Dale Marmion said he was “relieved” to have won the Yes! Classic Ivobank PGA EuroPro Tour event at The Players Club in Bristol after a torrid back nine threatened his title chances.
Marmion (Eaton) shot 67 and 66 in his opening two rounds to sit four shots clear at nine under ahead of the final 18. A couple of birdies and a bogey on the front nine saw him move to ten under, but the back nine hard going and recorded bogeys at 10, 11, 13, 14 and 17 to shoot 75 which proved to be good enough to claim victory by two shots at five under (208).
I was a bit nervous down the last six or seven holes, he admitted. I was six shots clear after the ninth but I just started dropping shots down the home stretch.
The back nine is tough enough as it is 10 and 11 are hard, the 15th has water and 16 played difficult today, said the 23 year-old, who picks up £10,000 for the victory. That was probably the key hole for me in the end I knew a par at 16 would see me home, even if I bogeyed 17.
Even though Mark Ramsdale (Formby GC), Noel Fox (Team Ireland MMI) and Lloyd Kennedy (Chelmsford GC) put pressure on the Chester man, he said he never too concerned that he wouldnt get home. I always thought I had enough to win as I was hitting the ball well and I stuck to my game plan really, said Marmion.
Ramsdale looked the most likely to pip Marmion after a fantastic recovery from a double bogey start. That blip took him to one over for the tournament but he birdied four straight holes from the sixth to go into the back nine at four under. But his challenge was effectively ended when he lost his ball at 12 and found the water at 15, two more double bogeys to spoil a round that contained eight birdies. Ramsdale finished joint second with Order of Merit leader Noel Fox, who carried on his fine Tour with a level round following opening rounds of 69 and 70.
Lloyd Kennedy was in second spot overnight, but he failed to pick up a birdie in his final round and recorded 74 to finish in fourth at two under. Daniel Brooks (Mill Hill), James Busby (The Shropshire) and Alan Murray (Greystones GC) were tied in fifth at one under.
The Ivobank PGA EuroPro Tour heads to Vilamoura in Portugals Algarve to tackle the Oceanico Millennium and Victoria courses next week with live scoring and event coverage available at www.europrotour.com.