Maw off to a flyer

James Maw snatched victory in the Penina Classic in Portugal to get his 2018 season off to a flying start.

The Darlington-based pro, who is attached to Rockliffe Hall, produced a birdie-eagle finish to edge out David Dixon – who had posted a 10 under-par 63 to lead on 11 under-par.

Maw, 27, set the pace with a first round 68, but Dixon stormed round the Penina Championship course on day two to take the lead.

Jamie Abbott just failed to equal Dixon’s total, despite also finishing birdie-eagle, and it was left to Maw with a red-hot putter to catch Dixon.

Coming to the final two holes, Maw was one shot behind but with two par fives to play anything could happen. It did when Maw birdied the 17th to draw level and followed that with an impressive eagle three at the last to shoot a round of 65 and pocket the €2,000 top prize.

It’s just the sort of start Maw was looking for. He’s a serial winner on the various feeder tours and has made his mark on PGA EuroPro Tour with a handful of top 10 finishes plus a win in 2016 at the Cobra Puma Golf Championship, but he’ll be looking to make a bigger impact at the next level up.

Last year, he played in four European Challenge Tour events and returned a fourth-place finish in the Bridgestone Challenge. His main goal is to earn himself a full playing category on the European Tour.