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Thrilling play-off triumph for Walsh

Billy Walsh battled through the wind, the rain, and near darkness to win the Gosling's Invitational in thrilling fashion.

Walsh triumphed on the third extra hole of a three-way play-off against overnight leader Kirk Hanefeld, and Zoltan Veress who had topped the leaderboard for the first two rounds.

A par was enough to seal the win for the Canadian on a day of high drama and continual movement where Walsh overhauled Hanefeld who had begun the day eight-under par and five shots clear of the Canadian.

For a while it looked like there might be a four-way play-off, with Bermuda amateur Terrance Daniels matching the professionals shot for shot in the closing stages.

Going down the 18 fairway Daniels needed only a par to finish his tournament at four-under par alongside Walsh, Hanefeld and Veress.

However his approach to the final green hit the pin and he ended up three-putting for a –bogey.

Daniels though had struggled for most of the day. After starting his final round at six-under, a birdie at the first took him to seven-under, a shot behind Hanefeld.

The wheels though came off as he had three consecutive birdies at six, seven and eight, and made the turn two-over for the day, and four-under for the tournament.

He was in good company though, as Hanefeld was having real problems of his own.

The Champions Tour player had a quadruple-bogey at the par-four fifth after firing out of bounds off the tee, and from being well ahead, was suddenly trailing Veress who's birdie at six cancelled out a bogey at two, and was at five-under.

Jim Zwolak, who also began the day at five-under, was also still in contention at that point, despite a double-bogey six on the second hole.

While all this was going on, Walsh was struggling through an up and down front nine which included three birdies and two-bogeys and saw him reach the turn at one-under and four-under for the tournament.

The back nine was a case of who could make the fewest mistakes, although for Hanefeld it was more a case of what might have been.

Despite several opportunities the overnight leader couldn't break par, and finished four-over for the day.

By that stage Walsh had moved two-ahead of Hanefeld, with birdies at 12 and 13, but he handed the shots back with bogey's at 15 and 17, the last of which could have cost him dear.

Of the others, Zwolak dropped away from the pack following his double-bogey seven at 12, while Veress, who spent all week searching for a good round, couldn't find it when he needed it and eventually had to settle for a one-over par 71, and a place in the play-off.

The top Bermuda professional was Daniel Augustus who finished four-over par for the tournament, enough for eleventh-place. Eric West and Nick Jones finished in a tie for 12 three shots further back.

In the overall standings, Terrance Daniels was all on his own at three-under, a shot behind the play-off trio, and his week's work was enough to earn him a comfortable 15-shot win in the amateur flight. Nick Mansell was second, 12 over for the tournament.

Completing what must be considered a remarkable feat, Jeffrey Lindo captured his fourth consecutive Senior Title.

His final round of three-over par was enough to see him finish well ahead of American Glenn Kelley, who was second, and Max Atherden, who was third.

Billy Walsh beat out defending champion Kirk Hanefeld, and Zoltan Veress in a three-way play-off to win the Gosling's Invitational at Belmont Hills yesterday.

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Published December 03, 2010 at 1:00 am (Updated December 12, 2010 at 2:21 pm)

Thrilling play-off triumph for Walsh

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