Alex Belt shot a final-round 70 to win the PDC and World Snooker Open by one stroke and claim his first £10,000 winner’s cheque on the PGA EuroPro Tour.
The 27-year-old finished 11 under par at Collingtree Park, with Chesterfield’s George Woolgar and Simon Lilly of Wellingborough sharing second place one shot back.
Belt, who started out at Bridlington Links but now represents the De Vere Club, has come close to winning on the tour several times in the past but has been unable to complete the job and admits he is relieved to finally get that monkey off his back.
“It feels like a big weight has been lifted off me now and hopefully I can progress and not have to play worrying about choking on the last few holes,” he admitted.
“Towards the end I know that Simon had got to 10 under and I was on 11 at the time and, especially with the 18th coming up, I knew that I would like to have a cushion but unfortunately it wasn’t the case and I had to try and make par on the last, which luckily I did.
“I haven’t been playing that well over the last few weeks so I decided to have a week off where I didn’t hit a single golf ball. I tried to change my approach a little bit and block out thoughts of how I am playing. That was a little bit harder today with the prize at the back of your mind.
“Hopefully I can continue improving and I will be trying to get another win in this season.”
Belt held a two-stroke overnight lead and began his final round confidently with back-to-back birdies. He bogeyed the third but quickly made amends when he birdied the fourth. A final birdie followed at six to take Belt to 12-under but he dropped a shot at 11.
With Lilly and Woolgar already in the clubhouse on 10-under, Belt knew he couldn’t afford to drop a shot on the long par-five 18th.
He found the island green in three, with a fine approach shot landing just feet from the flag. His birdie putt stopped on the edge of hole but he tapped in for par to claim the £10,000 and a brand new Motocaddy trolley.
A blemish-free seven-under-par second round 65 had put Belt to two strokes clear of James Heath going into the final round at Northampton. After five birdies on the front nine on day two, he also broke par at 14 and 17.
However, having missed the cut at each of the first three EuroPro Tour events this season, he knew things were far from cut and dried.
“I have been overthinking things so the key has been trying to keep everything basic and try and enjoy myself, which I haven’t been doing recently. I had been putting a bit of pressure on myself and I think it was taking a little bit of time to get into a groove at the start of the season.
Coverage of the event is being shown on Sky Sports HD next Wednesday. Belt thanked his sponsors Nicholas Belt Estate Agent, Lloyd Dowson, Snainton Golf Centre and the Crown Spa Scarborough for their support.