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England and Wales (North) Region

Davies ties Belt - then wins play-off

19 Jun 14

0905Northgarethdavies

Escape artist Gareth Davies pulled another victory from the jaws of defeat when he beat overnight leader Alex Belt in the Yorkshire PGA Sandburn Masters after a five-hole play-off.

Last week he performed a similar feat to claim the Powerade PGA Assistants' Championship at Coventry.

And earlier in the season the 36-year-old from Sheffield club Abbeydale birdied the final two holes at Ilkley to steal the thunder in a PGA North assistants' event.

His long-term plan is to coach but he's clearly lost none of his competitive edge from his days playing on the Challenge and European Tours.

That was evidenced at the York club where he trailed by four strokes half-way through the final round of the 36-hole event.

In the driving seat was big-hitter Belt, the recently crowned PGA North champion, who had set a course record eight-under-par 64 on the first day.

But just when it looked like developing into a one-horse race he stumbled a couple of times on the home stretch to allow Davies to come up on the rails.

The pair were deadlocked on 10-under-par at the end of normal time, Davies having repeated his opening 67 and Scarborough-based Belt closing with a 70 before letting down his guard with a bogey after the first four play-off holes were halved in par.

Davies, who won the Yorkshire PGA Championship at Willow Valley last season, admitted: "I just kept plugging away because it's never easy for anyone when they're leading. I've won a couple of times on Challenge Tour and that showed me how to get the job done when I know I'm in with a chance. But there are still a lot of good players at this level."

Meanwhile Belt, who plies his trade mostly on the EuroPro Tour, made no secret of the fact that his target is to finish in the PGA North Order of Merit top three, which would entitle him to compete in the end-of-season national PGA Play-offs in Turkey.

That provides the leading players with chance to peg up in next spring's BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth as well as starts in a number of tour events.

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