Vernon and Willey share the spoils as five qualify for 2018 Farmfoods British Par 3 Championship

Andrew Willey (Bulwell Forest GC) and Eddie Vernon (Sutton Coldfield), took top spot at the Professional Qualifier with a classy round of -3, as a total of five professional golfers qualified for the 2018 Farmfoods British Par 3 Championship, in just three weeks’ time.

Jason Timmis (Wychwood Park GC) and Sam Buss (Aspley Guise and Woburn Sands GC) came third, both tied up with a score of -2. While a dramatic play-off saw SIX players fight for the remaining one place for the 2018 tournament, with Rob Harris (Blankney GC) securing the final spot after a birdie at the ninth hole.

The sun shone at Nailcote Hall as the 80 professionals taking part arrived in the West Midlands, all hoping to land a coveted spot in the world’s biggest Par 3 championship. Timmis was part of the very first group to go out on the Cromwell Course, as he got his round under way at 8am. It turned out to be that the early tee time paid off, as he delivered one of the best rounds of the day, and secured the early lead.

Buss then matched this with another great round of 52 to put him up in the running, joint with Timmis. Then, Vernon came through, delivering a new high of -3 to rocket to the top of the standings. It looked like the clutch of players, all tied up on -1, would have two spots to play for, until Andrew Willey, who qualified for last year’s British Par 3 Championship, came through with the joint-highest round, his score of 51 putting him joint first.

That meant it was time for the dreaded play-off, as the likes of Rob Harris (Blankney GC), Duncan Elbury (Forest of Arden), Jak Hamblett (Handsworth GC), Liam Robinson (Tadmarton Heath GC), Matthew Cort (Rothley Park GC) and Paul Dwyer (Clitheroe GC) converged on the ninth. Harris was the only player to birdie the hole, securing his place in next month’s full Championship in the process.

The five qualifiers return to the Championship in just three weeks time, joining the likes of LPGA and LET star Charley Hull, who returns to her old Nailcote Hall stomping ground, 1991 Masters champion Ian Woosnam OBE and Ryder Cup legend Tony Jacklin CBE, who additionally will continue to host the tournament. Celebrities playing at this year’s event include the likes of England Rugby World Cup winner Mike Tindall MBE, Harry Potter stars Ollie and James Phelps and former Wales and Coventry City striker John Hartson.

For the latest information on the Farmfoods British Par 3 Championship, check out the Twitter and Instagram feeds at @BritishPar3.