England (East) Region
13 Apr 18
Rob Coles (Maylands Golf & Country Club) began the new season as he finished 2017 – savouring success.
Last year’s Order of Merit champion teamed up with his sponsor Grant Beglan to win the 19th renewal of the Searles PGA Spring Classic, the East region’s annual curtain-raiser.
Coles and nine-handicapper Beglan notched up 87 points to win the two-round competition by six from Chase Davis (Marriott Sprowston Manor Hotel) and his father Garry.
The winning duo recorded 42 points in the opening day’s Stableford greensomes at King’s Lynn. Beglan rolled in a near 50-foot birdie putt on the final green and that was enough for a halfway tie at the top with the Davis combination.
But Coles and Beglan surged clear on day two under a better ball format at Hunstanton. Their tally of 45 points was the highest of any partnership and meant that the former European Tour star’s first trip in 18 years to the ever-popular Spring Classic was a winning one.
Coles, 45, said: “I’m delighted we won. To win it with Grant was lovely as we are good friends. Grant played really well. He didn’t miss a green with his irons.”
Indeed Beglan’s accuracy with his approach play proved vital to the victory. The pair had made a strong start to their second round but midway through it their playing partners, the Davis duo, looked set to slash the gap at the top.
Coles was in trouble at the par-five ninth, Beglan found a dune on the left with his second, while Chase Davis struck a tremendous 6-iron shot from 212 yards to six feet to set up an eagle opportunity that he would convert. But Beglan stepped up to unleash a telling blow of his own.
Coles said: “Grant hit a great shot from the dune to about six inches and tapped in for birdie. I was looking like making bogey so that was a big moment, I felt. Then I made eagle from eight feet on the 15th and we birdied 16 and 17 so that got us through.”
The Davis’ had to settle for second but were happy enough with their efforts.
Chase said: “We had a nice couple of days. My dad is off eight and he’s quite steady. He always has been and he was just making it easier for me. He would put it down the middle, which meant that I could then be more attacking.
“We were steady. If I wasn’t in the hole, my dad was. There were never any struggles, really.”
Simon Dainty (Stoke by Nayland) and Sam Kinnane secured sole possession of third place after accumulating 40 points in both rounds.
For a full list of results from the Searles PGA Spring Classic click here.