Winner Sion Bebb with Ashley Mansell and Lydia Hall after the play-off.
Sion Bebb claimed his first Order of Merit trophy for 17 years after an angry swan threatened to derail his chances in the Total Triumph Classic at Oake Manor.
The 48-year-old Morlais Castle club professional beat Ladies European Tour player Lydia Hall (Hensol Golf Academy) and rising West star Ashley Mansell (Clevedon) with a birdie on the second hole of a sudden-death play-off.
Then he revealed that, after making a birdie at the par five 15th in the second round to take a one-shot lead into the final three holes, he was attacked by the swan as he was putting for a birdie at the short 16th beside a lake.
“The crazy swan put me off and I three-putted,” he said. “I missed an eight-footer for birdie at the next and only parred the last so l thought my chance had gone.
“I was struggling with my driver all week and used irons off some tees to keep in play. When I had another nasty pull-hook on the first play-off hole I thought I had gone out of bounds and my chances had gone.”
But his ball was just playable behind a clump of bushes. His brilliant, towering wedge found the fringe and he saved par. He produced his best drive of the week for the 546-yard second, followed with a three-iron to 50 feet below the hole and two-putted for victory.
His last OOM win was in the BMW Classic at Dudsbury in 2000 before his move to the European Tour. Now he wants further success and has targeted the end-of-season Play-Offs as his next goal.
That was also the aim of the other contenders at the immaculate Somerset venue. Welsh Professional champion Hall, 29, was four under par after the opening six holes of the second round and finished eagle, birdie for six-under-par 64 to break the ladies’ course record by three and set the target of seven-under 133.
She was eventually caught by Mansell who came home in four-under-par for 65. “I drove well, my iron play was solid and my putting good,” said the confident 26-year-old Somerset player who is showing every sign that he will fulfil his aim of making this his big year.