Uzzell places second at Moor Allerton GC where Armitage’s third place puts him close to the top of order of merit
YORKSHIRE finished with three players in the top four at Moor Allerton GC as Welshman Mark Laskey won the HotelPlanner.com PGA EuroPro Tour’s first 72-hole event, the Clipper Logistics Players Championship, by two strokes from Hornsea’s Steve Uzzell.
Howley Hall’s Marcus Armitage (66 72 74 68), first-round leader and winner last week of the Tree of Life Championship in Newcastle, finished third, two back of Uzzell who collected £7,200 for placing second.
And one shot further back in a tie for fourth was Doncaster’s Graeme Clark (70 72 70 69).
Uzzell (73 70 68 67) had a bogey-free final round which was sparked into life with three consecutive birdies from the fourth.
“I holed from about 10 feet at four and then had a couple of four-, five-footers at five and six,” said former Russian amateur champion Uzzell.
“Obviously that tells you that you are in with a bit of a chance although you can’t tell what the boys behind are doing.”
His only minor problems came with slightly errant tee shots at 10 and 16, but he retrieved pars at both, admitting he got a touch lucky at the latter where his drive was in the trees.
“Sometimes when you hit it in the trees you just have to chip out sideways, but I got lucky because I had a bit of a gap,” he said.
There was no fortune involved in making his par though as he punched a low shot to the fringe of the green and putted dead from 60 feet for a tap-in par.
Armitage decided to gamble on a change of putter – a five-putt green on the 16th in round three probably providing the impetus for him to “buy a ticket for the day” - and he rolled the ball sweetly on the short stuff without being massively rewarded.
At the 413-yard par-4 14th the putter was not required where, for the fourth successive round, he risked driving over the trees to cut off the 90-degree dog leg.
Three consecutive perfectly-placed drives had only brought three pars. Perversely, in the final round his drive caught the trees leaving him with 108 yards up and over tall trees - and he holed his hooded lob wedge for an eagle 2.
His £3,600 cheque in Leeds puts him only £150 behind the Race to Desert Springs leader Sam Connor and Armitage, winner of two events this year, said: “That’s my aim now - to finish top of our order of merit.”
Welshman Laskey carded a final-round 68, three under par, for the eight-under win, his second on the EuroPro Tour having won at Rowallan Castle in 2013.
The victory sees him move to seventh on the Race To Desert Springs and is a welcome boost for the Brocket Hall-based player, who recently returned from a three-week absence forced upon him by appendix surgery.
Laskey began the final round one back from Jamie Elson (Team Jenahura), but the Surrey-based golfer carded a final-round 75 and finished tied for eighth, six shots back from the winner.
Uzzell missed a short birdie opportunity at the last which, had he made, would have heaped the pressure on Laskey, who in the end was two clear as he walked onto the final tee of the tournament.
The final round was filmed for a two-hour highlights package which will air on Sky Sports on Tuesday, September 8.
The next HotelPlanner.com PGA EuroPro Tour event is the HotelPlanner.com Championship at Prince’s Golf Club next week, after which the top 60 on the Race To Desert Springs will be invited to the season-ending Matchroom Sport Tour Championship in Spain.