Victorian Ashley Hall has lost out in a four-way play-off for the United Leasing Championship on the US secondary webb.com Tour. American Ben Martin clinched the event at Newburgh, Indiana when he two-putted for par on the first play-off hole on Monday morning after darkness had prevented players moving the extra holes on Sunday. Martin collected his first career win when he defeated Hall, Joe Affrunti and Billy Hurley. The quartet were tied at 11-under 277 following the end of regulation play Sunday but a four-hour rain delay meant there was not enough daylight to continue. And they had to wait a little longer when morning rains pushed the scheduled start of the playoff back an hour and 20 minutes as maintenance crews worked feverishly to make the 18th hole playable at Victoria National Golf Club, which saw more than nine inches of rain fall during the week. While Martin opened perfectly with a three wood off the tee followed be a well-placed six iron to the green Hall and Hurley followed with disastrous shots that found the water that guards the entire right side of the hole. “I knew walking off the tee that I was a little bit in command,” said Martin. “I didn’t want to get ahead of myself.”
Hall’s hopes were ruined when he hit a second ball into the water.
The Victorian had fired a final round 66 to make the play-off which left the four tied at 11 under the card at the Victoria National Golf Club.
Meanwhile, Canberra’s Brendan Jones has earned a start at this month’s British Open after collecting his 13th Japan Golf Tour title – the Open Mizuno Open in Okayama – on the weekend.
Jones led heading into the final round and was forced to repel a bid by Korean Kim Kyung Tae who joined Jones in the lead when he birdied the fifth. But the Australian drew clear when he holed a bunker shot for eagle at the following hole.
Jones eventually cruised to a three shot win over Kim with Makoto Inoue three shots further back in third spot. It was his second victory in the event after his success in 2004.
"I played great,” Jones said. “I putted well, felt like I knew where all my shots were going and felt like I was in control of the tournament all weekend and that does not happen very often!”
Jones pocketed a cheque for $A245,000 for the victory and moved to fourth on the Japan Tour standings.