Bedford’s Nick Cunningham took a big step forward in his golf career at the weekend with a maiden victory on the PGA EuroPro Tour in Berkshire.
The PGA EuroPro Tour, which has previous players such as Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrell Hatton and Open Championship winner, Louis Oosthuizen amongst it’s alumni is the entry level professional tour in Europe.
The World Snooker and Jessie May Championship was held at Donnington Grove Golf Club, with Cunningham picking up the £12,500 cheque that propels him up 26 places to second in the Order of Merit.
With the top five players earning a spot on Europe’s second-tier Challenge Tour, the stakes are high for those looking towards making a major mark in the world of golf.
One shot victory enough for maiden win
The Wixams-based golfer finished the 54-hole event on 8 under par, one shot ahead of Northern Irishman, Dermot McElroy and Northamptonshire’s Benjamin Jones.
Overnight leader Jones had looked set to clinch the title but a disastrous triple bogey on the par three 15th opened the door for Cunningham who pounced in emphatic style.
An eagle on the par five 13th was followed up with a birdie at the next and while a dropped shot at 16 threatened to derail the late challenge; a stunning approach on the 18th left Cunningham with the easiest of tap ins to reach eight under par.
That birdie would be enough to seal a final round of 69 and the victory; his first since joining the EuroPro Tour in 2016:
“When I birdied the final hole, I was mentally preparing for a playoff, so to pick up the win without going through that was welcomed.
“I knew that Ben was leading and he’s a very good player, so I understood it would be tough to catch him.”
Cunningham has never finished in the top 50 of Europe’s third-tier of golf since his first tour in 2016, but he was quick to compliment his support team as he raced up to second in this year’s standings:
“I’ve really struggled the last couple of years, and I have a lot of people to thank for this recent success.
“My management company – Gravity – have been very supportive and generally, my golf and performance coaches have really helped me through the winter.
“My girlfriend is so supportive, and I feel sorry for her on a weekly basis – having to put up with me – but I have a good bunch of people around me.”
It is still early days in the 2022 edition of the EuroPro Tour, with the events coming thick and fast, beginning today, (15th June) in the IFX Payments Championship at Studley Wood in Oxford.
Cunningham tees off at 14:05, hoping to emulate the success of the past week and cement his place towards the top of the Order of Merit.