Published: 06:00, 15 October 2020
Richard Wallis swallowed his disappointment to salute a "phenomenal" win by Kent rival Matt Ford in the PGA Professional Championship on Friday.
Canterbury teaching pro Wallis admitted he "never really got it going" at Trentham Golf Club, finishing two under par in the flagship event for club professionals. Wallis was tied for 26th place in the 54 players to have beaten the second round cut.
He was 17 shots behind Ford (Tudor Park), who had rounds of 66, 67, 70, 66 to win the £10,000 first prize, seven shots ahead of Matt Cort (Beedles Lake) and Jordan Godwin (Rochester & Cobham), who were tied for second place.
Wallis, who finished second in this event last year, was one of the pre-tournament favourites after a scorching run of form, capped with victory in last month's Southern Open in Hampshire, saw him top the PGA South Region Order of Merit for the sixth time in 10 years.
But he was left playing for pride in Friday's final round after level par rounds of 71, 73, 72 and scored three birdies in the first four holes. Bogeys at the 6th and 11th pegged him back, however, before finishing off with a birdie at the last.
He said: ''I finished two under for four rounds so it wasn't horrendous but when the course is that wet and you can literally hit it at the stick and the ball will stop, you should be able to score relatively well if you're playing on a half game and I just struggled to be honest.
''I didn't really play well from start to finish, right from the word go I never really got it going.
''I didn't hit anything particularly close, my yardage control was terrible and I was always up against it on a very, very wet golf course in very wet weather.
''I've never been particularly good on wet courses because my angle is quite steep a'' I just didn't play very well while Matt Ford is on unbelievable form at the moment.
''Having lost in a play-off on the Challenge Tour last week to come here and shoot 19 under on a golf course like that was phenomenal, it really was. He's just a class golfer.
''At the end of the day it's a game and if you're not winning you're going to be disappointed whether you're second or whether you're thirtieth. You just swallow it and move on.
''I've got the Sandwich Bay Links Championship Pro-am (at Royal St George's and Prince's with Canterbury members Richard Beer and Bill Pearson) next Tuesday and Wednesday and Matt is playing. so I'll try and beat him in that.''