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Wootton shows who’s boss

Wootton stages dramatic second round of seven under to snatch championship and Order of Merit title

By shooting a sensational seven-under-par second round of 63* to win the PGA South Assistants & Trainees Championship at West Hove Golf Club, Oxford Golf Centre’s Adam Wootton has also overtaken his nearest rivals to claim The Crown Inn PGA South Assistants & Trainees Order of Merit** title for 2017.

His final round meant Wootton overtook 12 other competitors on the lunchtime leader board, ending in a tie with Left Handed Golf at Silvermere’s James Ford who’d shot a second round of 66 to match Wootton’s final score.

Wootton went on to win the ensuing three hole play off, taking home not only the championship title and its cheque for £1,000 but the Order of Merit title as well, and celebrating his last year as a PGA Assistant in style.

As the new champion commented: “In the morning, I played and putted badly. On the other hand, I was ‘only’ three shots behind the leaders, and there were plenty of opportunities if I could work out how to grab them! In the afternoon I was getting my second shots closer and making the putts. That gave me more confidence to keep attacking, and as it turned out, give the play off my best shot.”

In the first round, Ford, Romsey’s Elliott Groves and Royal Mid-Surrey’s Oscar Granstrom-Livesey set the halfway pace with three-under-par 67s. After a first round of 70, Wootton was not only three behind the leaders, but trailing a further 10 players whose first rounds were all under par.

In the afternoon, Ford shot a fine 66 only to find he’d tied with Wootton who had shot a flawless 63. Having reeled off birdies at the second, fourth, fifth and eighth to reach the turn in four-under, more birdies came at the 11th, 14th and 18th.

With an immaculate inward nine of 33, Wootton was the early leader in the clubhouse but when Ford came in with a 66 to tie, the two now had to face each other in a sudden death play off.

Playing the 14th, both made par and did so again at the next hole where Wootton narrowly missed from 15 feet for the win. Back on the 14th again, Wootton’s second shot was a wedge to four inches, while Ford had bunkered his drive and splashed out to 20 feet. Ford came close, but left Wootton with a tap in to win the title and The Crown Inn PGA South Assistants & Trainees Order of Merit.

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