Matt Moseley and Rich James unleashed a barrage of birdies on the back nine at Carden Park to turn the battle to win the Golfbreaks PGA Fourball Championship into a triumphant tale of the unexpected.
The Welsh duo had begun the third and final round three shots shy of the leaders, Ireland’s Brian Doheny and Steven Quinlan, on 16 under par. Given the tournament’s better-ball format, it was hardly an insurmountable deficit.
However, their low-key negotiation of the front nine on the Nicklaus Course at the Cheshire resort that yielded just three birdies gave no hint of what was to follow. Birdie number four arrived at the 10th hole and that lit the blue touch paper which resulted in an explosive finish and the £5.500 first prize.
Six more birdies followed in the last eight holes, including one at the par-five 18th, the nemesis for a trio of pairs harbouring hopes of victory.
Richard Wallis and Jordan Godwin, Louis Boston and Darren Bragg, and James Ruebotham and Robert Watson, who shared second place with 2008 champions Jason Levermore and Andrew Pestell, all needed birdies there but had to settle for pars.
In the event, a birdie would not have changed things. Moseley saw to that by holing an eight-footer for a three-round total of 26-under and a two-shot victory. Not that he was aware of the putt’s significance.
“We kept away from leader-board all day,” said Moseley, who is attached to Tenby Golf Club and is one exam away from completing his PGA training. “We did nothing special on the front nine but started playing some nice stuff on the back nine and had a really good finish. As for the putt on the 18th, I liked the look of it. It was quite straight and luckily it went in.”
The victory is a culmination of a long friendship forged through golf and an invitation extended from Moseley to James earlier this year.
“We’ve grown up together, know each other well and are good friends,” added James, who represents Tour Fit Golf. “We played together for Wales and have quite similar games. Matt asked me at the start of the year to play with him in this and it’s worked out well.”
CLICK HERE for a full list of scores