South African Thomas Aiken won The Stoke by Nayland Club PGA Europro Championship after a thrilling playoff with Ian Keenan (Royal Liverpool) to take the title and the £10,000 first prize.
Keenan had been leading by a shot in regulation, but was forced to watch his putt for victory painfully horseshoe out on the eighteenth. His resulting bogey left him tied in first place with Thomas Aiken with a fourteen under par total of 202.
The pair returned to the eighteenth, where both were left having to chip onto the green, Keenan even hitting the pin in the process. Aiken sank his par putt, but once again Keenan’s attempt lipped out, this time to decide the title.
Keenan said, “I used a five iron on the eighteenth earlier and it came up a bit short so I don’t know how it went past the green in the playoff. But I’m very happy with the way I played, I didn’t make many mistakes and I’m pleased to have done so well”.
Aiken had played superbly in the final round to record a five under par score of 67 and then faced a wait in the clubhouse to see who would match him. He commented, “I was a bit cold going into the playoff as I had been waiting in the clubhouse for around half an hour. But I’d been in a few playoffs as an amateur so I knew what to do”.
He added, “I played really solidly all week, in fact I only made one bogey in the whole tournament! A couple of putts could have gone in, but that’s golf. Overall, I’m really happy with my performance and obviously I’m delighted to win!”.
Third place was shared by Matthew King (Toft Hotel) and the ever consistent Scot, Craig Lee (Balmore). Both finished thirteen under par with totals of 203.
Fifth place went to Icelandic star Bjorgvin Sigurbergsson (Keilir G.C.), whose superb final round 66 left him twelve under par for the tournament.
The best round of the day was from Albert Kruger (ISM) who overcame the difficult wet conditions to record an incredible seven under par 65. This lifted him into joint eighth place with a ten under par total.
Although The Stoke by Nayland Club has two courses, the tournament was played over the challenging Gainsborough Course. The Club is set in the middle of Constable country, treating players to some fine scenery as well as first class golf.
For full results, visit the Stoke by Nayland event under the Tournaments section.