Whiff of good fortune for Bishop's Stortford Masters winner

PUBLISHED: 10:59 18 June 2008 | UPDATED: 21:15 26 October 2009

GOLFER Sean Whiffin was a fortunate winner of the Bishop s Stortford Masters after winning a sudden-death play-off with a bogey. Whiffin, a golf teacher at The Hertfordshire Club in Broxbourne, won the first PGA East Region order of merit event after a na

GOLFER Sean Whiffin was a fortunate winner of the Bishop's Stortford Masters after winning a sudden-death play-off with a bogey.

Whiffin, a golf teacher at The Hertfordshire Club in Broxbourne, won the first PGA East Region order of merit event after a nail-biting play-off against Clacton's Jason Levermore.

Both men had rounds of 66, 69 to finish tied on seven under par 135.

The 380-yard 10th hole, by no means the hardest on the course, provided the setting for some dramatic twists and turns.

Whiffin hit his tee-shot into long grass on the right and was forced to chip out.

Levermore was in semi-rough 130 yards from the pin.

His wedge pitched on the down slope behind the green and the ball ended unplayable in a hedge.

Whiffin completed a bogey five, while Levermore, this time with a gap wedge, found the green with his fourth shot but needed a 25-foot putt to stay in the match.

It proved too much to ask and Whiffin collected first prize of £1,515 and Levermore took home £1,011.

Winner Whiffin admitted in his victory speech that he had been lucky.

He said: "I am planning to play in the PGA East Region order of merit events this season and hope to win a place on the Srixon PGA play-offs at the end of the season.

"I would love the chance to play in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth next year.

"I was fortunate today but it was a good start to the season."

He seemed to have the tournament in the bag when he was 11 under par with four holes to play in his second round.

A double bogey at the 174-yard par three 15th then brought uncertainty.

His seven-iron tee-shot flew and ended deep in woodland.

He dropped further shots at the 16th and 18th, which left the door ajar for Levermore, who birdied the 13th and 14th and eventually needed to sink a 20 foot birdie putt on the last to force the play-off.

Mid Herts' Robert Leonard hung in for third place at five under par after rounds of 66, 71.

His belly putter served him well with a tricky birdie putt at the short eighth after he had missed an easier birdie attempt at the previous hole.

Paul Curry, the former European Tour and US Tour player, shared fourth place with Brett Taylor of Chelmsford on 138.

Braintree's Curry shot 71, 67 and Taylor 66, 72.

Brickendon Grange's Andy Clapp had rounds of 72 68.

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