Warren is surprise winner at Thorpeness

SHANE Warren of the Suffolk Golf & Water Park at Bramford was the surprise winner of the Suffolk PGA match play championship at Thorpeness yesterday.Warren beat Andrew Tokley of Stoke by Nayland in a fluctuating final that was settled on the last green.

By Tony Garnett

SHANE Warren of the Suffolk Golf & Water Park at Bramford was the surprise winner of the Suffolk PGA match play championship at Thorpeness yesterday.

Warren beat Andrew Tokley of Stoke by Nayland in a fluctuating final that was settled on the last green.

Warren was a late call-up to the event after Simon Dainty withdrew with a back strain. He grabbed his opportunity with both hands.


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In the semi-final, played in rain with a tricky breeze, Warren knocked out Kevin Earp of the Bury Golf Range by winning the 18th hole. In the final, played in ideal golfing conditions, he only needed a half at the last which he achieved with a bogey five.

Warren won four of the first six holes in the final and was still three up at the turn. Little went right for Tokley until he sank a 25-foot birdie putt at the 11th which seemed to inspire him. He had drawn level by the 14th and, with the momentum behind him, looked the probable winner.

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It did not work out that way. Warren putted in from off the green for a birdie at the 15th although Tokley hit back with a tremendous bunker shot to produce a winning par at the short 16th.

On the 17th Warren's drive was only a foot from the gorse on the right but the lie was near perfect and he chipped almost stone dead for a birdie to regain the lead and set up his victory.

Warren beat Earp in a semi-final that could have gone either way. Level on the 18th tee after both had birdies on the 17th, Earp's drive ended in a cruel lie in rough grass on the downslope behind the fairway bunker on the left. He was unable to make clean contact and the dropped shot cost him the match.

In the other semi-final James Peasey of Woodbridge was two down after three against Tokley but one up by the sixth. He lost the seventh over the pond when he found a greenside bunker on the right.

Tokley had a stroke of luck on the ninth when was had a free drop on the left of the green and was able to chip stone dead. Peasey, whose approach shot had been exceptional, missed the birdie putt so it was level at the turn.

Tokley sank a 25-foot birdie putt to go ahead on the 11th and sank one equally as long on the 12th for another birdie to go two up. Peasey found the bushes off the tee at the 13th and Tokley, who eagled the par-five 14th, went on to win 4 & 3.

Shocks results on the opening day saw leading players like Andrew Collison, the stroke play champion, Simon Harrison and Alex Lucas all eliminated. It was good to have a new name on the trophy.

Results

Semi-finals: Shane Warren (Bramford Golf & Water Park) bt Kevin Earp (Bury Golf Range) one up, Andrew Tokley (Stoke by Nayland) bt James Peasey (Woodbridge) 4 & 3.

Final: Warren beat Tokley one up.

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