Hastings ace hits top form in big event

Paul Nessling in action at the Titleist & FootJoy PGA Professional Championship. Picture courtesy Tom Dulat/Getty Images
Paul Nessling in action at the Titleist & FootJoy PGA Professional Championship. Picture courtesy Tom Dulat/Getty Images
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Paul Nessling said he produced some of his best ever form at a leading Professional Golfers' Association tournament last week.

The Hastings-based player, of Cooden Beach Golf Club, was tied for the lead going into the final round of the Titleist & FootJoy PGA Professional Championship before finishing just outside the top 10.

Nessling ended the 72-hole event at The Oxfordshire Resort in a tie for 11th with a five-under-par total of 283, earning £1,300 in prize money.

"That's the best I've played in a tournament and as it was such a big one it's always nice," said Nessling. "I couldn't quite get it going on the last day, but I learnt a lot of lessons - that was the main thing.

"It's definitely the best I've been hitting it. I was a bit inconsistent with my putting, but my driving was great. I was never in any problems off the tee and it gave me a good chance of hitting it at the pins when they were tucked away."

He got off to a very good start, carding a bogey-free four-under-par 68 to lie fourth after round one last Tuesday.

Nessling was tied seventh after a level par second round 72 the following day, which contained an eagle on the par five seventh, two birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey.

The 26-year-old shot to the top of the leaderboard courtesy of a five-under-par 67 in round three - the joint best of the day in tricky conditions. Nessling described it as the best round he'd ever played bearing in mind the significance of the tournament and position he was in.

Nessling got off to a flyer with three birdies in the first four holes and three more gains in four holes from the eighth took him to six-under for the round after 11 before a solitary bogey at the last.

He went into last Friday's final round level with David Higgins (Waterville Golf Links), but while Irishman Higgins fired a 66 to clinch the title, Nessling carded a 76 to fall back into the pack.

Although he made three bogeys to one birdie in the first five holes, birdies at the seventh and 10th got Nessling back to level par for the round. He dropped four shots in the last eight, however, and his bogey at the last cost him a share of fifth place.

Nessling said a key moment came at the par five 11th, which he three-putted for bogey. Higgins embarked on a run of four straight birdies and having been two shots behind, all of a sudden Nessling had a six-shot deficit.

As for the experience of being tied for the lead and playing in the last group, he said: "It was a great experience, the best experience I've had. At the same time it was a little bit nerve-racking because I'm not used to it, but it's something I want to do again."

Nessling kept the good form going by winning a pro-am at Chiddingfold GC in Surrey on Sunday, beating off some good players with an excellent six-under-par round of 62.

"It feels like there's something really good coming round the corner," said Nessling, who will line up in the latest PGA EuroPro Tour event, the World Snooker Golf Masters, at Army Golf Club in Hampshire from tomorrow (Wednesday).

Nessling, who will take part in the European Tour qualifying school later this year, thanks main sponsor Hera Indemnity for all its support.

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