PHIL WORTHINGTON produced a sensational final round to win The Swallow Challenge at Farleigh Court, with a 70 on Friday giving him victory by six shots over Daniel Wardrop.
Donnington Park star Worthington was among the leaders from the start at the Surrey course, coming through to take a two-shot lead into the final day.
He began Friday’s final round with two birdies in the opening three holes, and also birdied the eighth to put himself firmly in the driving seat.
Playing partner Wardrop was unable to keep up his challenge, dropping four shots in the opening eight holes, and Worthington kept his head to hold par for the final ten holes and wrap up victory.
After losing out to Michael Welch in a play-off at Heydon Grange a week earlier, Worthington admitted that he was delighted to respond with victory.
“I’m ecstatic,” said Worthington. “I played very well and kept my head.
“I birdied the first and third holes, hit two fantastic bunker shots and from there it took care of itself, but what really settled my nerves was my opening shot.
“I was a little bit nervous and it’s quite daunting on the first tee because you can’t see a landing area, but I smoked my first shot and it all came from there.
“I didn’t drop a shot in 18 holes and I’m delighted with that, because it’s a very long course. What helped us this week was that the greens rolled really well and I made my fair share of putts as well as hitting well off the tee.
“This win pushes me up the Order of Merit and hopefully I can keep my sights on a place in the top five.
“Losing in a play-off last week destroyed me, so it’s boosted my confidence too. I’m looking forward to the rest of the year now.”
Wardrop produced three birdies on the back nine, including one at the last for the third successive day, to snatch second place ahead of Ben Welch and Mark Smith.
Peter Williamson was fifth, after a final round of 75 saw him finish at level par, while Inder Van Weerelt and Lee Rhind were a shot further back.
Dutchman Van Weerelt created a new course record with a 68 on Friday, a superb effort on the longest course in Europe.
The Swallow Challenge – Final Round Leaderboard
|1||Phil Worthington (Donnington Grove)||-8||211||70,71,70|
|2||Daniel Wardrop (ISM Ltd)||-2||217||71,72,74|
|Mark Smith (Erewash Valley/Matchroom)||-1||218||72,73,73|
|5||Peter Williamson (G&D Maguire Construction)||Par||219||70,74,75|
|6=||Inder Van Weerelt||+1||220||77,75,68|
|Lee Rhind (Uphall)||+1||220||75,73,72|