Bruce's big birthday bonus
Lyndsey HewisonWeston Park amateur Bruce Bailey conjured up an early birthday present when he teamed up with club professional Michael Few to win a trip to the Bahamas.Lyndsey Hewison
Weston Park amateur Bruce Bailey conjured up an early birthday present when he teamed up with club professional Michael Few to win a trip to the Bahamas.
They won the Virgin Atlantic PGA National Pro-am Championship qualifier at King's Lynn with a seven-under par score. They pipped the King's Lynn pairing of PGA professional Mike Timson and amateur Kevin Playford on a countback over the last nine holes.
Bailey, a six-handicapper who celebrated his 20th birthday this week, will fly with Few to the Bahamas for the final in November. 'We can't wait,' said Few.
Bailey and Few knew their score had tied King's Lynn and their first question as they came off the course was: 'What did King's Lynn score on the back nine?' The Weston Park pair were two shots better with an inward half of 31.
However, they had a long wait before they were confirmed as winners: 'It was rather nerve wracking but now we know we're off to the final and hopefully we can acquit ourselves well,' said Few.
At the halfway stage of the competition the pairing looked unlikely winners. They had reached the turn at two-under but Few felt they had missed a number of chances and when he three-putted the long 10th for par he thought: 'That's it, we've blown it.'
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But they played the remaining eight holes in a blistering five under par. 'Bruce had a really good par, net birdie, on the 11th and I made two on the next. Bruce had a brilliant up and down from a fairway bunker on 14 for a net birdie and I hit it stone dead on the next for another. On the 18th I hit two of the best shots all day, a drive and gap wedge to about four feet and holed it for another birdie.
'We came off thinking we would probably get in the top three - but four hours or so later we were off to the Bahamas,' said Few.
There will be a �5,000 first prize on offer when the final is played at the Sandals Resort, Emerald Bay, on November 23-28.
The result meant continuing disappointment for King's Lynn. Head professional John Reynolds has come agonisingly close to qualifying on three occasions. He was injured this year and Timson stepped in - only to suffer the same fate.