A one-over-par final round of 73 was enough for James Hepworth to win the WSL Open on a blustery day at Collingtree Park Golf Club in Northampton.
Hepworth (Ilkley Golf Club), who had shared the overnight lead with James Webber (Regiment Way Golf Centre), completed the tournament eight shots under par to claim a one-shot victory over Paul Doherty (Vale Hotel). The win lifts Hepworth to third on the 888poker.com PGA EuroPro Tour Order of Merit.
[url=europro.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/europro12/event/europro1220/contest/1/leaderboard.htm]WSL Open final leaderboard[/url]
The Yorkshireman didnâ€™t get off to the best start when he bogeyed the first and a birdie at the fourth was quickly cancelled out by a bogey at the next hole. Another birdie four, this time at the 14th, gave Hepworth an outright lead in the tournament but he soon fell level with Doherty when he bogeyed the 15th.
Doherty, who had also started with a bogey at the first, hit four birdies in his final round but signed for a level-par 72 after carding the same number of bogeys, including a dropped shot at the 17th that saw him lose his share of the lead.
â€œIt was very, very windy during the final round,â€ said Hepworth. â€œConditions on the first two days were pretty steady, although it was quite windy on Thursday afternoon.
â€œWhen I woke up on Friday morning it was raining quite heavily and it was very windy, so I knew that any score around par would be a good one.
â€œI saw on the leaderboard that I was one shot behind with four holes to play. At that point I thought I needed a birdie and then I three-putted the par-three 15th because I had hit a poor shot into the green.
â€œI knew the last hole would play havoc. It is a really tough last hole and it started raining as I was about to tee off but I managed to keep my concentration and make par.â€
Four golfers shared third place on six under par for the tournament. Among them was Lee Clarke (Everbuild Building Products), who was left to rue three bogeys on his last six holes as he signed for a final-round 71 despite four front-nine birdies.
Steve Uzzell will also be counting the cost of a mixed round which included a triple-bogey at the 12th and four bogeys that cancelled out his four birdies. Jonathan Caldwell (Clandeboye) and James Maw (Abbeydale Golf Club) also finished two shots behind the winner.
Webber, Hepworthâ€™s joint overnight leader, signed for 81 (+9) at the end of his final round. He opened with back-to-back bogeys before parring the third. He dropped another shot at the fourth and double bogeyed the par-three fifth. There were further bogeys at nine and 12, birdies at 11 and 14 and a nine at the par-five 18th ended a torrid round for Webber.