Dundee professional delighted to lift Bernard Hunt Memorial Trophy at Foxhills Resort
DOWNFIELD pro Kenny Hutton saved his best form to last as he clinched the Senior PGA Professional Championship in dramatic fashion.
Playing at Foxhills Resort in Surrey, the 50-year-old holed his birdie putt on the 16th to keep him in contention, before chipping in for another birdie on the par-3 17th and splashing a 75-foot bunker shot to two-and-a-half feet for par to finish one ahead of fellow Scot Albert MacKenzie and claim the Bernard Hunt Memorial Trophy.
The Dundee man’s fantastic finish meant heartbreak for Saunton professional MacKenzie, who had been four-under-par through the first eight holes, only to bogey three of the last four and lose by a shot.
Hutton, who now works in an advisory role for Downfield, finished the 54-hole contest at two-under-par and heralded the achievement as the biggest of his career.
“I don’t think I’ve played three better closing holes in my life including definitely the bunker shot of my career when you consider what was at stake,” said Hutton, who walked away with a winner’s cheque for £5,250 and a place in the ISPS Handa PGA Seniors Championship.
“For me, this is massive. I’ve done okay in Scotland but I’ve never won an order of merit on the Tartan Tour. But this is the pinnacle for club pros over 50.
“Hopefully it could be a springboard and build my confidence. Half my problem has been people say I should be doing better and I’m probably the only one who doesn’t believe it. Something like this might just kick me off.”
Runner-up MacKenzie was generous in his praise for Hutton. He said: “I played fantastic to be four-under through eight and then three-putted nine and ten. I made an awful bogey at 15, but the thing I’m pleased with is that at 16, 17 and 18 I hit five good golf shots. Unfortunately there were a couple of three-putts that punished the good shots and unfortunately that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
“I felt as comfortable as you can expect to do coming into the home stretch. I’m a great friend of Kenny’s and as disappointed as I am not to win I think his bunker shot to get up and down at 18 is the sign of a worthy champion so I congratulate him.
“I thought I’d shed the bridesmaid’s tag today but we’ll regroup and I’m thrilled to be going to the PGA Seniors Championship. I just feel this was the one that got away.”