Sam Pollard produced a composed performance to clinch one of Melton Golf Club’s most sought-after titles of the season.
The season-long Race to Woodhall Spa (RWS) competition finally arrived at its destination on Saturday. RWS Order of Merit winner Rob Smith was joined by Steve Goddard, John Burgess, Jack Griffin, Sam Pollard and Phil Curtis who qualified through the top 30 play-off at Melton.
Breezy conditions greeted the players on the first tee, and the prevailing wind made the front nine very difficult with its infamous bunkering and areas of heather and gorse eager to capture any errant shots.
But Pollard made a solid start, rolling in a birdie putt on the fifth to take an early lead. His excellent ball striking was a feature of the front nine as he built a three-point lead over Curtis, Smith and Goddard at the halfway point.
Pollard bogeys on 10 and 11 opened the door and Phil Curtis mounted a charge in his second successive RWS Final appearance having come close to the title in 2014. He drew within a point of the lead, but Pollard bounced straight back at the par three 12th with a birdie.
Rob Smith was doing everything he could to chase down Pollard with a birdie of his own on the 12th, but his Race effectively ended on the par five 14th when he got into difficulties with his approach shot.
Melton junior Jack Griffin gained momentum on the back nine, but Pollard comfortably held off any challenges that came his way.
* For more information on the Race to Woodhall Spa and how to get involved, visit www.racetowoodhallspa.co.uk