Thrilling Finale at Farnham in Order of Merit race

Woodman seals win in last Virgin Atlantic event

After losing to Lee-on-the-Solent’s James Ablett in the Keith MacDonald PGA South Match Play final at the start of the week, Guy Woodman (Longball) bested his rival on the last green to win the PGA Farnham Finale OOM* with a gutsy 15-under-par total of 201, concluding the 2015 Virgin Atlantic PGA South Order of Merit**.

Ablett’s second place finish underlined his domination of the 2015 Virgin Atlantic PGA South Order of Merit, and the new champion finished with 493 points, well in front of second placed Barham on 361. But with 100 points for the PGA Farnham Finale win, Woodman’s 308.2 points leapfrogged rival Chris Gane’s 244.5 (LeftHandedGolf@Silvermere) to grab that elusive ticket to the PGA Play Offs in November.

With Farnham in fabulous condition for the three rounds, Woodman shot 67, 65, 69 to collect the £3,000 first prize and a magnificent trophy, while Ablett’s 64, 68, 70 picked up a cool £2,000. Third place and £1,200 went to Tom Fleming (Newbury & Crookham) with 68, 68, 68 for a total of 204.

Woodman was delighted, saying, “On Monday I was pretty annoyed with myself after losing my two hole lead over the last four holes to James, but the last thing I imagined was that we’d be going head-to-head again just four days later. It was tremendously exciting and although I was very nervous, I stuck to my game plan and it all came good when I birdied the last hole.”

With the first two Order of Merit places already in the hands of overall leader Ablett and second placed Benn Barham (PGolfCoaching@Pedham), seven players were within sight of third place and the last ticket to the PGA Play Offs in Turkey.

Knowing he needed to deliver a top class performance to snatch third place, Woodman’s flawless first round of five-under-par was still three shots behind Ablett’s spectacular eight-under-par 64 around the challenging Farnham layout. Ablett then added a solid 68 in the afternoon to lead on 12-under-par.

Undaunted by his rival’s first round 64, Woodman opened his second round with an eagle, made four more birdies to be out in 29, and then another three to offset two bogeys for a terrific 65 to share the lead with Ablett.

Snapping at their heels on 10-under-par were southern stars Robert Gowers (67, 67) and Benn Barham (66, 68), while Fleming was on eight-under and Adam Wootton (Oxford Golf Centre) on seven-under.

In the third round and paired with Ablett in the last group, Woodman rescued his poor opening holes with a spectacular eagle on the par four fourth, but another bogey at the ninth left him two shots behind Ablett’s front nine comprising two birdies and pars.

Then over the last nine, Woodman birdied the 11th and 12th to be one behind when Ablett also birdied the 12th, but another birdie on the 14th put him level with Ablett with four holes remaining.

After Ablett’s bogey on the 16th and Woodman’s on the 17th, they were level pegging again on the par five 18th tee. Digging deep, Woodman found the green in two while Ablett missed to finish with a par, and two putts was all Woodman needed to clinch victory.