The EuroPro PGA Tour Championship Finale at Aphrodite Hills in Cyprus was an amazing spectacle that ended with a two-hole play-off between James Heath, Kevin Harper & Lawrence Dodd. All three finished on 7 under.
Being the first PGA golf tournament in Cyprus it was very much a showcase for future possibilities for this Mediterranean island. Representatives from the Cyprus Tourism Organisation were present and promoting future plans to build more golf courses on the island.
Lawrence Dodd dropped a shot on the first pay-off played on the beautiful Par 4 18th. Heath and Harper tied with birdies. James Heath (27) went on to win the second play-off hole with another birdie. But an exciting finish to a great tournament saw Kevin Harper over-hitting his second shot which bounced off the roof of a precariously placed golf buggy, parked on the grass verge where a sizeable crowd had gathered. The golf ball took an unfortunate bounce off the roof of the buggy and Harper’s ball bounced out of bounds. It was a hard way to lose but equally, if the ball had not struck the buggy, it would have left Kevin Harper with a difficult shot to play across a bunker onto a green which had caused problems all day long.
As it was, James Heath holed out with another birdie and so the buggy ‘incident’ was irrelevant; and credit must be given to Kevin Harper who was magnanimous in defeat.
When asked on Thursday morning who he thought was going to win the event, Barry Hearn, founder and chairman of promotions company Matchroom Sport, had confidently and without hesitation pronounced James Heath. He also went on to tell a fellow reporter that Audley Harrison is going to beat David Haye!
On receiving trophies for EuroPro Rookie of the Year 2010 and the EuroPro Tour Championship Finale, James Heath picked up a cheque for €20,000, for which he thanked the representative of Marfin Popular Bank. He also praised the PGA officials for their work and support throughout the year, Matchroom Sport for raising awareness and sponsorship for the event, and the excellent condition of the Aphrodite Hills Golf Course which he added was one of the best courses he has ever played.
James Heath will now receive his card to play in the Challenge Tour next year but will also get the chance to win a place on the PGA Tour if he comes through the European qualifying school. This won’t be his first crack at the European Tour. He played three tournaments as an amateur in 2004 and previously played the Challenge Tour in 2005. But this year he has been consistent all season and his win last weekend could be the start of James Heath’s return to the top flight of European golf.