Dorset duo earn cheer at Carlyon

MAJOR TRIUMPH: Michael Watson with the Microsoft Masters trophy

MAJOR TRIUMPH: Michael Watson with the Microsoft Masters trophy

First published in Sport

DORSET pair Michael Watson and Jon Bevan battled through the floods to reach Carlyon Bay just in time for their tee-times – and both emerged as winners. Watson shared top place with Barry Austin (Downes Crediton) in the individual while Bevan won the team award.

With towns and villages in Dorset and Devon cut off, the intrepid Wessex Golf Centre duo were determined not to admit defeat, although they took almost five hours to complete the 125-mile trip from Weymouth.

Austin spent an anxious hour in the clubhouse wondering whether his lapses on the final two holes would prove expensive. He was six-under-par after 14 holes and coasting, but he dropped shots on 17 and 18 to sign for four-under-par 68.

Watson, who started an hour later, made four birdies in the first 10 holes but dropped a shot at the 16th. But he drew level with a birdie at 17 and a par three on the last.

Tournament controller Andy Holding said: “The weather was a bit of a worry as players experienced great difficulty in getting to the course because of the floods. But they all deserve credit for arriving in time.” Bevan, who won the individual last year with 65, finished in a tie for fifth on level par and led the winning Carlyon Bay Hotel Pro-Am team.

Watson is enjoying a fine spell that included winning the Microsoft Masters order of merit tournament at Bowood in Wiltshire last month.

He also finished second to Welshman Matt Dearden (The Vale Hotel, Cardiff) in the Cotswold Hills pro-am last week.

The soft conditions helped the scoring and he made seven birdies and did not drop a shot in his 65 – two shots behind the winner.

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