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Wednesday, 27 August 2014

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Why fifth in Kenya is a weight off Gary Lockerbie's mind

Cumbrian golf star Gary Lockerbie hopes his top five finish in the Barclays Kenyan Open will be the springboard for a return to the European Tour after shedding two stone to get himself in the shape of his life.

Gary Lockerbie photo
Gary Lockerbie

Lockerbie shrugged off the frustration of missing out on victory after a final round of 72 in the Challenge Tour event in Nairobi.

The Penrith golfer went into the last round at Muthaiga Golf Club as joint overnight leader with Denmark’s Lasse Jensen, but paid the price when he had a double bogey five at the second hole.

He bounced back with a birdie at the third to remain firmly in contention, but dropped further shots at the 11th and 18th.

Lockerbie had earlier posted two rounds of 69 and then a 67, took huge satisfaction from a top five finish, which came hot on the heels of a top 20 place in the opening Challenge Tour event in India.

And the 29-year-old new dad, who one tipped the scales at 17-stone, hopes he will benefit from a new fitness regime.

Lockerbie said: “I’ve managed to lose two stone since the middle of January through fitness work so I will continue that and maybe it’s helping my golf, maybe not. It’s impossible to tell.

“I’ve got to be fairly happy with the top five finish as I’m still pretty cold as far as tournament golf goes so far this year. I’ve played two tournaments and been in the hunt both times so it’s not all bad.

“I’m not at all disappointed with not winning. Winning would have been a bonus and the way I putted throughout the week I shouldn’t have even have made the cut.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that putting cost me the tournament but at the end of the day I’m pretty limited on practice facilities for putting in summer, never mind the winter months.

“I played all week on local courses before I went out to Kenya and that probably did more harm than good playing on winter greens.”

Lockerbie is this year aiming for promotion back to the European Tour after losing his place on the showcase of golf this side of the Atlantic in 2010. The former Walker Cup player and 2003 English Amateur champion believes his game is in good shape.

He said: “I’ve now got three or four weeks at home to work and get things back in shape and probably go see a putting specialist.

“Obviously the aim for the year is to finish in the top 10 of the Challenge Tour rankings or, at the very worst, in the top 15.

“Officially the top 20 get Tour cards but quite honestly those last five cards from 16 to 20 aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.

“You won’t get any of the big events with those and you’re left with very few events to play in and little chance to make enough money to save your card for the following year.

“I’ll also play a lot of the northern pro-ams this year. I had a little success in those last year and they’re also pretty competitive.

“If anyone would like to play a pro am then they can get in touch.”

 

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