The Mad Hatter might have got proceedings off to a fairytale start but Tamworth-based professional William Barnes had his day in Wonderland, sharing the spoils in the Shirley Charity Pro-am.
Barnes fired an impressive four-under-par 68 to join Ramsdale Park’s Paul Bagshaw on top of the leader board. Matthew Morris (Bromsgrove), Darren Murphy (Stonebridge) and Cameron Clark (Moor Hall) had rounds of 71 to finish joint third behind the winning pair.
Barnes’ five birdies on a scorecard which included only a single bogey blemish proved an exemplary round on a day when the tight Shirley course was buffeted by gusting winds. It was matched by Bagshaw’s six birdies and two bogeys.
In the team event, Midland PGA chairman Tim Rouse (Northants County) led a victorious Golf in France quartet to an impressive 15-under-par 129.
The charity Pro-am, in aid of the Mad Hatters Tea Party which will entertain more than 1,000 disabled and underprivileged children in an annual jamboree at the Botanical Gardens on July 14, was boosted by the Ryder Cup and Barclays Premier League Trophy being displayed.
The day was also the official launch of Shirley as a regional qualifying venue of PowerPlay Golf, the exciting new quick-fire format of the nine-hole game incorporating two flags on every hole.
Shirley head professional Stuart Bottrill received the Midland PGA Professional Coach of the Year award for 2007 for his extensive work with disabled and underprivileged children - a role he fulfils while also being an England Youth Coach and Warwickshire County coach.