Wess in wonderland with second PGA title


Wess WinnerPaul Wesselingh produced a blistering putting display to beat one of his golfing heroes and retain his ISPS HANDA PGA Seniors Championship crown at De Vere Mottram Hall.

The former Kedleston Park head professional modestly dubs himself a plodder on the golf course but was anything but as he romped to a four stroke victory.

Ex-world no. 1 Woosnam had piled on the pressure with a superb eight under par 65 but Wesselingh went one better with a stunning 64 capped by four birdies in his final five holes.

A delighted Wesselingh declared it the best he’d ever played and it left him 20 under for the £260,000 tournament, earning him a prize cheque of £41,600 in the process.

Paraguay’s Angel Franco carded a 66 to clinch second with Woosnam third on 15 under.

“It is unbelievable, I just can’t believe I’ve done it,” said Wesselingh who won the PGA North Region Championship at Mottram Hall in 1994.

“I couldn’t believe I’d done it last year and I can’t believe I’ve done it again this year.

“To win it two years on the trot with this quality of field we’ve got, I just played probably the best I’ve ever played today.

 “My putter just went red hot, I just holed everything. I was plodding along quite nicely on the front nine and had a couple of chances and then holed a good one on eight, a very good one on nine, and an even longer one on ten.

“I’m not really a scoreboard watcher but I was aware that Woosie was going well and Franco so I was watching the board there. I was trying to give myself a two or three shot cushion going into 16 and 17 because anything can happen there and I picked up one on 16 which is a real bonus, and I felt once I’d got to the 18th I’d got the job done really.

“I seem to have a knack of doing some good last rounds but I was in the zone today and played great.

“Last year was special because obviously it was my first one; but this one was even better because I did it in style really and won by a reasonably good margin.

“It’s still slightly surreal beating the likes of Ian Woosnam and Mark James, because these guys were heroes of mine. It’s a real honour."

Wesselingh's triumph also casts a positive light on the PGA's regional and national tournament schedule where the Derby based golfer honed his skills while juggling he busy demands of a head professional role.

With his love of the game, dedication and fitness, Wesselingh is proving an inspiration to other PGA pros eager to follow in his wake and carve out a playing career among Europe's finest senior golfers.

One of those doing just that is Germany-based PGA Professional Simon Brown from Rhein-Sieg Golf Club who ended up three under on his PGA Seniors debut after a rollercoaster final round which saw him drop five shots in his first eight holes but get to all square with a birdie on the ninth and a further four on the back nine.

Meanwhile former PGA Cup player George Ryall rediscovered his best form with a closing six under par 67.

The Players Club pro hadn’t managed to break par in the preceding three rounds but three birdies in his first four holes inspired his charge up the leaderboard.

Another came at the ninth and 10th with an eagle on 13 and a birdie at the last offset by dropped shots on the 11th and 16th  which also left him three under and in a share of 25th.

Matfen Hall’s John Harrison birdied his the last three holes to sign for a 69 which left him tied 30th at two under.

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