England and Wales (South West) Region
15 Aug 19
Toby Hunt defeated a substantial posse of accomplished challengers to win the PGA West Region Championships at The Players Club while a band of squeegee-wielding helpers defied Mother Nature to give him the opportunity.
When Hunt tapped home the par putt in the encroaching gloom to complete the second of his two rounds and post an eight-under-par total of 136, the tournament was two hours behind schedule because of rain interruptions.
That it got to that stage was due to the indefatigable efforts of PGA tournament staff and Players Club greenkeepers in mopping up putting surfaces that were frequently awash.
From Hunt’s standpoint, it would have been much easier had the second round been called off and his first round eight-under-par total of 64, which left him four shots clear of the field, had secured victory.
It would also have been more convenient insomuch that it would have given him the time to travel to Northern Ireland to play in the ISPS Handa World Invitational Men/Women that began the following day.
The inevitable fine levied for that, albeit enforced, absence will make a dent in the £1410 the pro from St Mellons Golf Club, Cardiff, earned for winning the Marstons-sponsored Order of Merit event.
Katie Rule, PGA West Ladies Champion
Abandonment, however, would have denied him the chance to build on the return to form that, following weeks of struggle, his first round performance indicated.
A follow-up round of level-par could suggest otherwise but the 26-year-old was more than happy with the way he played on day two.
“It’s never easy when you go into the final round with a big lead,” he said. “And when I double-bogeyed the par-five fifth, I did get nervous.
“Dinsy (Richard Dinsdale) was one-shot behind me at one stage and Jacob Hunter was two shots back so I was under pressure.
Jon Bevan, PGA West Seniors Champion
“Although I didn’t score as well as I did in the first round, I felt I played as well, if not better, especially over the last 12 holes. I also gave myself birdie chances on the last four holes but the putts didn’t drop, so it could have been more comfortable.
"After the problems I’ve had with my game leading up to this tournament, this is a massive confidence booster and a relief.”
Despite those missed opportunities, Hunt finished three shots ahead of the trio tied for second place on five-under: Dinsdale, Hunter and Richard O’Hanlon.
Victory has also enhanced Hunt’s chances of a top three finish in the Order of Merit and qualification for the end of season PGA Play-Offs at Antalya in Turkey.
Jacob Hunter, PGA West Assistants Champion
With one event in the series remaining, he now lies third, 240 points behind the leader who is almost guaranteed a top three finish, Clevedon Golf Club’s Ashley Mansell, and 85 points shy of Lee Thompson from Dudbury Golf Club.
Hunter and Asbri Golf’s Dinsdale, who are fourth and fifth respectively, are also in the mix thanks to their performances at The Players Club.
Meanwhile, Hunt was not the only winner at The Players Club: the PGA West Region Championships also feature three tournaments within a tournament.
As a result, Hunter, who is attached to Broadstone Golf Club, is the region’s 2019 PGA Assistants champion, Katie Rule of Mendip Springs is the Ladies champion and Jon Bevan of Sherborne Golf Club is the Senior champion.
Full scores are accessible via the following link:
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