Two places to the PGA Play Offs look an easy call, but the third is up for grabs.
As befits the final event of the 2015 Virgin Atlantic PGA South Order of Merit*, there’s going to be high drama at the PGA Farnham Finale OOM, at Farnham GC on 8-9 October, as the outcome determines which players book the three places to the Titleist PGA Play Offs in Turkey in a month’s time.
With an overall prize fund in excess of £16,000 and a top prize of £3,000, it’s also one of the season’s richest pickings, but for a number of the southern stars at the top end of the Order of Merit, it’s the points on offer which could make all the difference.
As it stands currently after his win over Longball’s Guy Woodman in yesterday’s Keith MacDonald PGA South Match Play final, the left handed star from Lee-on-the-Solent James Ablett now leads Benn Barham of PGolfCoaching@Pedham by 106 points. Barham in turn is 99 points ahead of nearest contender Chris Gane (LeftHandedGolf@Silvermere), so the names on the first two tickets to Turkey look set in stone.
However, the next seven places are tightly bunched and those 100 points could change things completely. Lying in third place for now, Gane is now only six points ahead of Woodman who as the losing Match Play finalist leap-frogged a number of his rivals to land in fourth spot in the Order of Merit, and right into contention for that elusive third ticket to Turkey.
Woodman’s just clear of past regional number one Andy Raitt (St. George’s Hill) whose 2015 season has seen him produce eight victories and a lot of top ten placings. A little further back are the trio of Scott Stevens (Staplehurst), Lea Cooper (Tilgate Forest) and Craig Cowper (Surrey Downs), while Adam Wootton (Oxford Golf Centre) is still in touch.
The net result is that seven players are right in the mix for that third place to Turkey, and with the PGA Farnham Finale OOM sure to produce some fireworks, it’s all much too close to call.