Beedles Lake pro Matt Cort tops sensational season with PGA Play-off win

Cort topped the PGA EuroPro Tour Order of Merit this season to earn his Challenge Tour card. EMN-160211-104613002
Cort topped the PGA EuroPro Tour Order of Merit this season to earn his Challenge Tour card. EMN-160211-104613002
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Beedles Lake professional Matt Cort pulled off a sensational PGA Play-Offs victory to cap an emphatic season of success.

As well as the £2,000 winner’s cheque, Cort has secured automatic places in next season’s BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth and the British Masters.

It was third time lucky for Cort who moved to the East Goscote club last year.

“I am thrilled,” he said. “I have had a couple of seconds in this event so it’s fantastic to finally win it.

“This caps off a great season. It is great to finish it number one.”

He was pushed all the way to the title in the final round at the East Course links at Saunton, as a comfortable three-shot overnight lead came under attack from Robert Coles, Damien McGrane and Greig Hutcheon.

Coles was relentless and stood on the 16th tee three shots clear of Cort on eight-under after reeling off seven birdies and just one bogey over 15 holes.

Cort, meanwhile, had slipped back to five under after dropping successive shots at the 11th and 12th.

“I was watching the other two and I did not start that well. The round got away from me a little bit although I held on.”

The event hinged on holes 15 to 17 when Cort tightened his grip and Coles saw his challenge slip away.

Cort fired in a sensational eagle at 15 to pull himself back to -7 as Coles hit trouble with bogies at 16 and 17.

The eagle at 15 meant Cort could par the last three for a level par 71 and secure a one-shot victory.

He believed dropping behind had helped him discover his best golf over the closing holes.

“When I bogied 11 and 12 and saw that Rob and Damien were having good days, that probably put me in a good position,” Cort said. “Because then I was playing catch-up a little bit.

“You have to change the way you play. You cannot play defensive anymore because you haven’t got the lead. After 12, I played really well.”

The victory is the high point in a season which also saw him top the PGA EuroPro Tour Order of Merit which guaranteed him his Challenge Tour card.

He will also play in the PGA Cup side along with Coles and Hutcheon.

Cort added: “Scoring and ball striking-wise, this has been one of the most consistent years of my career.

“That gives me confidence to go on for next year.”

After a few rare days off to see wife Leanne and three-year-old son Charlie, Cort will fly out for the second stage of European Tour qualifying in Spain.

“I have had two nights at home in three weeks,” he revealed. “So I am missing my family.

“But with the form I’m in right now, I have to go over there and have a go.”