ENMORE Park’s Touring Professional David Dixon ended the day as the winner of the G&S PGA Medal at a frozen Burnham and Berrow Golf Club.
In what is always one of the most popular events of the year he carded 35 points to win by one from Henbury assistant Ross Langdon as the scoring was amended to the Stableford system to allow for the frozen ground which the large field of 29 had to contend with.
A bright but bitterly cold day greeted the players as they arrived on the Somerset coast but an overnight frost had left the fairways and greens a little on the bouncy side especially for the early starters.
Despite that the course was as always in superb condition with more than a few tricky pin positions to test the Pro’s. Some of the later starters had a slight advantage as the sun thawed the surface a little and Dixon was one of these.
After losing his European Tour Card last season and failing to regain it at the Qualifying School Dixon has turned his attentions to the Challenge Tour in 2013. With that yet to get going he has entered some of the local PGA Medals in an attempt to get his game sharp and competitive ready for his upcoming tournaments.
His first start saw his first win as he negotiated the Championship course in one over par 72 which equated to 35 stableford points. A clumsy bogey at the third was added to with another at the sixth when the putter misfired.
He cancelled those dropped shots out with an excellent chip and putt at the long eighth resulting for a birdie before his tee shot at the par 3 next almost landed straight in the hole. It ended close enough to register his second birdie of the day and return to level par. His back nine was made up of bogies at the 11th and 16th when again putting issues caused the problems but he had no problem converting a lengthy downhill putt for his solitary back nine birdie at the 14th.
As Dixon is in a TP category of the PGA he was not eligible for the Total Triumph Order of Merit points so second placed Langdon gratefully took the full 10 points on offer. He, like Dixon, birdied the eighth and ninth on the way out to repair the damage of bogies at the second and seventh. Another birdie at the 12th moved him under par for the round but 3 dropped shots in his last 6 holes, one crucially at the closing hole, cost him the outright win.
Filton’s Daryl Kelley and Brean’s Andrew March played alongside Dixon in the same threeball and certainly got dragged along in his slipstream as they shared third spot on 32 points to both pick up some useful Order of Merit points. Saltford’s Darren Read and Cirencester Head Pro Ed Goodwin were tied in fifth on 31.
Long time Total Triumph Order of Merit leader Rod Hibbitt (Cotswold Edge) has suffered a stuttering start to the New Year and now finds himself joined at the top of the table. Defending Order of Merit Champion Giuseppe Licata from Bristol Golf Centre collected four points at Burnham which was enough to draw him level at the summit with Hibbitt. Ed Goodwin is quietly sneaking up on them though in third position and is now less than ten points behind.
Tomorrow (Wednesday), Minehead and West Somerset Golf Club gets a visit from the Gloucester and Somerset Pro’s in what is a lengthy trip for almost everyone!