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Golfer Chris Halley seeks to top off superb season as Yorkshire's best
3:34pm Wednesday 4th September 2013 in Sport
Recently-crowned the Yorkshire Amateur Open champion, the 28-year-old Halley has surged to the top of the Yorkshire Order of Merit standings putting him within a few points of adding that prestigious crown to a host of trophies.
Halley, who lives and works in his hometown of Whitby, has been a member of Malton & Norton for seven years and declared how the Welham Road-based club had provided the bedrock for what he termed “his best season”.
Just last week, Halley won the Order of Merit’s Mackenzie Salver at Fulford GC. That was his sixth triumph in the Order’s calendar this summer, a sequence all the more remarkable given that he has only featured in seven tournaments since the start of the programme in April.
Besides the Mackenzie Salver, Halley has helped himself to the Auchterlonie Spoon, the Cleveland Salver, The Pannal Rose Bowl, the Oakdale Acorn and the Moor Allerton Amateur Classic.
That has given him a 200-point lead at the top of the ratings in the Yorkshire Order of Merit, which concludes at the end of this month in Leeds. Said Halley: “I’ve worked a lot harder at my game and I’ve put a lot of time into my short game – chipping and putting.”
Key to his bid for improvement have been several coaching sessions with Sandburn Hall GC head pro and England national coach Steve Robinson, who, when the pro at Malton & Norton GC, helped Halley to first hone his interest in the sport.
“When my best friend first got me to come to Malton, where he was a member, it was Steve who originally encouraged me,” he said.
“But everyone has been good to me here at the club. Even though I live in Whitby I would not be tempted to go anywhere else. It’s a great course and there’s a lot of very good players here like Richard Brown. It’s always got a good competitive atmosphere and you can always get a decent game.”
His Mackenzie Salver success was sealed by a level-par round of 72 and a three-under-69 at Fulford to win by three shots.
Now he wants to continue an upswing in form that has propelled him to a +four handicap.
Next in his sights is the Championof Champions county finals tournament at Woodhall Spa in just over a week’s time, followed by the finale of the Order of Merit, the Moortown Masters.
Added the joiner, who also advanced to the quarter-finals of the English Amateur Championship at Frilford Heath in Surrey last month: “It’s been my most successful year by far and I just want it to go on as long as possible.”
Just for good measure, Halley won the Malton & Norton GC Scratch Cup by 14 strokes from David Hague in second.
Joel Preston was three shots further back in third.
Jackie Roberts won the ladies’ edition by three from Judy Butler with Jean Mackenzie third, but taking the handicapped version by one shot from Carol Wilson.
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