GOLF: Michael Watson beats Stuart Little to win at Lilley Brook for the second time in four years

Stroud News and Journal: Stuart Little Stuart Little

After claiming the Dudsbury Masters order of merit title two days earlier Wessex Golf Centre professional Michael Watson shot three-under-par 66 to win at Lilley Brook for the second time in four years.

He beat local favourite Stuart Little by one shot. He could even afford to drop his only shot on the final hole after being out in three under after birdies at the first, third and eighth followed by another at the 14th.

He clearly loves the Cheltenham air as he won his only previous pro-am this year at nearby Cotswold Hills a month earlier.

This is time of year and the moment when fellow West players can only admire his talents as he reels in the prize money.

He said: “I don’t know why, but I always seem to do well from July onwards. This is certainly my time of year and everything went brilliantly for me after this time last year.”

He went on to win 13 times and become the region’s highest earner. Yet once again he started the season quietly.

Minchinhampton left-hander Little, now 47, and a former Lilley Brook assistant, also made four birdies at the first, fifth, ninth and tenth. But he dropped two shots on the third and seventh par threes. It equalled his best finish of the season – he tied second in the Dudsbury Masters pro-am.

Lee Thompson (Dudsbury), the player he coaches, shared third with two in-form Welsh-based players Liam Bond (St Pierre) and Richard Dinsdale (Parc Golf Academy) who was runner-up to Watson at Dudsbury.

David Dixon (Enmore Park), who set the early pace this season, was joint sixth on level par 69 with Cheltenham’s Russell Berry (Professional Golf Europe Ltd).

David Miles (Ferndown) brought in the winning team on 128, one ahead of Christian Vine (Woodbury Park) who beat the team led by Ross Langdon (South Cerney Golf Course) on countback.

Selected scores: 72 Ian Brown (Newent), Ross Langdon (South Cerney), Dan Carter (Upavon ), 77 Simon Harrison (Lilley Brook), 78 Matthew Evans (Cleeve Hill), Nick Ellis (Naunton Downs), 79 David Finch (Cleeve Hill).

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