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Laing makes Portugal appointment after Fairhaven win

CHESTER doctor Patrick Laing produced the perfect treatment at Fairhaven Golf Club to reach the Lombard Trophy final in Portugal.

Laing teamed up with Carden Park Golf Resort PGA professional Garry Houston to win the regional final at the Lytham St Annes venue.

But it was a close call as they tied at the top of the leaderboard with Phillip Archer and Andy Platt of Warrington’s Poulton Park Golf Club.

Both teams carded six under par rounds of 67 to finish two shots ahead of their nearest challenger Andrew Earlham and Mike Noble of Saddleworth Golf Club.

But it was Carden Park who took the honours because they had a better back nine.

Now orthopaedic surgeon Laing – a member at Carden Park for 24 years – and Houston will travel to Portugal for the £41,450, Coca-Cola and Pestana Resorts supported, National Pro-Am grand final which will be played at the Vila Sol resort in the Algarve between September 20-21.

And while Houston – part of the 2017 Great Britain & Ireland team that won the PGA Cup against the USA – brought all of his experience to the event, Laing admitted he contributed to the victory.

“Thankfully, I didn’t have to do any of the maths at the end, the course wasn’t easy because it was so hard and dry,” said the 66-year-old, 12 handicapper, who has been playing golf since he was 11 and played in Australia for a spell.

“Garry was fantastic and it was great to play with somebody like that, I managed to chip in though and got a nett birdie on the last hole which turned out to be the clincher.

“I think I hit my best drive of the day leading up to it and I two-putted from there. Garry said we needed to get to six under even though the best score was four under at the time.

“I’m delighted for Garry that we got there.”

Welshman Houston will also be joining his PGA Cup captain Albert MacKenzie for the Algarve showpiece.

“I haven’t played in the final before and I’m ecstatic about it,” he said.

“I was talking to Albert MacKenzie at the English PGA Final and he’d won the qualifier at Royal North Devon and he told me it was a brilliant event. When we got through I was excited to know I’d be there with Albert and his playing partner as I’d had dinner with them when I was down there.”

Photo caption: Garry Houston, left, and amateur Patrick Laing with the trophy at Fairhaven. Photo by Clint Hughes (Getty Images).