Adam Wootton (Oxford Golf Centre) shot a five-under-par 67* to take the Bletchingley Pro-Am title by one stroke from Andy Raitt (St. George’s Hill).
Collecting a cool £875 for his winning performance, the 2016 Virgin Atlantic PGA South Order of Merit champion enjoyed a continued run of good form, having won the Oxfordshire and the Sonning Pro-Ams in the past two weeks. Raitt’s also been enjoying some good form in 2016, with a recent win at Banstead Downs and four others though June and July.
Delighted with his third victory in just over two weeks, Wootton commented: “I thought 67 was going to be in with a decent chance, but that birdie up the 18th proved even more valuable than I’d reckoned, as it proved just enough to keep me in front of Andy!”
Starting at the first, Wootton opened birdie, bogey, birdie, bogey, but one more birdie at the sixth got him to the turn in one-under-par. Then he really got going, with four more birdies at the 11th, 13th, 16th and 18th.
His final birdie would prove to be the winning play, because an hour after Wootton teed off, Raitt started from the 10th and was three-under-par some six holes later by the 15th.
Remaining on three-under at the turn, Raitt continued to attack with birdies at the third and fourth to get level with Wootton. But mistakes crept in and his run of bogey, birdie, bogey through the fifth, sixth and seventh would leave him one shot behind Wootton on 68.
Wootton was delighted with his victory, coming soon after his other wins at the Oxfordshire and Sonning, as he explained: “I started the 2017 season well with an early win at the Golf Escapes El Rompido PGA Pro-Am, and I’ve had some good placings and rounds since then, but it’s great to be putting some winning scores together and grab that elusive pole position.” He continued: “We had also some decent weather which was especially nice after the Waterlooville Pro-Am had been rained off two days earlier. After a wobbly start, I got the hang of the course management and I was particularly pleased with my back nine of 31.”
Wootton’s hoping to extend his run of good form as he’ll be defending his PGA Kent Open Championship title that he won last year at Prince’s.
His chance to do so comes up through the 21st and 22nd August, again at Prince’s. Wootton’s just outside the top 10 in the current placings for the Virgin Atlantic PGA South Order of Merit**, but another good performance could well help him to close the gap on current leader Richard Wallis (Canterbury).