kirkhill’s Paul Shields carded one of the lowest final-round scores over the Brabazon Course at The Belfry to chalk up his fourth top-ten finish in less than a year on the PGA EuroPro Tour.
While William Harrold from Norfolk claimed victory and a £10,000 first prize in the Matchroom Championship – the third-tier circuit’s first event of the season – Shields showed his professional career is also moving in the right direction.
His closing two-under-par 70 on the Ryder Cup course was bettered only by Welshman Bradley Dredge, a two-times European Tour winner but back at the coalface bidding to reignite his career.
It hoisted Shields into a tie for fifth on one-under – three behind Harrold after he closed with 71 to take advantage of overnight leader Jack Senior, a member of Great Britain & Ireland’s winning Walker Cup team at Royal Aberdeen in 2011, slipping to a final-day 76.
Shields lost back-to-back Scottish Boys’ Championship finals to Michael Stewart (2008) and David Law (2009) but has adjusted pretty well to the life in the professional ranks, having also recorded top 10s at Frilford Heath (third), Collingtree Park (eighth) and Longhirst Hall (ninth) last season.
He’ll be hoping a first Euro Pro Tour title is just around the corner, with the Eagle Orchid Scottish Masters at Montrose Links next up in just under a fortnight’s time.
Ross Kellett (Kingsfield) finished joint 11th after closing with a 75, with Kris Nicol (Paul Lawrie Golf Centre) a shot back in a share of 13th following a 74.
Elsewhere, Scotland drew 6-6 with Ireland in their final match to finish second behind hosts the Netherlands in a boys’ under-16 quadrangular event. Watched by his dad, Paul Lawrie’s youngest son, Michael, finished with four points out of six. “Very good first event playing for Scotland, well done pal,” wrote the 1999 Open champion on Twitter.