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Tottey ‘sails’ to victory

WELSHMAN Matthew Tottey won the PGA North Region Championship at Kendal club Carus Green thanks to an incredible stroke of luck.

He misjudged his tee shot to the short 18th and it was not until he reached the green that he learned that his ball had struck a sponsor’s sail banner, which prevented it from going out of bounds.

“I had 163 yards to the flag and hit what I thought was a perfect eight iron with the wind coming off the right. Maybe I’d pulled it slightly and there was a bit of adrenalin but I consider I was very fortunate to still be in play,” he admitted.

Tottey safely made his par to post a seven-under round total, comprising five birdies in a flawless first round and three in the next, which contained his lone bogey.

“The wind was all over the place and it was difficult to judge where it was coming from,” he added after prevailing by two shots from former Leeds Cup winner David Smith, professional at Swinton Park.

“But it was great to get a bit of luck for a change. My mates take the mickey out of me because it’s usually always bad!”

Tottey, 34, also won the eve of tournament Pro-Am, which helped to familiarise him with the course he had not previously seen and which will be home of the PGA In England & Wales (North) flagship event for three years.

He was clearly relieved by his success after a couple of quiet years.

“I’ve had a few ups and downs,” he revealed.

“I played on the Challenge and EuroPro tours and lost my sponsor but have a new one now. I’ve also returned to my former coach Adrian Fryer who’s made some swing changes. We are not quite there yet but I’m optimistic I’ll get it all back on track.

“I hope to play Challenge Tour again but there’s no point if I keep missing cuts. But I have faith in my own ability and it’s great to win again, especially in the region and I plan to play in all the order of merit events.”

Meanwhile, Tottey has plenty of time on his hands, or rather wrists – his Pro-Am and championship victories earned two Etiqus watches!