LONGLEY Park professional John Ambler hit perfection level at Marriott Worsley Park in Manchester to gain a place in the £15,000 Spirotech Manchester Open – a PGA North Region major and Order of Merit qualifier to be staged at the course in August.
Ambler posted a sparkling blemish-free card of two under par 67 in the West area qualifier to tie with Geoff Harris, from Rudding Park, at the head of a field of 76 then played down his performance in what was his “first real competitive round of the year apart from the odd Alliance”.
After marking 14 par figures and four birdies he said: “It was just a good solid round. There were no panics, though early on I was not great off the tee. But I hit a lot of good iron shots – I hit 16 greens in regulation – and the putting was nice.”
Ambler picked up birdies at the short seventh, the par five 13th then at the 15th and 17th to match Harris, who had led him by two at the turn.
Bradley Hall’s Robert Booth claimed third spot on 69 to earn a second major appearance of the season after the Huddersfield man qualified last week for the De Vere North Region championship.
Booth birdied the fifth and sixth but gave those shots back with a double at No7 and bogied the 10th before getting back on track with birdies at 12 and 13 then at the closing hole.
Though he experienced mixed fortunes – making four birdies, but also five bogies – Bradley Park’s Jamie Coverley qualified comfortably in joint 12th place on one over par 72 in a championship won last season by Woodsome Hall’s Chris Hanson.
Ambler, whose best finish in a North Region major is sixth place in the now discontinued Northern Rock at Matfen Hall where he shot five under in the third and final round, missed the cut in last year’s Manchester Open at Worsley Park after acquitting himself well on several occasions when the tournament was staged at Mottram Hall, Cheshire.
He bids to make it into the Phoenix Gas Clasic, a new North Region Order of Merit counting event at De Vere Wychwood Park in July. He plays in the East area qualifier at Keighley on May 1 and he hopes to gain a late entry into the De Vere Leeds Cup.
Leading scores: 67 - J Ambler (Longley Park), G Harris (Rudding Park). 69 - R Booth (Bradley Hall), J Cousins (Richmond). 70 - M Edge (Hesketh), D Wood (Rawdon). Others included: 72 - J Coverley (Bradley Park)