Woolgar wins Buildbase Open play-off

Woolgar wins Buildbase Open play-off

July 20th, 2012

George Woolgar recovered from a woeful start to win the Buildbase Open by beating Mark Laskey in a play-off at Frilford Heath Golf Club.

Englishman Woolgar (Capitalservices) had a two-shot overnight lead on 10 under par but six dropped shots on the opening four holes left him trailing by three.

Laskey (Brocket Hall) had been six shots off the pace after 36 holes but a final-round 69 guided him to seven under par, enough to earn a play-off.

James Watts (The Sports Academy), Paul Reed (Bristol & Clifton Golf Club) and George Cowan (Westerhope Golf Club) tied for third on six under par.

Woolgar got off to a difficult start with a bogey at the first and he lost his lead with a double bogey at the second, where Reed had made birdie to climb to seven under par, level with Woolgar and one shot behind Martin Sell (Wrag Bran Golf Club) who had been two behind overnight and opened Friday’s scoring with three pars.

Sell then dropped to seven under with a bogey at the fourth and a repeat at the fifth saw him surrender the lead to Reed, who at that point had just made par at five and six.

Woolgar continued to slip down the leaderboard with a sixth dropped-shot at four but he managed his first final-round par at the fifth. He pulled one back at six and gained further momentum with a birdie three at seven. Sell remained at six under with birdie, bogey leaving both one shot off leader Reed.

At the par-three ninth Woolgar landed his tee shot six feet away from the pin and holed the putt to reclaim a share of the lead on seven under par. However, he had to retake his tee shot at 10 and bogeyed the hole.

One group ahead Reed made bogey at 12 as Laskey birdied the 14th. That left Woolgar, Sell, Reed and Laskey all tied on six under with Cowan, Watts and Scott Arnold (NSW Golf Club) all five under par.

Sell dropped back with a bogey at 12 and another at the 15th ended his chances of victory. Having teed off slightly earlier than the overnight leaders Watts returned to the clubhouse to sign for a 69, a birdie at the last taking his total score to six under par.

However, his clubhouse lead didn’t last long. Laskey made birdie at 18 to take his total score to seven under par. Knowing he was one shot off the lead, Woolgar notched up another birdie at 17 and made four at the 18th to force the play-off.

Along with Laskey he headed to the 18th tee to commence the sudden-death play-off. Woolgar found the green in regulation but Laskey wasn’t as fortunate. The Welshman’s third shot took him close, leaving Woolgar an unlikely 20-foot birdie putt to claim the £10,000 winner’s cheque. However, the overnight leader hit it perfectly and it dropped in to the delight of his father, who leapt into the air with delight.

“I made silly mistakes on my first few holes but I believed in my technique and when I hit it well it I hit it close to the hole and was able to make some birdies,” reflected Woolgar after the play-off.

“I hit the winning putt really well and it broke left to right and as soon as I hit it felt good and my instinct told me it was going in.

“I have holed some good putts this week, I have pitched the ball well and the distance control has been fantastic, though early on in the last round I felt like a different person.

“I have a week off now before the two EuroPro events in Scotland and I am looking forward to that. I’ll catch up with my coach and then carry on and try and win again to get into the top five. I have been on the EuroPro Tour for a few years but this is my first win and that has been a target for me. Now I want to go from here and get another win in one of the last five events before the Tour Championships.”

Reed’s tied-third finish takes him to the top of the Tour Order of Merit, while Woolgar moves to third. The top five at the end of the season will be rewarded with a category on next season’s Challenge Tour.

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