PGA West Region: Jones and Thompson master Marston's event as Watson lifts title

ORDER OF MERIT WINNER: Michael Watson

ORDER OF MERIT WINNER: Michael Watson

First published in Golf by

DORSET duo Paul Jones (Canford Magna) and Lee Thompson (Dudsbury) defied the savage thrust of the Hurricane Bertha storm to win the Marston’s West Region Championship pro-am at The Players Club, near Bristol.

The day was twice delayed in the morning because of flooded greens and bunkers while the eighth hole was taken out of play completely.

Following the second delay the afternoon resumed with a two-tee start to speed play.

Thompson savaged the four par fives, making an eagle at the ninth and birdies at the fifth, 11th and 15th in his two-under round of 66. Jones made six birdies and dropped two shots in each nine.

Thompson carded six-under-par 66, the best round of the second day in the main championship, to finish in third place on 138 worth £800. He reached six under by the 12th and was just one shot behind eventual winner former European Tour champion David Dixon (Enmore Park).

Dixon beat player-of-the-season Michael Watson by one shot but the former Bournemouth Alliance captain from Weymouth won the Order of Merit title for the first time in more than 20 years.

Dixon was coasting until he made eight at the par three 13th after despatching two tee-shots into the water. The five-shot swing brought Watson back into the contest and both players were then level at seven-under-par for the tournament.

The pair swapped shots until the 156-yard 16th when Watson (Wessex Golf Centre) pulled his 7-iron into the water to fall one behind. And that was how it ended.

Watson who lost by one stroke after taking 69 admitted he struggled on the back nine. He said: “I three-putted ten and when he birdied 11 and 12 it looked all over. I played poorly from then but I have achieved my season’s objective. I won the Order of Merit at last and am looking forward to the Play-Offs.”

The pair will be joined in Turkey in November by Richard Dinsdale (Parc Golf Academy) who claimed third spot despite finishing a disappointing 27th.

Fresh from fifth place in the Glenmuir PGA Championship at Blairgowrie, former Broadstone assistant Tracy Loveys (Bigbury) from Weymouth carded two-over-par 74 to beat Jamie-Lee Casling (Brickhampton Court) by five shots to become the first-ever Women’s champion.

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