Friday, July 30, 2010



East Berkshire's Guy Woodman was finally poised to celebrate his 33rd birthday in style after he lifted the Powerade PGA Assistants' Championship in association with FootJoy title for the second time in three years.
Woodman, who turned 33 yesterday, had been forced to put any celebrations on ice for 24 hours as he attempted to become only the fifth player in the tournament's 80-year history to win the title twice.
The 2008 champion, who was runner-up last year, kept his rivals at bay with a final round two-under-par 70 to clinch a three-shot victory in the £30,000 tournament at East Sussex National. Woodman collected a cheque for £5,000 plus he secured the chance to take on the cream of the European Tour at next year's flagship BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
Sidmouth's Kevin Harper, in his first attempt, finished second after firing a three-under-par 69 to end at five-under. He collected a cheque for £3,000.
East Kilbride's Graham Fox, who began the final round a shot behind the winner, carded a three-over-par 75 to claim third place at two-under and a cheque for £2,200.
Woodman, who paid tribute to his coach Andrew Nicholson, admitted that the final round had been a real pressure situation.
"It's the most nervous I've been on the course for a long time," he said.
"That was down to the weight of expectation not only from myself but from other people, while I knew there were five or six players behind me that if they got out the blocks fast enough could have won it.
"I went out of bounds on the third and after that my emotions and thoughts were upside down and I thought I'd blown it. Graham hit a few loose shots and that gave me a bit of hope because no-one seemed to be going forward.
"I kept grinding and got an unexpected eagle in the 13th and just relaxed after that for the first time. I feel quite emotional because it's a huge weight off my shoulders.
"I'm really chuffed and I have to thank my coach as he's been a real rock for me and gave me the belief to go and win it."
The relief was also poised to spill over with the belated birthday celebrations, which had been put on hold as Woodman focused on claiming the title.
"I went home after the second round and saw my family and my girlfriend and just went out for a quiet meal," he said.
"But tonight we're going to have a double celebration. I'm just pleased it's all done."
"But winning this twice, the Australian equivalent and the English PGA Assistants' - it's been a hell of a ride as an assistant!"
Runner-up Harper, who won the PGA Europro Order of Merit in 2006, was content with his debut but vowed to come back stronger next year as he targets the title.
"It's been a great week and the competition has been really strong," said the 28-year-old.
"You can see from the scores this week it hasn't been easy. But it's a great finish in my first year and I've got two more attempts to win it. It's a case of going on from here and being a bit better next year."
As for Fox, third place was little consolation having set out to win the event at the start of the week.
"I'm just disappointed as I came here to win," he said.
"There's huge benefits to winning like getting into the BMW PGA Championship and that's why it's disappointing.
"But Guy played better on the day. I didn't put my ball in the right position and missed a few greens. They were just mistakes and it was just one of those days."
Woodsome Hall's Chris Hanson took fourth place at one-under-par - the only other player in the field to break par for the tournament.
Woodman's victory sees him join Dai Rees (1935, 1936), Harry Weetman (1949, 1950), Matthew Tottey (2003, 2005) and Jonathan Lupton (2007, 2009) as the only players to win the title on two occasions.

Click here for scores from the final round at East Sussex National



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