The world renowned Pinehurst No. 2 was the setting for the final round of the 2016 Golfbreaks.com Pinehurst Pro-Am providing a fitting stage to the closing battle that saw the PGA of Great Britain & Ireland’s Darren Bragg earn both individual and team event wins.
In the Professional Individual, Bragg had a four-shot lead going into the final round courtesy of his sublime eight-under par 64 yesterday on Pinehurst’s No. 4 Course.
With matching bogeys on the 1st and 5th holes, Bragg and overnight tied-second place, Sam Cutting, maintained their starting positions, however a bogey by Cutting on the 7th saw Bragg’s lead extend to five shots after an outward 35 (-1) to Cutting’s 36 (E).
Four dropped shots by Bragg in the next six holes suddenly saw his cushion disappear to just two shots. But back-to-back birdies at 16 & 17, and a bogey on 18, saw him sign for a 74 total (+2) and a tournament total of 282 (-6).
Whilst Cutting carded the best score of the day, a super level par 72, Bragg had enough ground to secure the title and a memorable double after a super week of golf at the Pinehurst Resort in the USA.
“I am over the moon to be honest…everyone has just had the best week ever,” said Bragg. “From my side I’ve got three fantastic friends of mine, we have had an absolute treat to play the golf courses that we have. I think the obvious highlight would be the 64 yesterday but it was one of those days where everything went right and the ball just went in the hole. It was nice to get it done today and finish it off and we look forward to next year.
“I was a little bit nervous I think understandably in the position I was, I’ve tried to work out in my head that I need to get the job done. I’m going to look forward to the challenge of Pravets and the PGA Professional Championship of Europe later in the year and delighted there is an invitation there.”
Cutting took sole second place after a superbly consistent week that saw him shoot level or better on each day:
“Very consistent, I had a good start with a 70, followed it with a couple of 71s, [but] left a few shots out there today with my 72 – but all in all happy. It’s nice to find some form early on, to be able to put four rounds together on four totally different golf courses as well. Not quite enough to get Darren [though], he’s a good player…always has been and always will be, so he deserves the win.”
In the Team Pro-Am the lead has been changing on a daily basis with Team Cutting holding the lead after the midway point, however, it was the team of Bragg, and amateurs Ian Dawes, Tony Reitano & Nick Avery, who went into the final round with the two-shot lead and that proved to be a lead that was never relinquished.
A slow start, by the team’s standards, saw them play steadily until the 14th hole. From then on in the team were on a mission and an incredible closing run that consisted of various birdies and nett birdies saw them sign for an unbeatable 81 points (-9) and a superb four round total of 325 points (-37).
“We have had loads of fun as team…going out there today leading in both events – it’s been absolutely awesome,” said Bragg. “I think the key thing for us is coming to a resort that has so much history…it has just been an absolute pleasure and privilege to have these guys here with me this week.”
“Fabulous, absolutely fabulous, a golfers dream, a paradise, it has been really top,” added Ian Dawes.
The team runners-up were Team Cutting who played steadily for 73 points (-1) to take their four round total to a very respectable 315 Points (-27).
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