CHRIS HANSON secured his first win on The Players Tour with a blistering 10 under total on a day of low scoring at Wilmslow to take home a cheque for £2,000.
The Woodsome Hall assistant pipped ex-European Tour man Paul Wesselingh, from Kedleston Park, Derbyshire, who in the second round matched Hanson’s first round 65 to finish at nine under, a shot better than Nick McCarthy (Moortown) and James Hepworth (Ilkley) who tied third.
Hanson set up victory with an eight-birdie blast in the morning, only coming unstuck with a lone bogey at the short ninth, his 18th, to lead at the halfway point by four from four players including Hepworth.
“I didn’t drive the ball all that well but took only 23 putts in the first 18 holes,” said Hanson, whose work with the Geoff Mangum putting system that John Eyre uses in his coaching at Woodsome, paid off, as it did when he was runner-up in the Players Tour event at St Annes Old Links two weeks ago.
Improved weather saw Hanson’s lead threatened. Shortly after he went through the turn at nine under, amazingly after another bogey at the ninth, Wesselingh posted a 65 to set the clubhouse lead.
McCarthy then fired a 66, as did Dave Clark, Adam Runcie and Harry Proos, but Hanson seemed likely to secure his win provided he made no major slips on the back nine.
His finish was not without drama. A dropped shot at the 17th saw him needing a birdie on the par five 18th and he achieved that in style with a second shot to within 10 feet of the pin from where he carefully two putted for a deserved victory to go second the in the Order of Merit behind Grant Hamerton (Pike Fold), winner of the two opening events.
Hanson said: “I had a second shot of 230 yards to the green at the last and the 3-iron I hit could end up as my best of the year.”
Leading scores: 134 - C Hanson 65 69. 135 - P Wesselingh 70 65. 136 - N McCarthy 70 66, J Hepworth 69 67.
Hanson, runner-up to Ambler for last season’s Yorkshire PGA Order of Merit title, missed yesterday’s first merit qualifier, the Bridlington Links Challenge as he was heading his own St George’s Day Classic pro-am at Oulton Hall, Leeds.
Local men challenging for merit points were Darren Arber (West End), Rob Kershaw (Mirfield DR) and Willow Valley duo Darren Rands and Wayne Pendlebury.
Bradley Hall’s Robert Booth shot 70, one off the pace, in the De Vere North Region Championship East qualifier at Ilkley to bank his start in the flagship event at Heron’s Reach, Blackpool, in September.
Booth grabbed an eagle at the 504-yard fourth to go with one birdie in a one over score, a shot behind Steve Fawcett (Morpeth), Gary Brown (Ganton) and Geoff Harris (Rudding Park).
Others included: 77 - J Coverley (Bradley Park). 80 - T Wild (Bradley Park).