By George, It’s Mullins
Young 19-year-old, newly turned professional, George Mullins wins his first professional tournament at only his second time of trying, playing at the fabulous Essendon Golf and C.C.
The New course was playing long and tough for both days and this was born out by the fact that only five players broke par and seven managed to equal it.
Mullins, from Langley Park Golf Club, led on 2 under par after the first round and headed a very experienced group on one under par that included Paul Streeter, James Watts, Rhys Pugh and Simon Griffiths, who later withdrew to compete in Morocco on the European Tour.
A glorious second day greeted the players with clear blue skies and a warm sun but as the wind strengthened scoring became increasingly more difficult.
Jamie Abbott and James Adams playing in the same group set the clubhouse target with both adding fine 2 under par 70’s to their first round 74’s to finish up on level par, which given the difficult scoring conditions was by no means out of it.
Jordan McColl took over the lead from Abbott and Adams when he posted the new target of one under par for the remaining groups to chase.
In the group immediately following McColl, Kit Holmes was on target to set a very realistic winning total as he stood on the tee at the seventeenth on 3 under par but a slightly errant tee shot saw his ball join the Geese and Swans in the left hand Lake.
The ensuing bogey saw him drop back to 2 under and with a par at the last Holmes became the new leader with only Mullins in the final group who could catch him.
Mullins was going along very nicely and came to the eighteenth tee on 5 under par and a 3 shot lead over Holmes but there was a little bit of drama to come yet that could have proved costly for young Mullins.
His tee shot though, which was in his words, “one of the best I’ve struck all day” however found a downhill lie in the right hand rough with some very large fir trees blocking his path to the green.
A simple pitch out and chip onto the green of the final hole was surely going to be the tactic that would give him a comfortable victory but!
The “Hollywood shot” was chosen and he tried to draw the ball around one of the large firs and the inevitable happened when he clipped a branch that shot the ball into more tree trouble.
Fortunately, the ball was found and Mullins hit a great, towering wedge over even more trees to find the green and a solid 2 putts for a bogey 5 saw him secure that first win as a professional by 2 shots from Holmes.
The winner of the first Mini Order of Merit winner Richard Bentham was delighted to receive his prize of a free season on the 2016/2017 Algarve Pro Golf Tour that is worth in excess of £4,000.
The second of the Five, 4 tournament Mini Order of Merits starts at Magnolia Park next week when another free season on the 2016/2017 Algarve Pro Golf Tour can be won. So wo will be joining Richard Bentham on the Algarve? Will it be you?
With two courses plus an academy course and a fabulous clubhouse where you can get reasonably priced food served with a welcoming smile Essendon Golf and Country Club is a must visit destination for every golfer.