Andrew George defied testing conditions to win the Foremost Professionals Championship supported by Glenmuir at The Oxfordshire.
The former PGA Cup player from Ely Golf Club in Cambridgeshire carded a flawless three under par 69 to finish five shots ahead of James Lee (Caerphilly), Sion Bebb (Morlais Castle) and Phil Hoye (Stonebridge).
Lee, Bebb and Hoye were all out in the afternoon after the rain had subsided, but they still had to battle strong winds and it was the same for both Peter Evans (Royal Porthcawl), Richard Dinsdale (Parc) and Steve Carter (Walmley), who all carded rounds of 75 to share fifth place on a day in which a record field of over 100 Foremost members took part.
George began his round with ten straight pars before holing out from 10-feet for a birdie on the 551-yard par-5 11th. He hit a 9-iron to 20-feet on the 395-yard par-4 14th to set up his second birdie of the day, before moving to three under par when he rolled in a 20-footer for another birdie on the long 467-yard par-4 16th.
“It was brutal out there,” said the champion. “The wind was howling and it rained right up until we played our second shots into the last.
“It was a battle from start to finish. At one stage my umbrella blew inside out so I’m delighted to get it round in three under.
“I have been playing well for the last couple of weeks but my putting has been dreadful,” he added. “I think I had 12 three putts in 54 holes at last week’s PGA Senior Championship at Foxhills, but when I got back to Ely City, Paul Geen, one of my assistants, told me he had spotted something wrong with my stroke.
“He told me I was moving my head so all I did was to try to keep it as still as I could. It seemed to work. I did have a three-putt on the long fifth but I also holed some good ones after that.”
George took home a winner’s cheque for £1,000, as well as £1,500 in Glenmuir vouchers and an automatic place in Foremost’s team for this year’s Ashworth Cup at The Belfry.
The highlight of joint runner-up Hoye’s round came at the 210-yard par-3 5th hole where he holed a 4-iron to record the first hole-in-one of his career.
“That was my first ever hole-in-one,” he said. My Dad died a few weeks ago so I suspect he was looking down on me.
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