England and Wales (North) Region
14 Oct 13
Michael Jones rounded off the season in perfect fashion at Wilmslow, finishing just as he began five months ago - with a win.
The Royal Liverpool assistant (centre), crowned De Vere PGA North champion at Blackpool's Herons' Reach at the start of the year, battled testing conditions to claim the Cheshire & North Wales Matchplay title.
He lifted the trophy for a second time since 2011, but had to fight all the way to the last green to shrug off a determined challenge from Matthew Edwards (right).
The 26-year-old, in his first season as a trainee professional at Portal, hadn't even see the course before and had to sit out the semi-final when opponent Paul Grannell withdrew to compete on the Europro Tour.
And he looked down and out when Jones, who dispatched Eastham Lodge's Nick Sargent 5&4 in the morning, edged two holes in front at the 12th.
But after rolling in two crucial putts at the 14th and short 15th, the latter pitching to three feet after his tee shot had spun back off the green and down the slope, Edwards was back in the frame when he levelled the match at the next hole as his Jones bogeyed.
The 17th was halved and Edwards looked in pole position after he arrowed his drive down the centre of the fairway on the last with Jones pushing his attempt to leave himself 275 yards to the flag.
He pulled out a 20 degree rescue club and covered the whole distance, the ball pulling up pin high and eight feet from the cup.
It was the shot of the day and Edwards, in reply, saw his six iron approach plunge into a bunker before he failed to extend the match when his par attempt slid wide.
"It was a dramatic finish," said Jones. "I knew I had to produce something special on the last and I could not have hit it any better. But fair play to Matthew, he put up a plucky fight."
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