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Shepherd homes in on Fixby Classic
Former Cleckheaton member Lee Shepherd admitted that local knowledge played a crucial part in his victory in the Rocar Moores & Copley Fixby Classic at Huddersfield.
“I live round the corner from the course and I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve played it as an amateur then as a professional,” said the 28-year-old, who coaches at the town’s John Letters Golf Academy.
“I chipped and putted well and the windy conditions suited me. I’d never won anything here before so this means a lot to me.”
Shepherd, who also claimed his first PGA North Region Order of Merit success in the final ranking event of the season, described his pitch in for a birdie at the 16th as the defining moment.
“I knew there was going to be a close finish and that gave me some breathing space,” he added after tagging a 73 to his opening 69 for a level par aggregate.
Shepherd prevailed by a shot from a trio of players including Adrian Ambler, from Low Laithes, a double winner on the regional circuit this season who clinched the Mike Slater Memorial Order of Merit crown.
He tied with fellow Yorkshire men Robert Booth, from De Vere Oulton Hall, and Mossock Hall's David Shacklady.
Meanwhile, Shepherd revealed that he regarded coaching as a priority and only plays when time permits.
“I can’t see my future going any other way,” he added.
Result: 142 Lee Shepherd (John Letters GA) 69 73; 143 David Shacklady (Mossock Hall) 73 70, Adrian Ambler (Low Laithes) 72 71, Robert Booth (De Vere Oulton Hall) 70 73; 145 Paul Carman (unatt) 75 70, Grant Hamerton (Brookdale); 146 Allan Cranston (Crosland Heath) 73 73, Nigel Parkinson (Renishaw Park) 70 76.
Order of Merit: 1,243pts Adrian Ambler (Low Laithes); 1,160 Steve Parry (North West GA) 1,130 Barry Taylor (Houghwood).