventh European Tour event of 2017/18, the Wellingborough golfer carded a blemish-free opening round of 69, before making the cut with a 71.

Evans, who is competing in the Indian Open this week, moved further up the leaderboard with a 68 on day three, before smashing six birdies in a final round 70.