England (East) Region
28 Sep 18
Mason Papple (Stock Brook Manor Golf & Country Club) showed an ice-cool nerve to seal victory in the KJW Millbrook Masters.
Papple, 23, sunk key putts at the closing two holes to record his first ever Order of Merit success.
The PGA trainee converted from five feet for birdie after his daring tee-shot cut the corner of the 17th, leaving him just short of the green.
And Papple confirmed his steely qualities at the final hole when he drained a four-footer for par and a round of 69.
Added to his opening 71, the former PGA EuroPro Tour player closed out at four-under-par for the tournament – two clear of the runner-up James Watts (Kingsway Golf Centre).
Papple said: “I’ve played well all year but it hasn’t quite paid off, so at the last tournament it’s great to finish off with a win.
“I’ve won a few pro-ams, stuff like that, but this is my first proper win as a pro.
“It was nice to get the job done – feel the pressure and overcome that, hitting the shots when I needed to. It was good to make those two putts at the end.”
Overnight leader Luke Goddard (Hendon) looked in control at five-under after 11 holes of the second round but four dropped shots between 12 and 14. He would eventually finish in a share of fifth place.
Watts ended up as Papple’s nearest challenger and was three-under with three to play.
But he was unable to push on from his birdie at the 15th and had to settle for second spot
Watts said: “I didn’t blitz it at all but I played nice and solid.
“I’m just a little bit disappointed that I couldn’t get it done, coming in – I made a couple of silly bogies. But overall it was a good two days.”
Millbrook general manager Rob Brightman – himself a PGA member – reflected with great satisfaction on the first Order of Merit event staged at the Bedfordshire club.
He said: “It has been 12 months in the planning and involved an awful lot of people – mostly our sponsor Kevin Wright, his wife Helen and Kevin’s PA, Megan.
“We were very happy with the strength of the field and also the condition of the course. I can’t thank enough the greens staff here, they have worked tirelessly.”