Emerson hits form at North Wilts



Gary Emerson warmed up for a tilt at the European Seniors’ Tour later this year as he reaches the age of 50 with his first win in almost a year in the 36-hole North Wilts Pro-Am.

The former Russian Open champion showed his staying power on a warm day in testing conditions to take a two-shot advantage over fellow Dorset men Michael Watson (Wessex Golf Centre) and Lee Thompson (Dudsbury).

Emerson, now representing Playgolf Bournemouth, was second to Watson after an opening par round of 71, making four birdies including three at the par fives.

After dropping a shot at the second hole in the afternoon, he responded with birdies at the third, fifth, seventh and ninth to be out in three-under 33. A dropped shot at the 12th and a birdie at the 17th completed a three-under 68, equalling the best round of the day and he also achieved the day’s best birdie haul of nine.

His previous win was at Truro last July and his form perked up again in the Bournemouth Fourball Festival where he was tied fifth and won the team prize.

Watson, who shared top spot with his former Wessex colleague Jon Bevan at North Wilts last year, assumed the morning lead with 70 after birdieing three of the first four holes. But two bogeys in the final two holes of his second round cost him ma share of the lead.

Thompson opened with 71 but a double bogey at the fourth and three further dropped shots were costly. His Dudsbury colleague Mark Wiggett, who finished fourth a shot behind, also produced his best return of what has been a disappointing season to date.

Charlie Cossins (Cumberwell Park) led the winning team of Nick Padget, Karl Hatala and Jake Vallis with 20-under-par playing the second round in 12 under.

But Guiseppe Licata (Bristol Golf Centre) with his Filton team of Martin Candy, Rich Collins and James Parker carded 14-under after an opening four-under to claim second spot.

The Well-Avon trophies team of Tim Taylor, Phil Rossiter and Paul Fennell were third on 13-under, led by Peter Hunt (The Glamorganshire).

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