Fair-haired Andy Willey played the role of dark horse to perfection in winning the Titleist and FootJoy PGA Professional Championship at Little Aston.
Three sub-par negotiations of a regular Open Championship qualifying venue in superb condition had him shadowing the tournament’s pacemakers.
Come the halfway stage of the fourth and final round, however, he was still three shots adrift of Paul O’Hara, the defending champion.
The deficit remained with six holes to go but then O’Hara, seemingly on course to become the first man to retain the trophy since fellow scot David Huish in 1988, faltered.
By contrast, Willey, pictured, of Oakmere Park Golf Club, produced a cocktail of sang froid and red-hot putting to claim the £10,000 first prize and use of a Peugeot car for a year. He admitted afterwards that putting has often proved the weak spot in his game, not that that was apparent as he signed off with a bogey-free six-under-par round of 66 to finish 16-under for the tournament on 272.
“I’ve always said putting has been one of my downfalls,” he said. “But it’s been amazing all day. I holed so many today - I couldn’t put a foot wrong. Everything I hit went in.”