Channels victory couldn’t be more ‘appier

01 September 2016
Channels victory couldn’t be more ‘appier

Former champion Jason Levermore and club captain Henry Appiah served up a stunning back nine to catapult Channels Golf Club into their third successive Golfplan Insurance PGA Pro-Captain Challenge grand final.

The duo carded an eight under par 61 at The Addington to secure their spot in the £25,000 final, which takes place at Spanish destination Lumine Mediterránea Beach & Golf Community.

The resort, which features two Greg Norman designs, will stage the event over 36 holes from Wednesday, November 30 – Thursday, December 1.

With Channels having reached the last two finals, Levermore revealed 18 handicapper Appiah had been getting a lot of stick from club members about maintaining that record but the captain showed no nerves as he rose to the occasion in magnificent fashion with a hat-trick of birdies to clinch a one stroke victory over Southwood’s Chris Hudson and Steve Dicker and Camberley Heath’s Steve Speller and Darren Noel.

“We just didn’t get going on the front nine but I picked up a birdie on 10 and said to Henry let’s have a good solid back nine to give ourselves a chance,” said Levermore.

“I birdied 14 for us to get to five under and then Henry birdied 15, 16 and 17. I left an eight or nine footer short at the last and hoped that wouldn’t cost us and luckily it didn’t.”

“It’s the third year in a row we’ve reached the final since I’ve been there which is nice and is all good publicity for the club.”

“The members take a massive interest. Neil Hutchinson, who I won with two years ago, is a massive character at the club and with reaching the final last year with Graham they’ve all been giving Henry stick about making sure he makes it three in a row so I’m really pleased for him that we did it.”

Appiah, an accountant from Barnston who has been a member at Channels for 14 years, paid tribute to serial winner Levermore.

“It was a bit scary wondering whether I would be able to keep the record of reaching the final going so it was great to play with Jason who is a very good golfer and he had the right temperament which helps,” he added.

“When you are down he lifts your spirits. After the front nine I was a bit down and he said don’t worry, you are going to do fine on the back nine and that’s exactly what happened.”

It was also a memorable day for Hartley Wintney captain Tony Wise who aced the 195-yard par three 17th.

GOLFPLAN INSURANCE PGA PRO-CAPTAIN CHALLENGE supported by Sompo Canopius South A Regional Qualifier at The Addington, Thursday 01 September 2016

Final results:

1-8 (61)Jason LevermoreHenry AppiahChannels
2=-7 (62)Chris HudsonStever DickerSouthwood
Stephen SpellerDarren NoelCamberley Heath

Image of Channels PGA Professional Jason Levermore, left, and club captain Henry Appiah attached for free use courtesy of Christopher Lee at Getty Images.