Houston lands Abu Dhabi prize after play-off

CHESTER-based Welshman Garry Houston secured victory at the 2015 Mercedes-Benz International Pro-Am in association with Abu Dhabi Sports Council, after an epic play-off battle against fellow PGA of Great Britain & Ireland professional, Alex Wrigley, ended on the fourth extra hole.

 

GARRY HOUSTON

GARRY HOUSTON; Play-off win

After both finishing at a three round total of 13-under-par, former Leeds Cup winner Houston and Wrigley entered into a play-off on the 18th hole that was halved in par fives three times, but ended with a birdie three for Houston ahead of Wrigley’s par four as they moved to the 16th hole.

Whilst Wrigley drove the green in one and Houston was just short, it was the latter that managed to convert his approach to a birdie to take the Championship.

“It was a bit like the hare and the tortoise coming up this par-five 18th,” explained Houston.  “Alex has a lot more length than me but I knew where he left it would mean that he was going to have difficult shots to get it up-and-down for birdie, so as soon as we got off 18 onto 16 I knew I’d have a chance.

“My game plan for the week was to win really – it was a good field and the scoring was really good at the top, I wanted to play well and do the best I could.”

Wrigley  led for the previous two rounds and whilst he missed out on the win there were plenty of positives to take from his performance:

“Like every week you’re trying to play your best and trying to win – my game’s been in decent shape for the last couple of weeks – I’ve been changing a few things over the winter and they’re obviously paying off.”

Houston began the day three shots behind overnight leader Wrigley but the Welshman made light work of the deficit with three birdies at in his opening six holes.  A bogey at nine was also swiftly dealt with after two birdies at 11 and 12.

A further bogey at 13 dropped him back to ten-under, but a fantastic three birdies in his closing three holes for a six-under 65 propelled him to the a joint lead with Wrigley.

Wrigley’s final round began on a strong footing with early birdies on the front nine at holes three and five.  A further birdie at 10 took him to -13, however things hit a speed bump at holes 14 and 15 as the Englishman made two consecutive bogeys to drop back to -11.

But two birdies at 16 and 18 got him back to a three-under 68 and a total of -13 where he led for most of the afternoon until he was caught by Houston.

 

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