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James wins the Lookers Championship​

Richard James wins the Lookers Championship

Richard James claims his first professional title at the Lookers EuroPro Tour.

The Welshman won with a 54-hole score of ten under par, claiming the £10,000 in a fantastic finish after trailing Billy Hemstock for most of the final round.

It was looking like a Hemstock win until James shot a final-round 68, three under par, but was still three shots behind when he hit his tee shot at 13. It was when he birdied that hole in the group behind Hemstock, the 11 under, which bogeyed it to see the gap reduced to one.

Another birdie at 17 saw James draw level and with the pressure of needing a par at the last Hemstock pulled his tee shot at 18 into the thick rough.

The Devon man was left finishing two back on eight under in second.

After his win, James commented: “I was buzzing all day out there, I was enjoying myself and had a smile on my face all day,”

“It isn’t often you are in contention and I wanted to enjoy it, and I think that is the biggest reason why I performed the way I did.

“My putting was key. I kept it in play but I putted unbelievably. The putt on 18, I will remember that for a long time.

“I don’t play for the money but that is a huge part of playing and I can kick on now and push for that top five at the end of the year.”

In third place on six under par was Chris Lloyd with David Booth, Luke Corford and Ashley Chesters.

Hemstock’s efforts were not wasted as he left with a runners-up cheque of £6,000 and a move up to second on the Race To Desert Springs.

The Lookers Championship, part of the PGA EuroPro Tour, was held last week (27th to 29th September) at Close House in Northumberland. Highlights will be broadcast on Sky Sports on Tuesday, 9th August.