Devon pro becomes Captain Fantastic in Point at Polzeath showdown

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PGA South West captain Barry Austin morphed into Captain Fantastic when the region’s final Order of Merit event of the campaign at the Point at Polzeath had to be settled by a sudden death play-off.

The dramatic climax to the Get to the Point tournament sponsored by Marston’s Brewery and the host venue was needed after Austin, Sion Bebb and David Dixon completed the 36-holes in four-under-par.

Morlais Castle Golf Club’s Bebb looked to have the momentum going into it having birdied three of the last four holes in the chase for the £1,200 first prize.

But Austin required just one extra hole – the par-four uphill ninth – to check his progress and foil Dixon’s bid for his third Order of Merit victory of the season.

Describing the drama, Austin said: “Sion and I missed the green and David was on its edge. I managed to up and down but the other boys missed. I haven’t played a lot so this is a bit of a surprise in a way, as I played really well. I hit a lot of greens and had one three-putt, which was a key point.”

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Austin, the head PGA Professional at Downes Crediton Golf Club, was fulsome in his praise of those greens as well as the course at the Cornish venue. “The course is stunning and the greens were in great condition,” he added. “I know Jeremy (the owner) and his staff ensure it’s always immaculately turned out.

It was a pleasure to be out there playing.” Dixon, meanwhile, had the consolation of winning the region’s Order of Merit by some distance.

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Having won the first two of the four event series and shared second place in the final one, the pro from Enmore Park Golf Club amassed 770 points to finish more than 160 clear of Gloucester Golf Centre’s James Dick.

As a result the pair have qualified for the end of season PGA Play-Offs which, because of the Coronavirus pandemic, will be contested next year.

They will be joined there by Ivybridge Golf Club’s Paul Hendriksen who chipped in for a birdie at the par-four 18th to claim third place at the expense of St Mellons Golf Club’s Toby Hunt and Daniel Toogood of Weston Super Mare Golf Club.

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