Baker battles to Cornish triumph


Peter Baker went one better than two years ago by winning the PGA Cornish Festival with a final round two-over-par 73 at Trevose, yet he feared his chance had gone after a major setback on the final afternoon.

He said: "I dropped two shots on the tenth and 11th to go back to four-over-par and feared the worst. But I made two late birdies and although I thought I had blown it was delighted to discover I had won.

"It was a tough few days because I haven't played at all because of the terrible winter. But I love it in Cornwall and especially Trevose so it's a great feeling to win here."

The 45-year-old former Ryder Cup player finished one shot clear of James Ruth (St Mellion), who was delighted to show such fine form as he embarks on another bid to regain his European Tour card through this year's Challenge Tour.

Baker (South Staffordshire) lost to Chris Gill (Exeter) on his first visit to the tournament in 2011 despite carding a final round 66,

Ruth, who shot 72 at Trevose, cited his one-over-par round the previous day at St Enodoc as the reason for his success. "It was the best I have played for two years in brutal windy conditions," he said.

"I could have been even better today but I dribbled too many putts on the fast greens and dropped too many shots. This week has put me in the perfect frame of mind to play the Challenge Tour in Madrid next week."

Welshman Stuart Manley (Celtic Manor), who led by three shots after both 18 and 36 holes, finally suffered by not having previously played in the event by suffering a difficult final round at St Enodoc, traditionally the toughest of the three quality links courses.

He dropped shots at the two opening holes, followed with three further bogeys and two successive doubles, to sign for a nine-over 78 and slip back into a tie for fourth place

Former winner David Dixon (Enmore Park) missed a chance to win for the third time in five years after an indifferent 75 at Trevose in the final round

Paul Broadhurst, another former Ryder Cup player in the strong field, lost his chance of winning for the second year by shooting 77 in the second round at St Enodoc. But he climbed back to eighth with a closing 72 at Trevose.

Chris Hudson (Southwood) accompanied by three Test Valley players Martin Rudderham, Jon Hibberd and Gary Otten won the team award.

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