Downes Crediton club professional Barry Austin has become this year’s Devon PGA champion, despite fog reducing the event to 18 holes at Teignmouth.

Austin, 47, the outstanding Devon player in West events during his more active earlier playing years, eventually beat present player-of-the moment Paul Hendriksen (Ivybridge) at the fourth extra hole after both had returned four-under-par 65. Such was their domination third placed they were six shots clear of third place.

The 200-yard par three 18th hole was parred three times before Austin found the green for the fourth time and Hendriksen failed to scramble a par again.

The early weather at the hill-top course caused a four-hour delay so the second round was cancelled and the players even had to contend with a mid-round delay of an hour.

Former Royal North Devon professional Iain Parker returned 72 to become the Seniors’ champion, four better than Neil Holman (Torbay Driving Range).

A play-off was also required in the Assistants’ section after Ryan Pope (Exeter G&CC) and Harry Mayers (Torbay Driving Range) scored 72. Pope parred the first hole to win in his first year.

Austin’s immolate driving continued at in the first Winter Medal of the season at Dainton Park where he carded one-under-par 70, including four birdies and three bogeys, for another victory.

He finished two shots clear of Kevin Harper (East Devon) who also recorded four birdies.  James Urqhuart (Torquay), Jessica Bradley (Tiverton) and Mayers tied third on 73.

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