Wess in dreamland after Senior PGA triumph

18/05/2012

Paul Wesselingh admitted it was 'a dream come true' as he created history at Northants County as the first former PGA Professional champion to win the Senior PGA Professional Championship.

The Kedleston Park pro, making his debut in the tournament having turned 50 last year, won the title by three shots as he continued his amazing start to life among the seniors ranks.

Just five days after finishing second in the Mallorca Open Senior, which earned him a place in next week's US Senior PGA Championship in Michigan, Wesselingh went one better as the six-time PGA Cup player added to his glittering CV.

A final round of one-under-par 69, comprising two birdies and just one dropped shot, took him to four-under for the week and comfortably secured Wesselingh the title and winner's cheque for £4,750 as the rest of the title challengers slipped out of contention.

"It feels like a dream come true," he said.

"I'm delighted to have won this having won the PGA Professional Championship. It's a nice thing to have on my CV - Senior PGA Champion.

"The last two weeks have been incredible. I'd never have dreamed I'd have had two weeks like this, coming second in my first European Senior Tour event and then winning this. It's fantastic."

Scotland's Garry Harvey (Kinross Golf Courses), whose round included a monster 75 foot putt at the 16th, was runner-up for the second time in his senior career, a birdie at the last making all the difference to his round of 72 as he finished the week one-under, earning him a cheque for £3,500.

"I didn't play as well as I did yesterday and the wind was playing havoc," he said.

"I couldn't judge it at all as it was swirling around. I managed to hole some crucial putts at the right time, which helped.

"But I'm highly delighted as second is way above my expectations. It is just a bonus as is playing at Slaley Hall."

There was three-way tie for third at level par, which included two more former PGA Professional champions in Alistair Webster (Edzell) and John Hoskison (Newbury Golf Centre) with overnight leader Mark Stokes, who began the day at five-under-par, completing the trio.

Webster produced a level par 70, while Hoskison - who looked to be Wesselingh's main rival down the back nine, settled for a 72 with Stokes unable to reproduce his displays of the opening two days as he carded a five-over-par 75. All three received cheques in excess of £2,100.

Stokes, who held a two-shot advantage at the start of the day, said: "I'm disappointed. I played alright but I didn't make it happen and didn't make some putts.

"My game just went a bit flat. It was only the last four holes I started bucking up my ideas and just grinding out enough to finish third."

The top 20 players were also able to celebrate securing an invite to next month's £250,000 ISPS Handa PGA Seniors Championship at De Vere Slaley Hall.

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