Watson doubles up at Mendip Spring

Watson doubles up at Mendip Spring


Michael Watson put his reservoir of experience to good use to withstand the challenge of one of the PGA South West region’s most promising young golfers and win not one but two trophies at Mendip Spring.

Watson, who is attached to Wessex Golf Centre and eligible for the Senior circuit, made a successful defence of the West Region Senior Championship he won jointly with Sion Bebb last year.

More importantly, he won the main event – the West Region Championship. And he did so in some style, holing a birdie putt at the par-three 18th hole on the Brinsea course at the Somerset venue to create an unassailable advantage over Jacob Hunter, his young challenger.

The 22-year-old, who represents Broadstone Golf Club, began the second round two shots clear of Watson after posting a course record-equalling six under par total of 65 on day one.

Come the turn, Watson had not only retrieved the deficit but established a two-shot advantage. The back nine, however, saw the pair exchanging the lead as though it was an unwanted gift until, with Hunter spurning a birdie opportunity on the 17th, Watson delivered the coup de grace by holing a 20-foot putt on the final hole.

Reflecting on his round, Watson said: “The front nine went swimmingly well when I played really solid.

"But there were a few loose swings on the back nine and it became a bit of a struggle, not just for me but also Jacob and Ryan (Pope) who was playing with us. Happily I managed to limp over the line and I’m pleased with that.

“Jacob pushed me all the way – like most young golfers, he’s very powerful, strong and aggressive. There are some great young players in the region but us old salts can still show them a few things – they’ve still got to work hard to get past us.

“As for defending the Senior title, Sion, who tied with me last year, played well today so it was nice to make a successful defence. I’m looking forward to going for a three-peat next year."

By contrast, Georgia Lewis, who won the West Region Ladies Championship outright last year, ended up sharing it with four-time WPGA Championship winner Tracy Loveys this time round. However, she was indebted to completing the 18th in regulation and her rival recording a bogey for keeping one hand on the trophy.

Meanwhile, Weston Super Mare Golf Club’s Alister Balcombe won the Turier Scales-sponsored West Region Assistants’ Championship after signing off with a two under par round of 69 to finish one under for the tournament and tied third with Bebb and 2019 champion Toby Hunt.

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