Dixon battles to Forest Classic success



David Dixon (pictured right) earned his first The PGA in England (West) Order of Merit title with a one-shot triumph in the Forest Classic.

The Enmore Park professional, 36, signed for two-under 70 at Forest Hills to recover from a five-shot deficit carried through from the first day and claim a one-shot victory.

His score proved to be the low round of the day, and could only be matched by Sion Bebb (Vale Hotel), whose share of ninth place helped him to the top of the Race to Woodbury Park Order of Merit.

Dixon said: “Poor course management cost me three shots on the first day. After my bad start in the second round I was just hoping for a top ten finish. I didn’t realise it was going to be so close and my birdie at the 16th proved to be important.”

He is now hoping the win will act as perfect preparation in a bid to regain the Tour card he lost last year.

“I am playing in the region until the end of August when I enter three Challenge Tour events before going back to Tour School,” he explained.

“After failing to retain my card I looked on this as my sabbatical year. I have two young boys now and I am adjusting to a family home life before getting ready to get back into touring mode.”

Dixon did not have matters completely his own way, although first day leaders Lee Wood (Cotswold Hills), Liam Bond (St Pierre), Barry Forster (North Wilts) and Ross Langdon (South Cerney) rapidly disappeared after a series of disasters.

First-day leader Ed Goodwin dropped two shots by the turn but was within touching distance of a play-off place until his 15-foot birdie attempt at the last slipped inches by.

Lee Thompson (Dudsbury) and newcomer Andrew Windsor (Ferndown) both missed similar chances, while Russell Berry (RB Driving Range) putted to reach four-under-par before his challenge later faltered.

All four had to settle for a share of second place to Dixon who had reached the clubhouse more than an hour earlier.

Goodwin said: “It was disappointing but I was pleased with the way I played. I hit the ball well at Forest of Dean and was all right today as well but I took seven up the fourth and dropped more shots at 12 and 14. 

“Dicco makes a habit of beating me – he did so several times in Gloucester and Somerset PGA medals in the winter.”

Thompson summed up the conditions. “It was so tricky in the wind,” he said. “If you got a gust at the wrong time you can be a mile short of the green or miles over the green.

“Some of the pins were tricky. My putting let me down.”

Consolation for Goodwin came when he finished third in the team event alongside his greens chairman and A team captain Nick Brown, who plays off five. The pair were beaten into second place on countback by Bebb, playing with six-handicapper Total Triumph owner Neil Mossman (Oake Manor).

Joe Vickery, 24, a first year trainee at Newport, playing with ten-handicapper Glynn Hotchkiss, shot 45 and 43 to take top place with a 16-under-par score of 88 points.

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