SION Bebb shot nine-under-par 62 to win the Players Championship at Cumberwell Park despite languishing down the field after the first round, writes PETER GODSIFF.

The Morlais Castle club professional and former European Tour player was so dissatisfied with an opening two-under 69 he immediately went to the practice ground.

He said: “I was getting stuck, leaning far too much to the right and hitting poor shots. Only my putting saved me. Fortunately I managed to sort it out for the second round which was probably my lowest in this country.

“I remember shooting 10 under on a mini-tour in America many years ago but this was my best over here. I have never putted so well before.”

He birdied all four par threes in a flawless all-round display as he gradually leapt through the field with halves of 30 and 32 making four decisive birdies in the final six holes.

He will be 50 in October and remains ambitious. He enjoyed his first experience of the Play Offs at Walton Heath last year and would love to qualify again for this year’s trip to Turkey.

He also plans to attend the Staysure Tour qualifying school in Portugal this winter.

David Dixon, the Enmore Park touring pro who has enjoyed consistent success on a variety of stages this season, was Bebb’s closest challenger and at one stage looked the probable winner.

He eventually fell two shots short and rued a missed four-footer on the tough 15th for his second bogey of the round and a ten-foot eagle putt after driving the 17th green.

He was clearly as disappointed as Chris Gill was elated. The Newquay club professional jumped from 22nd overnight to third after a blemish-free eight-birdie 63, his best round for years.

“It’s been a long time coming and I surprised myself although I also finished third at Truro last week,” he said.

First round leader Matt Turner (Oake Manor) slipped to a tie for sixth after 72 while Matt Moseley (Tenby) failed to repeat his opening round form and fell from second to 19th.

Class and experience was rewarded by another former European Tour man Stuart Little (Minchinhampton) and player-of-the-future Toby Hunt (St Mellons) who shared fourth.

Former Europro Tour champion Kevin Harper (East Devon), Brian Lee (Parc) and ex-PGA champion Scott Drummond shared eighth while one-time PGA champion James Lee, from the nearby Lansdown club, shared tenth in a rare appearance.

The week was an undoubted success and Cumberwell’s director of golf John Jacobs said: “We have been proud to host such an important event which will continue. Our owners the James family are keen to our relationship as they are keen supporters of the PGA.”

Regional manager Robert Moss said: “This is probably the most popular venue on our calendar and all the players love coming here where they are made so welcome. The outstanding scores reflect the great condition of the course.”

Leading scores: 131: Sion Bebb (Morlais Castle) 69, 62 - £1,800; 133: David Dixon (Enmore Park) 66, 67 - £1,400, 134: Chris Gill (Newquay), 71, 63 - £1,050; 135: Stuart Little (Minchinhampton) 68, 67, Toby Hunt (St Mellons) 66, 69 - £712 each; 136: Kevin Harper (East Devon) 70, 66, Matthew Turner (Oake Manor) 64, 72 - £475 each; 138: Brian Lee (Parc Golf Club/Asbri Golf) 69, 69, Scott Drummond (Plymouth) 68, 70 - £375 each; 139: William Farley (Bovey Castle) 71, 68, Danny White (Broome Manor) 71, 68, James Lee (Lansdown) 69, 70, Paul Hendriksen (Ivybridge) 68, 71 - £287; 140: Michael Watson (Wessex Golf Centre) 73, 67, Ashley Mansell (Clevedon) 72, 68, Craig Melding (Neath) 70, 70, Mark Wiggett (Dudsbury) 69, 71, Jacob Hunter (Broadstone) 67, 73 - £193 each; 141: Matt Law (Chippenham ) 71, 70, Louis Boston (Chippenham) 70, 71, Ryan Pope (Exeter Golf & Country Club) 69, 72, Matthew Moseley (Tenby ) 65, 76 - £146 each; 142: Dan Carter (Upavon) 72, 70, Alex Munro (Bristol Golf Centre) 72, 70, Lee Corfield (Burnham & Berrow ) 69, 73, Mark Searle (High Post) 69, 73 - £123 each; Luke Collins (Bristol & Clifton) 77, 66, Henry Pallas (Upavon) 77, 66, Luke Derrick (Henbury) 72, 71, Ross McCance (Chippenham Golf Centre) 72, 71 - £107 each.