A monkey off Joe's back
Joe Dean promised himself “a few beverages” when he got home after landing the biggest win of his fledgling professional career on the EuroPro Tour.
Dean bagged the £12,500 winners cheque at the GLAL.UK Worcestershire Masters at The Vale Golf and Country Club by three shots for his first victory on the PGA EuroPro Tour.
The 2015 Amateur champion and England international, went into the day with a share of the lead at -9 and sealed the deal with a faultless last round of 66 (-6) to leave his challengers in his wake.
They included Open Championship-bound Ben Hutchinson of Howley Hall, one of four golfers tied for second place on -12, the others being Tom Sloman, Irishman Dermot McElroy and Sam Locke.
Dean kept his composure throughout the closing 18 holes to break his EuroPro duck. In 2018 he won a Challenge Tour qualification by finishing in the tour’s top five, without actually winning.
Afterwards he said: “It was great to get the top five in 2018 especially without winning but it also leaves a little area of doubt in your mind that are you ever going to cross that line, so to do it now it’s a massive move forwards.
“Me and Sam (Locke) were going backward and forwards to start with and then I saw after the first six that Ben Hutchinson had made a few birdies as well. To be honest, I didn’t look at the leaderboard the whole way round. I saw Dermot (McElroy), the only thing I saw was him holing a birdie putt on 17. I’m so glad I didn’t look at any leaderboards just to keep my mind at rest and focus on my process.”
He put the breakthrough down in large part to his short game. “The putter came back, the short game came back a little bit this week and it was good enough. I might have a few beverages when I get home!”
Hutchinson went to The Vale straight from qualifying for The Open but after a somewhat tired opening 73 he shot a quality 64 and final day 67 for his best finish to date.
The win left Joe Dean, now attached to Worksop Golf Club, third in the PGA EuroPro 2021 Order of Merit, which is led by Harrogate’s John Parry.
Parry won The Cumberwell Park Championship by three shots to claim his own maiden PGA EuroPro Tour title and move to the top of the Race to Alcanada standings.
Parry has still to date never missed a cut on the tour and had started the season with back-to-back top tens. He was delighted to finally see a win over the line: “It’s fantastic. After the start, I wasn’t too sure how it was gonna go with the weather and everything, it wasn’t a great start but I sort of stuck in and plugged away.
“The year before lockdown, I had a lot of top tens and you do have that nagging feeling that you’ve got to win haven’t you? There was a nagging thing in the back of my head but I knew I had the ability and the game.”