England (East) Region
14 Jun 19
The Brighton golfer, 27, was a worthy winner of the East and South region co-sanctioned event at West Essex Golf Club after putting together three rounds of 68.
That left him on six-under-par– and it was a couple of inches from being a stroke better as an eagle putt on the last just pulled up short.
Croucher’s resulting birdie meant a play-off with Adam Reid (Corhampton) who mounted a superb final-day-charge.
Reid, 26 this Sunday, fired a second successive 66 to surge up the leaderboard.
The pair returned to the 17th hole – a testing par-4 played into a stiff breeze – and Croucher settled the matter with a solid par.
Reid’s wayward drive handed the initiative to Croucher who fizzed a 173-yard 6-iron onto the green from where he would get down in two putts.
Reid just failed to hole a 15-footer for par, leaving his fellow final-year PGA trainee to celebrate a first Order of Merit success.
Croucher said: “I’ve played quite a few Order of Merit events, so it’s nice to get over the line – I’m very pleased. Now I can tick it off that I’ve won one.
“What was the secret? The putting. I got a really good speed on the greens and just rolled it nicely. So I’d put it down to that as the main thing.
“The second day, playing in the rain, I made quite a few clutch par putts. And the third round I holed a couple in the last few holes – they keep you going.”
The tournament finished with a one-two-three from the South region. A shot back from Croucher and Reid was Jordan Godwin (Barnehurst).
Jason Levermore (Little Channels Golf Centre) led for the first two days but slipped back into a share of fourth spot alongside fellow East region golfers Mark Talbott (Thorpe Hall) and James Ruebotham (Welwyn Garden City). Paul Nessling (Cooden Beach) and Zak Morgan completed the quintet at four-under.
The second Order of Merit event on the East region schedule will be staged at Ingrebourne Links on August 6.
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