Ablett gears up for Wentworth with win

James Ablett Picture: Rob Atkins
James Ablett Picture: Rob Atkins
Scott Gregory. Picture: Andrew Griffin

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Lee-on-the-Solent’s James Ablett has notched up another impressive win as he prepares for the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth at the end of the month.

The left-hander from Hampshire left a star-studded field trailing in his wake as he delivered a seven-birdie six-under-par 64 to win the Royal Blackheath Pro-Am by three shots.

Taking the well-deserved £700 winner’s cheque, Ablett pushed the 67s of fellow lefty Chris Gane (LeftHandedGolf@Silvermere), Matt Rice (Purley Downs) and Torie Blakemore (Pine Ridge) into joint-second spot.

Ablett revealed the shot that made all the difference to his spectacular round was only the third of the day – a 15-inch putt for a par after he’d gone through the back of the green at his opening hole, the par three eighth.

‘I’d made sure I spent some time on their putting green to get the feel for the pace of the greens,’ he said.

‘With the cold spring weather, the greens, like everywhere else, were late in putting on growth and with the deluge of rain the day before they were a little slower than usual.

‘So they rolled true enough, but I just needed a bit more action through the putting stroke.’

Ablett continued: ‘The result of holing that first putt was to confirm I was getting the strength right and I went through the next three holes making three more longish putts of between 15 and 20 feet, and it made all the difference between a so, so round and one that on the face of it looked pretty hot!’

Three-under-par after four holes, things went a bit cool over the next seven holes to the 18th.

But then Ablett went on another charge through the first, second and third to reach six-under with four to go.

The birdie barrage came unstuck with a dropped shot at the fourth, but Ablett repaired the damage with a birdie at the par-five sixth to finish with a 64.

‘This win is another boost as I prepare for Wentworth in a few weeks time,’ said Ablett.

‘Myself and fellow PGA Pro from Cooden Beach, Paul Nessling, who’s caddying for me, are really looking forward to seeing if we can mix it with the big boys on the European Tour!’

– KEN GAUNT