Saturday, November 26, 2011


David Green revealed ice in his veins as he parred the closing hole to earn his Dukinfield Golf Club victory in the inaugural Lombard Challenge, a PGA Pro-Captain Tournament in Turkey today.
The 31-year-old, who has been head pro at the Manchester club for seven years, and club captain Steve Warburton held their nerves to card a second round six-under-par 65 for a winning 13-under-par score at Turkey's Antalya Golf Club.
Green's par on the last, courtesy of a booming drive and nine iron to 15 ft, secured the pair a one-stroke victory in the £25,000 event over 36-holes of the PGA Sultan Course with Marriott St Pierre's Craig Dun and Alan Beach second following a fine 64.
Shirland Golf Club stormed into third spot on 11 under after a stunning 62 from pro Ian Walley and captain Paul Robinson with Irish club Ashbourne, represented by John Dwyer and Martin Farrell, fourth a stroke further back.
Dukinfield began the day in a share of the lead and five birdies in six holes from the fifth, including Warburton notching a second successive two on the par three eighth, saw them surge clear.
But as the tension mounted, the duo could only muster one more birdie on 13, leaving Dun and Beach to come within a whisker of snatching the £5,000 first prize.
"It was a very stressful last three holes because everyone got back to us," admitted Green.
"I missed a chance on 14 and on 17 missed a little four footer for birdie so it made it all bit harder. I also stuck it in the water 16 although I got up and down for a great par.
"Suddenly 18, without thinking it was such a difficult hole over the last few days, suddenly became a really hard hole. I was relieved to just get the drive away and hit a nine iron to 15ft and dollied it up knowing I only needed four.
"This is the biggest achievement of my playing career. Everyone at the club will be delighted and it has been a fantastic experience."
Warburton, a safety manager from Glossop, described the win as one of the proudest days of his life,
"Coming down the back nine Dave kept it together. I have never felt pressure like that before in my life, it was incredible and I guess this is why these guys are pros.
"It hasn't really sunk in but it's one of the best feelings ever. It's one of the proudest days of my life.
Warburton, who started playing golf in 1982 at a little pitch and putt for £1 a round, added: "Golf is something I've always enjoyed, and as a club member that becomes part of your life so to win this national event for Dukinfield is a proud moment.
"The club is going through a transition phase. We opened six new holes last year and it is developing into one of the best clubs in the north west (of England)."
For runners up Marriott St Pierre it was a case of so near yet so far with Dun having previously been pipped to first place in the PGA pro-captain tournament when it was held in Bahrain.
"I had six birdies in my round which is the best I've played for years," said Dun.
"It was quite tense at the finish. Of course it would have been nice to win but I'm just pleased I handled the pressure."
Beach nearly earned a play-off with a brilliant rescue club over water to 18 to set up a birdie chance which just slid past the cup.
"I feel sorry for Craig because it's the second time he has been runner up but the event has been a fantastic experience and as I said, being a captain is highlight enough but to reach this in that year makes it even more special."
Round of the day belonged to Shirland with Walley peppering the flag with eight birdies of his own, much to the delight of his club captain.
"That was the best game of golf I have seen in my life," said Robinson. "Ian's distance control was unbelievable and he left a few out there."
He added: "It has been the experience of a lifetime and the venue and facilities have been superb. You can see why Turkey is taking over from Spain - the PGA Sultan is definitely one of the best courses I have played."
Walley, a former Midland professional champion and runner up in a play-off to Tour ace Stephen Dodd in the Welsh Open, saw Robinson birdie the first and then reeled off his own at five, seven, eight, 10, 11, 12 14, and 18.
"It just happened out there, I didn't hole any putts yesterday but we got on a roll," said Walley.
"We'd had a great practice round so were disappointed with the first round score of two under but it came right today but we just had left ourselves a bit too much to do."
Mundesley, represented by Ryan Pudney and David Crosby, fired a closing 65 for fifth with Downes Crediton (Barry Austin and Tony Cockayne) and Westerham (James Marshall and Glenn McMahon) tied sixth with second rounds of 72 and 68 respectively.
Strathaven's Stuart Kerr and Jim Preston were two shots back on two under for the tournament, a stroke ahead of Northampton's Nick Soto and Keith Heard with Malden's Robert Hunter and Terry Higgins one under.



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