St. George’s Hill star edges rivals to become PGA Southern Open champion
In an exciting finish on the Ian Woosnam Course at Dale Hill Hotel & Golf Club, Andy Raitt (St. George’s Hill) birdied the 36th hole to secure a one stroke victory in the PGA Southern Open Championship supported by CK Group.
The victory earned him a winner’s cheque for £2,000 provided by CK Group, whose long term PGA supporter and current Club Captain at Dale Hill, Ian Pether, was on hand to make the trophy presentation. Raitt’s rounds of 65 and 67 for an eight-under-par total of 132* edged Peter Tarver-Jones (West Hove) and PGA Cup qualifier Jordan Godwin (Barnehurst) into the runners up spot by one stroke and cheques for £1,250 each.
In the first Virgin Atlantic PGA South Order of Merit event of the season on home soil, Raitt was delighted: “On Monday, Jordan beat me on the 20th in the Keith MacDonald Match Play** to reach the last 16, so this win was pretty sweet! I’m turning 50, so this year’s something of a milestone and marking it with another Order of Merit win is very satisfying.”
Godwin tweeted: ‘The good form continued over the last couple of days…-7 to fall just one short of the mark. Trending in the right direction!’, while Tarver-Jones ended his tweet with a couple of thumbs up to Dale Hill.
Dale Hill had put a tremendous amount of work into the course to make the course tournament ready and the scores reflected the great condition of the greens on the Ian Woosnam Course. The southern stars produced plenty of par busting performances: of the 99 starters, 27 broke par in the first round, and a cut of level par 70 left 35 competitors for the second day; 14 then broke par in the second round.
Raitt and Godwin shot opening rounds of five-under-par 65 to share a two stroke overnight lead. The next day Tarver-Jones turned in par; at the back of the field Godwin turned in three-under 31 while playing partner Raitt went one better with 30 to go into a one stroke lead.
On the back nine Tarver-Jones made six birdies but the one bogey at the 15th would prove expensive despite his finishing on seven-under-par 133 to set the bar.
One behind Raitt at the turn, Godwin bogeyed the 10th and 13th while Raitt bogeyed the 11th and birdied the 13th. A double bogey at the 14th cut his lead back to one; pars followed and when both players birdied the par five 18th, Raitt stayed one stroke ahead to chalk up yet another Order of Merit victory in a long career of delivering winning results when it matters.
The next tournament in the Virgin Atlantic PGA South Order of Merit will be the PGA Surrey Open Championship at Cuddington starting on 8th July***.