Cooperman cleans up at Stoneham

Cooperman cleans up at Stoneham

Sep 24, 2015

Tilgate Forest’s Lea Cooper produced the round of the day, shooting a seven-under-par 65 to win Hampshire’s biggest Pro-Am in 2015: the Stoneham Pro-Am.

Cooper’s super low round earned him one of the season’s larger winner’s cheques for £1,500, thanks to the generous support of Stoneham GC and their sponsors.

Having started in the morning, James Ablett (Lee-on-the-Solent) was the clubhouse leader with an impressive 66, but even though he was eventually pipped at the post, Ablett still took home a handy £900.

Speaking afterwards, Cooper said: “This is one of my best rounds this year, and my biggest cheque as well, thanks to all the supporters of this Pro-Am. Shame about that double bogey at the seventh, but despite that I played the other holes really well, and my putting was pretty hot.”

In a shotgun start from the 14th, Cooper made a very fast start with a birdie on his opening hole, and then deucing the 16th and making another birdie at the 17th.

He maintained his charge with more birdies at the first and second, and then the fifth and sixth to reach seven-under-par, but stumbled badly with a double bogey on the short seventh.

Pars followed until he got to the 12th where he made another birdie, and then followed that with one more on his final hole for his 65, snatching victory from Ablett by one shot.

Starting at the second, Ablett birdied the third but bogeys at the fifth and then the eighth left him with a lot to do.

Rising to the challenge and finding the gear that has delivered 12 victories in 2015, the current Virgin Atlantic PGA South Order of Merit** leader bounced straight back at the ninth with a birdie to get back to level par.

A slip at the 10th put him back on one-over, but then he charged through the next eight holes with six birdies to reach five-under-par with one hole left, the first, which Ablett birdied as well for his 66 and what would eventually prove to be the runner-up spot.