James Wilson wins Leven Links Classic in only second Tartan Pro Tour event

James Wilson won the Leven Links Classic (pic: Tartan Pro Tour)James Wilson won the Leven Links Classic (pic: Tartan Pro Tour)
James Wilson won the Leven Links Classic (pic: Tartan Pro Tour)
Balmore Golf Club’s James Wilson is a Tartan Pro Tour winner at only his second attempt.

The 25-year-old landed the Leven Links Classic in a play-off against former Scottish PGA champion Fraser Mann.

The pair finished locked together on 10-under 130 totals on the Fife coast, but Wilson held his nerve to take the title at the third extra hole played.

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James Wilson was part of the Scotland team pipped by Ireland for the amateur home international title earlier this year.

He decided to switch to the pro ranks because he felt his amateur career was becoming stagnant, a decision which was quickly vindicated by his Leven success.

“This is only my third event since turning pro,” he said. “I played at St Andrews on the Tartan Pro Tour a fortnight ago, then in the first stage of the PGA EuroPro Tour Qualifying School last week.

“It helped that Leven is a course I played quite a bit as an amateur and, therefore, I didn’t find it too foreign in terms of an environment this week.

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“However, I haven’t won anything for a while - my last success was probably the Welsh Open Strokeplay three years ago - and I’m delighted to get my pro career off to a great start.”

Wilson, who had opened with a 64 to hold a one-shot overnight lead, carded five birdies, including one to finish, as he added a 66.

Mann matched that total after coming home in 30 for a second successive 65, but, after the first two extra holes were halved in pars, the Carnoustie man then put his second shot in the water at the 18th.

“I felt my amateur career had become a bit stagnant this year and didn’t have anything on the horizon,” added Wilson, who picked up a cheque for £3,450.

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“Therefore, I thought it was the right time to turn pro and it is great to have these Paul Lawrie events at this time of the year.

“It’s a good mix of players on the Tartan Pro Tour. I played with Danny Young in the event at St Andrews, where he won. He’s been playing a bit on the European Tour this season and it was good to see that my game isn’t too far away from that level.”

Wilson will miss the next two events at the Renaissance Club and Royal Aberdeen due to being involved in the EuroPro Qualifying School.