Sunday, August 28, 2016

Willow Classic at Hanbury Manor

 Gary Marks scores first Senior Tour win on 

home turf .. but it wasn't easy!
Londoner Gary Marks secured his first European Senior Tour title in just his 17th event as he won the inaugural Willow Senior Golf Classic by two shots today.
Sidmouth-born Marks started the final round with a commanding five-shot lead, but was pushed to the end by playing partner James Kingston at Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel and Country Club.
Winner of this year’s Senior Tour Qualifying School, the 52 year old’s best result in 2016 had been a tied 18th finish at the SSE Enterprise Wales Senior Open before taking this victory in Hertfordshire with rounds of 67-63-72.
“It’s the greatest day of my golfing life,” said Marks. “The strength of the field here was great, and you might have a friendly game with one of them and beat them, but I beat them all and I’ve won a major event, it’s one of the biggest events on the Senior Tour.

“This season, I’ve been up the leaderboard and then falling on a number of occasions. The Senior Open at Carnoustie was important. I put in two 70s and finished level par. Because of the scale of that event, it gave me a little extra strength.”
Marks needed to draw on that strength on the back nine as a double bogey on the par four 13th hole saw his lead reduced to four shots with five holes to play.
It was difficult to cope with mentally,” he said. “I had a seven- shot lead with the back nine to play, it suddenly got quite difficult. I had a penalty stroke and started to lose my swing a bit, it was quite tough getting over the finishing line.
“I had a four or five shot lead, but then I had another bogey after that and in your mind you start seeing things unravel, you start seeing ridiculous things. In the end, I hit enough decent shots to cross the line.”

Australian Mike Harwood went two better than his result at the Prostate Cancer UK Scottish Senior Open, as he backed up his fourth-place finish at Archerfield with a second place at Hanbury Manor, finishing 12 under par after a final round of 68.
Kingston, who made his Senior Tour debut earlier this year after turning 50 last November, recorded his best finish on the over-50s circuit, tied third on 11 under par.
He was joined by Ross Drummond, Mike Harwood, Phil Golding and Tim Thelen, while Peter O’Malley, Cesar Monasterio and Paul Wesselingh shared seventh place on ten under par.
Spaniards Miguel Angel Martin and José Rivero each carded hole-in-ones during their rounds. Martin aced the 185 yard par three fourth hole, and Rivero’s came on the 179 yard par three 11th hole.





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