Philip Golding is eager to defend his Staysure PGA Seniors Championship title when the event returns to London Golf Club from August 1-4.
The Englishman clinched his fifth over-50s title with a closing round of 63, nine under par, to come from six shots behind on the final day to take the Staysure PGA Seniors Championship by two strokes ahead of Magnus P Atlevi last August.
It was Golding’s third Staysure Tour title in 13 months following victories at the Swiss Seniors Open and the Travis Perkins Masters in July and September 2017, respectively, whilst he tied his lowest winning four-round result of his career with his 18 under par total of 270 at London Golf Club.
With his defence of the Staysure PGA Seniors Championship set to take place in August, Golding is looking forward to the challenge ahead.
“Anytime you get to defend a tournament is always special,” he said. “Winning tournaments is what you want to do, it’s why you play events, it’s why you set goals to try and win each tournament.
“It was a very unique tournament last year, having Staysure sponsor their first event, which was fantastic. It’s always nice to go back and defend a tournament and hopefully we’ll have the same weather as last year.”
The Englishman made up eight shots in the final 36 holes – the biggest 36 hole deficit made up on the Staysure Tour in 2018. His final round in the soaring temperatures caught many by surprise, including himself, as he surged from the pack to clinch the title.
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“I shot level par on the first day and I was a little bit conscious of making the cut because Monty was on nine under and I wasn’t sure on the depth of the field,” Golding said. “I shot 67 on the second day to make the cut, comfortably, then I focussed on finishing the best I could over the weekend.
“I set myself the goal of being inside the top ten at the end of day three and then I was at a friend’s barbeque on the Saturday night – we thought a top five finish was a realistic goal.
“I had a good start and when I looked at the leaderboard after nine holes I was only one or two off the lead with nine to play. I kept plugging away, hitting good shots, making good putts and I ended up winning.”
Once again, the Staysure PGA Seniors Championship will take place the week after The Senior Open Presented by Rolex. With four rounds to be played and Staysure celebrating the second edition of their sponsored event, Golding is expecting an enjoyable week in Kent.
“The Staysure PGA is special because it has the history of all the great players who have won it and it also has a cut after two days which is special, because it’s the only tournament to have that outside of the Senior Majors,” he said.
“It’s great to have Staysure onboard, especially with Ryan (Howsam, Chairman) as we’ve become great friends. He loves golf and everyone loves him. Having his enthusiasm and Staysure onboard is extra special, especially with the tournament being the first individual one the company have sponsored, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Ryan Howsam, Chairman of Staysure, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have Phil return in 2019 and wish him the very best in the defence of his title. Watching his play over the closing nine holes to shoot 63 and seal a two shot victory was one of the most impressive displays of golf I have ever seen, and to experience it first hand at our tournament at a world class venue like London Golf Club was really special.”
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