England and Wales (North) Region
14 Aug 14
It was a dream come true for Ben Mason when he finally won the De Vere Leeds Cup at Oulton Hall.
As a lad it had been his ambition to get his name engraved on professional golf's oldest trophy alongside such illustrious players as Harry Vardon and Ted Ray.
Two years ago, former European Tour player Mason, from Rotherham club Waterfront Golf, had one hand on it only to see it snatched from his grasp by David Smith.
The Swinton Park incumbent beat him on the 18th after a three-hole play-off and, ironically, it was on the same stage where Mason dramatically chipped in from 25 yards from the back of the green for a birdie to seal victory.
Smith, the overnight leader, slipped out of contention as 2010 winner Steve Parry, from Lancashire club Hart Common, took pole position after a closing 66 for a five-under-par total.
But with a play-off looking on the cards, Dewsbury-born Mason produced his master stroke to post a 67, to add to his opening 69, and prevail by a shot as Parry tied second with Alex Belt, round in 69 and 68.
"I set my sight on winning this event since I came off the Tour in 2010," said 37-year-old Mason.
"I prepared for it all season and it paid off. There was a gusting wind on both days but I kept control of the ball flight and stayed patient," he added, after handing in a card that showed five birdies, including three in a row from the 11th, and a solitary bogey on the 17th.
Meanwhile, North Region champion Belt, from Snainton Golf Centre, kept his stranglehold on the Order of Merit with a healthy lead of more than 200 points over David Shacklady (Mossock Hall) and Steve Parry (North West Golf Academy), who are tied for second spot.
Mason’s win has moved him to fifth with Garry Houston, another former Tour player, in fourth.
The top three players at the end of the season qualify for the Titleist PGA Play-Offs in Turkey in November.
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