Formby Hall Golf Resort & Spa’s first ever PGA EuroPro Tour event was a roaring success.
The course record was smashed as hundreds of fans turned out to see the inaugural Formby Hall Classic.
Elliot Saltman’s (Aegon) record breaking 65 on the first day was not enough to prevent Tom Haylock (Ground Construction Ltd) walking off with the £10,000 prize.
Haylock began the final day five shots off the lead at one under par but set about climbing the leader board with seven birdies in his final round – five in six holes from the ninth – and clinched the title by one stroke from James Freeman at five under despite a double bogey at 17.
“I wasn’t really thinking about it at the start of the day,” said Haylock, who climbs from tenth in the Order of Merit to sit one place behind money list leader Scott Jamieson. “I knew it was going to be windy throughout but I can’t say I was looking for anything other than one or two under and top ten really.
“I just started holing putts at the start of the back nine. I looked at the scoreboard at 15 and knew I was on top and if I could pick one more up in the last few holes I’d be in great shape. Then came the double bogey at 17 and the last is a tough hole too so I thought ‘here we go’, but thankfully in the end it was enough.”
Tim Cowell, business development manager at Formby Hall Golf Resort & Spa, said: “The event was a great success; we witnessed some exceptional golf on a very challenging course, five under par was the best score and difficult to get with a prevailing wind.
“It was a great three days of golf, a new course record was set and now our thoughts are turning to next year as we consider securing the Tour again.”
With the end of the Tour drawing closer, the £10,000 first prize at Formby Hall was much coveted in the chase for a top five spot and a Challenge Tour card, something that the champion is very aware of.
“I’m in a great position of course but there’s still work to be done. The Tour Championship is worth £20,000 to whoever wins so that’s two tournaments effectively, but a top five place is in my hands now,” said Haylock, a 33/1 shot for the tournament with official bookmakers Sky Bet.
The PGA EuroPro Tour moves to Five Lakes Hotel, Golf, Country Club & Spa for the Brooks Brothers 2009 Classic in Essex, beginning Wednesday August 26.