Former Bournemouth Alliance captain Michael Watson – familiarly known as “Tom” after this year’s USA Ryder Cup captain – is celebrating a remarkable double hat-trick.
The Wessex Golf Centre professional from Weymouth is again showing some of the legend’s on-course form after winning the Rotary Club of St Austell pro-am title at Carlyon Bay for his third consecutive success in five days. This followed victory in the Dudsbury Masters order of merit tournament and then in the Lilley Brook pro-am two days later. It also completed his hat-trick of wins over the cliff-top course overlooking the rugged Cornish coastline in the annual event that has raised thousands of pounds for local charities.
Last year he shared top place with Richard O’Hanlon (St Kew) and was joint winner with Barry Austin (Downes Crediton) in 2012. This time his four-under-par 68 brought outright victory. Four birdie threes at the sixth, 12th, 14th and 16th plus an eagle at the par five 10th and two dropped shots brought a three-stroke win over Austin, former Carlyon Bay amateur star Grant Slater (Trevose) and Laura Hendriksen (The Palace Hotel, Torquay).
Watson shot three-under-par 66 to win at Lilley Brook for the second time in four years. He beat local favourite Stuart Little by one shot. He could even afford to make a bogey five on the final hole after being out in three under after birdies at the first, third and eighth followed by another at the 14th.
He clearly loves the Cheltenham air as he won his only previous pro-am this year at nearby Cotswold Hills a month earlier.
This is the moment each year when fellow West players can only admire his talents as he reels in the prize money. He said: “I don’t know why, but I always seem to do well from July onwards. This is certainly my time of year and it all started for me at Carlyon Bay exactly a year ago.”
He went on to win 13 times during the remainder of the season and become the region’s highest earner. Yet once again he started the season quietly.
Lee Thompson (Dudsbury), the player coached by Minchinhampton left-hander Stuart Little who finished second, shared third with two in-form Welsh-based players Liam Bond (St Pierre) and Richard Dinsdale (Parc Golf Academy) who was runner-up to Watson at Dudsbury.
David Miles (Ferndown), making a rare playing appearance, brought in the winning team on 128.