England and Wales (South West) Region
18 Jul 19
Clevedon Golf Club’s Ashley Mansell ticked a trio of boxes in winning the Cumberwell Park Players' Championships.
Aside from claiming the £1,600 winner’s cheque, the victory means Mansell has now won both this season’s Marston's-sponsored Order of Merit events and, in doing so, he defeated Sion Bebb, the defending champion.
Characteristically Bebb proved a resolute opponent before relinquishing the title he claimed 12 months ago en route to winning the Order of Merit.
So much so that a play-off was needed after both players ended the two negotiations of the Red and Yellow loops at the Wiltshire venue on nine-under.
Bebb’s total of 133 was achieved with rounds of 67 and 66, as was Mansell’s but in reverse order.
Bebb, who represents Morlais Castle Golf Club, had begun the second round two shots adrift of Dudsbury Golf Club’s Lee Thompson, the tournament leader, and one behind Mansell.
Thompson maintained that advantage over Bebb at the turn but Mansell, who served notice of things to come with a birdie, birdie start, had usurped pole position.
He recorded two more birdies on the back nine but four on the bounce from Bebb took the tournament into a sudden death play-off.
Parity remained after the first hole before Mansell (above) judged a 12-foot left to right putt to perfection for a birdie to clinch victory.
He admitted, however, things could have gone awry on the 18th.
“It was bit of a nervy ending,” he said. “I knew what I had to do coming up the stretch to win outright and two pars might be good enough.
“But I had a wobbly tee shot on 18 but managed to recover and make par.
“As for my performance overall, I had two great days. I felt quite comfortable with my game which is nice to feel.
“My plan at the start of the final round was to just try and be steady. I’d putted well on day one so there was always the chance I would hole some putts if I gave myself opportunities.
“I started off birdie, birdie, which is always a nice feeling going into your final round and the course was set up lovely here at Cumberwell. It’s always good when you’ve got a nice course to play on as it helps in shooting low scores.”
Mansell’s victory means he has amassed 540 Order of Merit points and, with two events to play, has established a commanding lead.
He is 155 points clear of Thompson, who finished fourth on seven-under a shot behind Asbri Golf’s Richard Dinsdale who, in shooting seven-under on day two, posted the round of the tournament.
Bebb (above) lies third on 323 and Cennydd Mills is fourth on 308.
Somewhat perversely, however, Mansell’s emphatic advantage has presented him with a conundrum – to miss out on an Order of Merit event to play in a PGA Europro one.
“There are two Order of Merit events to play, one of which clashes with Europro,” he explained.
“I’ll have to weigh up my options, although it’s a difficult part of the year to weigh up options – I’ll make the decision in the next couple of weeks.”
Full scores can be accessed via this link: