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Ben aiming to build on Putter win
16th April 2009

New Duncan Putter champion Ben Westgate finishes his job next week and sets to work on his golf, building towards the ambition of the Walker Cup at the end of the summer.

The Welsh Amateur champion was one of three joint winners of the Duncan Putter, equalling the record low score for the event at Southerndown – one of the best ‘wins' of his career so far.

After finishing on a £163 million housing development in Bath, Westgate is confident about a return to work armed with his geology Phd – but not until he has given everything he can to make the Walker Cup team to travel to America in September.

In the meantime he needs to scour the family tree looking for new birthdays to coincide with future events, after the early win leaves him top of the Pinnacle Welsh Order of Merit.

“I won the Trubshaw on my birthday, the Welsh Amateur on my sister's birthday, while it was my Dad's birthday on Sunday and it was great my parents came up to Southerndown,” he explained.

“There is no event on my Mum's birthday, while most of the rest of the family seem to be in December, but I will have to do a bit more research to find some more over the summer.”

He made a good start to that ambition with the joint win in the Duncan Putter, tied on six under with English pair Sam Matton (Bowood), Matt Haines ( Rochester & Cobham Park) on six under after a strong last round of 66. The Trevose player saw a putt to win outright lip out on the last.

Fellow Wales internationals Ben Enoch and Nigel Edwards also did well in the event, Enoch leading going into the last round and claiming the award for the best Welsh Under 21 despite a final round 75 which saw him slip down to eighth.

Edwards finished strongly with a 67 to move up to fifth, three shots behind the winners.

“The support of the Sports Council for Wales and Elite Cymru is fantastic, I can help my parents out a bit, but the aim now is to concentrate on golf for the next six months,” said 29-year-old Westgate.

“For instance I have just come back from spending an hour and half in the gym, which  I wasn't doing last year, while the work I have been doing with Wales national coach Neil Matthews for 18 months is also making a difference.

“The Duncan Putter was great, it was good to play reasonably well this early in the domestic season. I was relaxed going into it which is always the key for me playing well.

“I know now what I need to do to play well, which is to be relaxed. For instance I lost three balls over the weekend, but always felt I was playing well enough to make up for that so it did not worry me.

“On the last I had a 20 foot putt and it did look for quite a while as though it was going in, but you do not really expect to hole 20 footers so I cannot complain.”

It is a tradition of the Duncan Putter that the title is shared rather than going to a play-off, after a tough 72 holes in two days.

The next main target is the Trubshaw Cup in Ashburnham and Tenby where Westgate is the defending champion confident in the form he takes into the event.

“It is good to win a strokeplay event, I am putting pretty well, more in control of my irons so there is more of an end product to my golf,” he said.

“I have learned lessons from the early events as well, but I am not sure you can focus on the Walker Cup as a target – there are 30 or forty guys who want to get on the team.

“However if I practice hard, working in the right way, and take that into the events then who knows.”

 

 


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