Redditch rewards for talented duo after Bridgestone Challenge qualifier
A talented amateur golfer from Derbyshire has prevailed over scores of seasoned professionals – and a testing Redditch golf course – to secure a spot at the Bridgestone Challenge at Heythrop Park, where he now hopes to make his big breakthrough.
Cameron Shaw, aged 22, carded a 68 (-4) to head the leaderboard by one stroke in Worcestershire, to put him on course for the Challenge Tour event in August which he views as an opportunity of a lifetime.
Scott Campbell, of Sheffield Bradway, also qualified in a play off at the second extra hole against 42 year-old Craig Farrelly to earn a place at the event, with both men finishing a shot back on -3.
The Bridgestone Challenge represents the reintroduction of an England-based Challenge Tour event after a four-year absence and it is expected to boast a field of the highest calibre.
Cameron, who has just graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, said: “This is absolutely massive for me. Any chance to play against some of the best professionals represents a massive opportunity.
“The Bridgestone Challenge is a huge event on the Challenge Tour and I’ll now be able to measure myself against a hugely competitive field on a big stage.”
The Chevin amateur said that he wasn’t expecting a huge amount from the Redditch qualifier, but was delighted with a number of aspects of his game.
“I felt that my pace putting was very good and I was straight off the tee which you need to be around here, particularly on the back nine. And rolling in some birdie putts early on obviously helps settle you down and gives you a good chance.”
Despite the success, Cameron said that he wasn’t ready to turn professional just yet, as he looks to build up his strength and fine tune his game.
“Obviously I would love to turn pro, but in the short-term I am not quite at that point. Results like this certainly help in boosting my confidence. I’ve just got to keep working hard.”
Scott Campbell, aged 24, had to overcome fellow Sheffield professional Craig Farrelly in a play-off, after firing a -3 late in the day just as Craig was contemplating a trip to Heythrop. The 42 year-old could at least console himself with a plane trip to Paris for the French Open, which he qualified for recently.
Scott, who hopes to follow in the footsteps of local stars Danny Willett and Matt Fitzpatrick, said: “It is always nice to qualify for a Challenge Tour event, where I have played in a couple of tournaments before. This one should be great and it is brilliant for a company like Bridgestone to offer us opportunities like this.
“I know Danny (Willett) well and have played with him in the past, but you want to do it yourself and try to emulate him.
“I hit it really well today. I only missed one fairway which was pleasing and I missed one or two putts. Overall, I was happy with how I played and can’t wait to play at Heythrop Park in August.”
Jeremy Robinson, director of BlackStar Golf which organised the Redditch qualifier, said: “I’d like to congratulate Cameron and Scott for progressing to the Bridgestone Challenge, in what was an extremely competitive event.
“I’d also like to thank the greenkeepers and captain at Redditch Golf Club for providing a stunning golf course which played exceptionally well.”
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