Scotland’s Andrew Davidson is celebrating the biggest win of his career after coping with the weather and opponents in Prestatyn to win the Welsh Open Stroke Play.
The 25-year-old from Fife beat fellow Scot Stephen Roger at the second play-off hole, after they both finished the regular event four shots clear of England’s William Dodds who had led going into the final round.
Former Stirling University student Davidson, who now works in the family fishing licences business, is hoping the win will push him towards Scottish international honours for the first time, though he has no plans to turn professional.
Ben Chamberlain, Padeswood and Buckley, and Jake Hapgood, Southerndown, were the leading Welsh performers in tied 8th on two over par, while Mitchell Reid, Celtic Manor, and Matthew Roberts, Royal Porthcawl, were one shot further back tied 11th.
After Friday’s play was mostly washed out, the players squeezed in three rounds over the weekend with a late finish after the Sunday Play-off seeing Davidson claim the prestigious title.
“This is my biggest win so far and I have not won anything for two to three years,” said Davidson.
“I didn’t really have any expectations coming into the week, just to keep doing what I was doing and this is a good step in the right direction. Hopefully this puts me in the frame for Scotland squad selection.
“I was on the first tee on Friday when the bad weather came in and the course flooded, it was really windy all week and in the last round the wind was up to 30mph.
“The last three rounds were hectic, but not too bad as I had space between rounds. I was able to finish both the first two rounds on Saturday, finishing while there was just enough light.”
The final round saw the lead change hands as Dodds had a solid front nine, before slipping back, while Roger came through the field with a final round 67.
“Standing on the 10th tee I was four shots behind William, but he made double bogey on 10 and bogeyed the 11th, while I made a birdie on 11 as it was hammering down with rain.
“The finishing holes are the hardest on the course and at the 14th I saw I was tied with Stephen who was playing a couple of groups ahead. He had a great round in those conditions
“I could see he had an eagle putt on the last and found out he had finished four under, a shot ahead of me, which changed my mentality slightly.
“I knew I needed a birdie up the last, I didn’t hit a great tee shot or second and left myself a 15 footer. I was quite relaxed, I felt free going for the birdie because I was guaranteed second place, and was able to hole that putt to get into the play-off.
“On the second play-off hole, back up 18, I hit a four iron to the centre of the green, one of the best shots I had hit all week, and finished with a tap in to win.”
Wales Golf Championships Manager David Wilson said, “There were some testing conditions for the players and tournament staff, but everyone was able to come through it.
“The Prestatyn course survived the bad weather and bounced back into playable condition remarkably quickly thanks to the hard work of all the staff and volunteers.
“Congratulations to Andrew, there was some high quality golf for the conditions and his consistency with two 71’s and a final round 70 was enough to see him through when most players had at least one tough round.
“It was also good to see four Welsh players in the top 15 challenging.”