Hepworth wins Astbury Hall Classic



James Hepworth won the 888poker.com PGA Europro Tour’s Astbury Hall Classic after a dramatic three-way play-off against Elliot Saltman and David Horsey.

The Ilkley-based golfer (pictured on the left) landed his tee shot two feet from the pin on the par-three 18th in the play-off, before sinking the birdie putt to claim the £10,000 winner’s cheque and a brand new Motocaddy trolley.

Hepworth, Saltman and European Tour regular Horsey had finished the 54-hole event six under par to force the play-off.

“I hit the tee shot well on the play off, it ended up pretty close and I managed to sneak it in,” said Hepworth.

“David’s record speaks for itself, and Elliot’s too. He played a great bunker shot in the play off, it was incredible. I am really pleased to have won.

“The course is in unbelievable condition. It has been great to play on such unbelievable greens, fairways and tees. It has been presented unbelievably well and every credit to KK Downing and his team for putting on a great show.”

Hepworth shot a final-round 68, two under par, to earn his place in the sudden-death play-off. He started the day four under and made consecutive birdies at three and four. He slipped down the leaderboard with a bogey at 12 but returned to six under with a birdie on the par-five 17th.

Horsey (ISM) had shot three over on the opening day but made amends with a four-under 66 for his second round.

He made five birdies on his final round, breaking par on the second, sixth, eighth, ninth and 17th to sign for a five-under-par 65, giving him the clubhouse lead. He was left waiting on the putting green knowing there was every chance of a play-off to determine who would win the £10,000 first prize.

Saltman (Archerfield Links) had begun the day second on five under. A double bogey on the first was far from an ideal start but the Scotsman responded with a birdie at the second. Bogeys at four and eight followed and Saltman looked to be out of contention. However, four back-nine birdies gave him a place in the play-off, where he was unlucky not to make birdie playing out of a greenside bunker.

Overnight leader Dan Waite finished fourth on five under par after shooting a one-over 71 on the final day.

A two-hour highlights package of The Astbury Hall Classic will be broadcast on Sky Sports on Wednesday, May 29.

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