Play-Off Glory For Welch

MICHAEL WELCH won the Sky Sports International, prevailing at the first extra hole after the Heydon Grange event was forced into a play-off.

Welch went into the final day a shot clear at -11, and hit a second successive 68, although that was not enough to give him outright victory.

A new course record of 62 from Andrew Willey saw him join Welch at -15, and Phil Worthington agonisingly saw his chances of victory slip away on the 18th.

He moved a shot clear when he chipped in at the 16th but missed a birdie putt at the 17th before three-putting at the final hole to ensure a three-way play-off.

It was Welch – a former English, British, European and World Boys champion – who prevailed after being the only player of the three to hit the green to wrap up his maiden victory.

“I’m delighted,” said Welch, who represents Hawkstone Park. “It’s my first win on the PGA EuroPro Tour and I’m over the moon.

“I did struggle a bit today, I was hopeless off the tee at times but managed to get onto the greens and my putting saved me.

“I was hanging on a bit at the end so it was nice to get a second chance in the play-off. Andrew and Phil missed the green and I managed to hit it and hole out.

“Full credit to Andrew too for the course record. It’s easy getting going but, with it being on the final day too, he did brilliantly to keep it up.

“If the course record was ever going to be broken it was this week – the course ran well and was in great condition and the greens were smooth.”

A 67 on the final day saw Fraser Kelley take fourth place at -12, with Barry Hume and Mark Smith a shot further back.

Jamie Donaldson shot a 65 on the final day to join four other players at -10.


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