STUART Archibald has claimed a remarkable victory on the PGA EuroPro Tour after winning a dramatic three-way play-off.
Archibald, 25, triumphed at the Dawson and Sanderson Classic at Longhirst Hall in Northumberland as he edged out Daniel Gaunt and Matt Allen. The trio ended on evens after three rounds and needed five extra play-off holes before Archibald (ClaimsJustice.co.uk) scooped the Â£10,000 winnerâ€™s prize and his first ever EuroPro Tour win.
â€œThis is the biggest moment of my career so far,â€ said a delighted Archibald, who was seven shots off the lead and in danger of not making the cut after the first day. Hopefully I will now get a few invites to the Challenge Tour and get a couple of starts. It means Iâ€™m financially set for a couple of seasons so this is the beginning for me.
â€œThe weather on the first day was horrific and I lost my concentration on the first day. I hit the ball nicely yesterday but couldnâ€™t putt and they seemed to go in today. I knew a score was out there but at the start of today I was just trying to get into the top ten. Itâ€™s incredible how you can have a 12-shot difference in your score from two days earlier.â€
Basingstoke-based Archibald shot six-over on Wednesday but his fortunes turned round went he round in level par on Thursday before a round of -6, the best round of the week from any player.
An eagle at the par-five 13th was the highlight, but he also made birdies at the third, fifth, seventh, 12th, 16th and 17th.
There was a dramatic ending as Archibald was the clubhouse leader on evens, with Gaunt on the same total and Allen one shot behind as the last group approached the 18th.
But Allen forced a three-way play-off as he held his nerve to birdie the 18th, while Gaunt could only par the same hole.
Gaunt, who stays first in the Order of Merit, had been near the top throughout the competition and started the last day in joint second place.
Nick McCarthy (Moortown) had shared the lead at the end of the first day and had a one-shot lead going into the final day.
He was the only player to have a score under par after Thursdayâ€™s play but a horror front 9 on Friday saw his title hopes evaporate.
McCarthy struggled to three double bogeys â€“ on the fourth, sixth and eighth â€“ and also registered a bogey on the fifth as he fell rapidly down the leaderboard.
A number of players enjoyed their best rounds of the competition on the third day with Jason Kelly, Daniel Belch, Brian McElhinney and Brendan McCarroll all going round in three under on Friday.