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Oliver’s second win is a first!

By Richard Williamson

OLIVER Smith became the first PGA professional to win the Sue Wright Trophy twice since it was inaugurated 15 years ago at Helsby Golf Club.

And the Ashton-on-Mersey assistant, who was 12 when he joined the club, saved the best to the last when he birdied the 16th and 17th holes to claim the coveted title by two shots with a 67.

“I’ve been an assistant for three years and my next object is to put in more practice hours now the season is in full swing,” he said. “The extra light at this time of the year is a great help.”

Smith, 31, is keen to pass his PGA exams as he weighs up the prospects of attracting a second sponsor in the not-so-distant future.

“I’m aiming to compete on the EuroPro and Challenge Tour and I hope I get some backing because there are a lot of good players in our region. Unfortunately we play an expensive sport.”

Meanwhile, Smith went into a four-man play-off in the PGA North Region Championship at Pleasington last week where Chorley’s Andrew Palmer claimed the honours.

“He deserved it,” he said.

LEADING SCORES: 67 Oliver Smith (Ashton on Mersey); 69 Daniel Croft (unatt), Gareth Traynor (Weatherby); 70 Calum Hey (Shipley), Matthew Hay (Ashton-under-Lyne); 71 Tom Bromilow (Regent Park), Paul Jones (True Fit Golf Centre), Jack Roycroft  (Carden Park Golf Resort), Rhodri Fieldhouse (Clays), Ioan Jones (Abersoch), Joe Coyle (Hull).