A happy return for big Bennett
GARETH Bennett made a sentimental return to his former club and won the team prize in the Cirencester Pro-am.
The tall player, who moved to Brynhill Golf Club in Wales last year to be closer to his girlfriend, helped home members Andy Tibbles and Tom Waller with Gwyn Tracey (South Cerney) win first prize with 89 points.
He came close to victory in the individual medal and his round was boosted by an eagle at the third hole.
Although a double bogey at the fifth checked his progress he raced back into contention with birdies at the tenth, 12th and 15th.
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But his chance went when he bogeyed the 17th.
He became one of four players to share third on 68.
PGA board member David Haines won a West pro-am for the first time in several years when he beat a quality field for a one-shot victory.
The former prolific winner could even afford a double bogey at the par three final hole.
It was the only blemish by the 43-year-old director of golf at Brean Golf Club and owner of the nearby Burnham Driving Range, who became his region's PGA representative when Bristol Golf Centre's Nicky Lumb stepped down this year after being chosen as captain-elect.
He made birdies at the first, third and 11th, another at the 17th and an eagle three at the 12th in a four-over-par 66.
He was an early starter and suffered the worst of the wet conditions until the weather brightened during the afternoon to favour the later players.
Michael Watson (Wessex Golf Centre) enjoyed the best afternoon weather and looked to be on his way to yet another win after an electric start with birdies at the second, third, sixth and eighth.
After dropping two shots at the ninth and tenth, he added his fifth birdie at the 17th and had to settle for second place one shot short.
Danny White (Players Club) made seven birdies but started and finished with double bogeys and also dropped a shot at the 14th.
Paul Jones (Canford Magna) was also in contention at four-under until he took seven at the par five 17th.
Lee Thompson (Dudsbury) also played well with an eagle at the third and birdies at the fifth and 17th but added two bogeys.
Home professional Ed Goodwin braved the early weather and the sun shone on his exceptional back nine that featured three birdies.
He and Joe Ferguson (Celtic Manor) were joint seventh on one-under 69.
Colin Harrison of CIA Fire and Security, one of the club's main sponsors, led the team of Tony Francis and Neil Herbert with pro Lee Thompson into second in the team event on 88 while Liam Bond (St
Pierre) headed the Total Triumph trio of Neil Mossman, Clive Thorne and Simon Rudd into third on 87 points.