Previous near misses spur Edwards on

Lee-on-the-Solent professional Rob Edwards
Lee-on-the-Solent professional Rob Edwards
Scott Gregory. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Gregory: None of the pros care I won British Amateur

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Rob Edwards will be keen to make it third-time lucky in the forthcoming Virgin Atlantic PGA National Pro-Am Championship.

And with a spicy trip to the grand final in Mexico up for grabs, the Lee-on-the-Solent professional has an exciting incentive to put his previous near misses firmly behind him.

Known throughout golfing circles as Ted, Edwards will this year team up with club manager Rob Henderson.

Henderson, a 16-handicapper, qualified from the club competition and now – alongside Edwards – will battle it out in the forthcoming regional final at Camberley Heath Golf Club on June 11.

Although a luxury trip to the Moon Palace Golf Club in Cancun is just one good round away, Edwards has vowed not to get ahead of himself.

After all, he knows all about the heartache of missing out by the narrowest of margins.

Edwards, who played alongside amateur Lee Upton last year, said: ‘We bogeyed the last to finish a eight under and lost on a countback, so we missed out on a trip to Las Vegas.

‘And I’ve also played when we shot 11-under par with another guy and we lost on a countback to go to the Bahamas.

‘One year we had to do a live radio interview afterwards and I was trying to be cautious because we were leading but it wasn’t over.

‘The lad I was playing with had rung everyone up to tell them how we’d done well.

‘Then when we walked out of the interview room, I looked up at the scoreboard and saw someone else had tied us.

‘Bearing in mind we had shot eight under going out and three under coming back, it looked like being tears before bedtime and sadly that was the case.

‘He didn’t say a word in the car on the way home. I think he was dumbstruck by it.’

With the long-serving 45-year-old professional short of practice, he is hopeful that Henderson’s mid-range handicap will prove a useful asset – especially after the popular manager’s return to full fitness after health problems.

Edwards said: ‘I’ve never actually played golf with Rob but he’s had some health problems and it would be massive for him to get out there and do well.

‘His 16 handicap could be very useful.

‘From my point of view, it would be lovely but I haven’t played a competition this year yet – although I’m playing later this week.

‘I’ve been busy teaching and there have been a few other bits going on at the club.

‘Hopefully, I will get out there before the event.’

While he is characteristically pessimistic over his chances of winning the betterball medal round, Edwards has shown in the past he is more than capable of shooting low scores when he is in the mood.

He smiled: ‘We’ll be in the middle of the field if we’re lucky. In fact, if we don’t finish last, it will be a miracle!

‘But anyone has got a chance if they play well on the day.

‘If things click, you can turn it on and hopefully we can do that.’