Mouland shows he is a cool customer
Welshman Mark Mouland held off a strong challenge from Bermuda pair Michael Sims and Camiko Smith to win the Grey Goose World Par 3 Championship at Turtle Hill Golf Club yesterday.
Mouland, the European Senior Tour and Champions Tour player, completed the 36 hole event with a one-under-par 107 that left him one shot clear of Sims and Smith, who both fired 108 to finish at even par in a tie for second.
Mouland carded a two-over-par 56 that included one birdie and three bogeys during yesterday's final round to go with a three-under 51 in the first round that earned him the $20,000 winner's purse.
After Sims and Smith had entered the clubhouse with their victory hopes hanging by a thread, Mouland kept his cool, two putting for par at the last hole to clinch the championship after his tee shot took a hard bounce to the left of the pin and stopped on the fringe behind the hole.
Mouland, who claimed multiple victories during a marathon stint on the European Tour, began the final round with a share of the lead with Andrew Jensen and Dave Levesque at three under and, unlike the latter two golfers, coped reasonably well in trying conditions.
“It was survival today and you knew par on every hole was a good score,” Mouland said. “You cannot expect to make a lot of birdies in these conditions, and all I was trying to do was make a putt on every hole and hang in there to the end.”
Mouland, who has represented Wales at the World Cup and Dunhill Cup, dropped a shot on the second hole but birdied the 5th to make the turn at even par.
The past British par-three champion lost momentum on a back nine completely exposed to the elements after two putting for bogey at holes 12 and 14 after his tee shots landed in the greenside bunker.
“With the wind gusting you get indecisive on the tee because you do not know if it is going left or right, right to left or how strong,” Mouland said. “You have three different clubs in your head and it is really guesswork.”
Mouland shot two over on the back nine to keep the charging Sims and Smith at bay.
Sims, a former Web.com Tour player, carded the day's lowest round, an even-par 54, that included four birdies and as many bogeys.
“It was tough conditions out there and the guy who won really played well,” said Sims who earned a $9,000 payday for his efforts. “It was just a lot of fun being home playing in this tournament.”
Smith made a horrendous start to the final round after dropping three shots on the first two holes. But two birdies on the back nine put him back in the hunt before his spirited fightback came up short.
He was one shot off the lead with four holes left to play but could not find that extra gear to make further inroads on the leader.
“Coming up to the last few holes I started asking my caddie what the lead was and when he told me what it was I knew I had to get something going,” Smith said. “I felt a little pressure, but I just kept pushing.”
Bermuda's Mark Phillips, who shot 109, claimed the amateur title by three shots and finished fourth overall.
Phillips closed out with one-over 55 yesterday that contained two birdies and three bogeys.
“I hit the ball well and putted well,” Phillips said. “My putting really made the difference and with the wind it was very tough.”
Will Haddrel, who fired 112, and Jevon Roberts, who shot 113, rounded off the top three in the amateur division.
Bermuda's Jeffrey Lindo (119) won the senior men's division, while overseas player Pat Ayres won the women's division by four shots over local pair Ebonie Burgess and Katrin Burnie.