England (South) Region
21 Jun 18
Adam Hickling held his nerve to win the Be Wiser Insurance PGA in Hampshire Stroke Play Championship for the second time in three years, writes Ken Gaunt.
The Stoneham PGA professional edged out Jon Barnes (Lee-on-the-Solent) in a tense play-off at the Army GC. After Barnes had dropped three shots in two holes when in sight of victory, Hickling’s birdie at the 36th hole forced a sudden death outcome.
Both players posted par at the first play-off hole, the 17th. At the 18th Barnes fluffed his pitch and Hickling took advantage to get up and down and claim the top prize. Hickling, who won the PGA in Hampshire Order of Merit last season, said: “To win it in a play-off is doing it the hard way. But it is a good feeling nonetheless.”
He added: “As soon as Jon fluffed his shot I thought it was going to be tough for him to get down in four.” Barnes could not hide his frustration at the way he had finished and said: “ I am very disappointed at going bogey, double bogey at the 16th and 17th. It cost me.”
Martin Adams (Swanmore Golf Centre ) led the way by one shot after the opening 18 holes with a level par 71. However he faltered in the afternoon and finished tied third on 144 with Ben Wall two behind Hickling and Barnes.
Wall also finished second behind Hickling in Hampshire Patrons Young Pros Championship, run in conjunction with the main event. The Hayling pro said:” You had to be patient as it was very windy. I had a really good back nine and created a lot of chances.”
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