Whatley triumphs on home turf in the Midland Masters

Whatley triumphs on home turf in the Midland Masters


James Whatley made home advantage count as he won the Midland Masters Order of Merit title at Morley Hayes Golf Club thanks to a dramatic play-off.

Whatley, who is the head professional at the Derbyshire venue, found himself in a three-way battle with Simon Lilly (Wellingborough Golf Club) and Ben Hall (Rushcliffe Golf Club) which went down to the wire.

Hall was safe in the clubhouse with a score of three-under-par before Whatley made a six on the 18th, while Lilly made a five on the same hole, forcing a a three-way play-off for the title.

Lilly (66, 75) dropped out of the play-off at the first hole, while Whatley (68, 73) and Hall (74, 67) battled it out across another three, until Whatley triumphed with a par on the fourth play-off hole.

After an Order of Merit dry spell of seven years, with his last win taking place in 2015, Whatley was thrilled to take the Midland Masters title. He said: “It’s hard being at your own course, as there’s added pressure as well, so I’m absolutely chuffed to do it.

“I won a few Order of Merit events in 2011, 2012, 2015, but there’s been a bit of a barren spell – I’ve been getting close but not in contention, so to win round your own course, it’s a really good feeling.”

Whatley put his win at Morley Hayes down to mindset. He continued: “I thought I’d thrown it away up the last, but you’re always going to have ups and downs in a round of golf.

“If it happens to be on the last hole, you’ve just got to re-group and go through a routine. I do loads of coaching, and I always teach pre-shot routine and that’s really what I tried to do myself in that event.”

Despite a busy coaching schedule, Whatley aims to expand on his win across the remainder of the season, adding: “I’m busy coaching and the business side of it is pressing. But, this win shows that I can still do it and it’s definitely still worth still playing.”

CLICK HERE to view a full list of scores from the Oder of Merit event at Morely Hayes Golf Club.


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