Seve Benson won a dramatic four way play-off at Wensum Valley to clinch the first event of the PGA EuroPro Tour.
The Wentworth GC man held his nerve having to play the 18th hole three times after carding two under for the tournament. Benson held off the challenge of Michael Hempstock in the play-off, while Lorne Kelly and Jamie Harris made par on the first attempt at the play-off hole to leave Hempstock and Benson to fight it out. The quartet finished on two under after 54 holes of tough golf, with the weather consistently misbehaving to make things difficult. Lorne Kelly’s putt looked dead in the first crack at the play-off, but it thumped the back of the hole and jumped out and we were left with two. Hempstock was walking after his putt after Benson had left his short, but he lipped out and they went back to the tee again. Benson scored steadily over the three rounds, with one over in the first round an impressive effort after awful weather conditions, and his three under in the second round one of the best scores over the week. “It’s my first win as a professional so obviously it feels great – winning anytime feels great,” said Benson, who turned pro in August. “But I’ll remember this one when I’m old and retired! “I was very confident all week and just stuck to my routines. The weather wasn’t very helpful but it was better today and I just made sure I got round really. I could’ve putted better but my all-round game was in good shape.” Three birdies in the play-off shows the 21 year-old has a good head on his shoulders, not that the pressure affected him. “The situation shouldn’t change the way you play, you still need to hit fairway and green,” said the Guildford player. Benson had to complete his round early on Friday after a thunderstorm delayed play for three hours in the second round on Thursday. Jamie Harris led overnight on three under, with Kelly and Hempstock ( Doncaster ) level par, with the lead chopping and changing throughout the final round. Tom Haylock led in the clubhouse at level par after a fantastic round of four under, finishing sixth overall. Northern Irishman Damian Mooney looked like making it a five way play-off on the final hole after cracking an iron to five foot. But he horseshoed his putt and missed out, finishing 5th at one under. Andrew Marshall was unable to break par over the three rounds, with back to back 72’s following one over on the first day to shoot one over in total, tied with three other players in 7th. Benson picks up £10,000 for his win, with second, third and fourth picking up equal prize money as well. The players move onto The Shire London, Barnet next week for the second tournament of the year. Date Posted: 02/05/08