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England and Wales (North) Region

Champion Davies gets a lucky break

09 May 14

0905Northgarethdavies

Gareth Davies staged a grandstand finish to win the PGA North Assistants' Championship at Ilkley.

The 36-year-old former tour player who recently returned to his home club Abbeydale to take up a teaching role, birdied the last two holes to post a three-under-par 66 in wet and blustery conditions.

But he admitted he had a huge stroke of luck on the 17th when his tee shot was heading out of bound before ricocheting off a tree back into play.

"I then hit a four iron 205 yards and rolled in a 25-foot putt but my birdie on the last hole not quite so dramatic," he said.

He also made gains at the 8th and 11th to wipe out the one blemish on his card, caused by a bogey at the fifth, to prevail by three strokes from fellow Yorkshire players Robert Calderbank, from Hillsborough, and Beverley and East Riding's Michael Helyard.

Davies, who won twice on the Challenge Tour following a brief spell on the main circuit in 2007, has quickly settled in at Abbeydale where he took up the game as a youngster.

"I got married last year and decided it was time to come home," he explained.

"I'm in my first full season as a teaching assistant and keen to pass on my playing experiences to the members. I know most of them so it's been easy to fit in. And I live only five minutes from the course," he said.

But he's not sacrificing his own game as he combines it with coaching and hopes to compete in all the The PGA in England and Wales (North) Order of Merit tournaments this campaign.

"I still enjoy playing. It's important to keep your hand in when you're teaching."

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