LEE Thompson elected to play safely in the afternoon at North Wilts Golf Club, in the only 36-hole pro-am in the South West region, after taking a comfortable three-shot half-time lead on five-under-par 66.

And the Dudsbury touring player’s tactics were spot-on. He followed with 68 to stay four clear of Ross Langdon (South Cerney) with Mark Searle (High Post) third after a superb second round for a winning aggregate of eight-under-par 134.

“I simply tried not to make any major mistakes,” said Thompson. “I didn’t get into any trouble and made only one bogey all day. I actually played better in the afternoon but couldn’t hole a thing and took 33 putts, even though the greens were great.

“I played steady golf in both rounds and finished with nine successive pars in one of the best pro-ams of the year which is always good fun.”

Home assistant Barrie Foster was Thompson’s closest rival after a morning 69, followed by Langdon, Mark Wiggett (Dudsbury) and European Seniors’ Tour player Andrew Sherborne on 70 with Nick Brennan (Bowood) and Dan Carter (Upavon) on par 71.

Langdon’s second round was boosted by three successive birdies from the fourth and further bonuses at the ninth and 18th in 68 took him to second spot.

Searle was the afternoon star with 67 after an opening 73. He did the damage on his back nine by picking up five shots in seven holes with birdies at the 11th, 13th and 16th with the day’s only eagle at the par five 17th.

Sherborne was the only other player to finish under par with a closing 71 to claim fourth while Foster and Wiggett were fifth with Brennan and Carter seventh.

Defending champion European Seniors’ player Gary Emerson (Remedy Oak) recovered from an opening 75 with 69 to finish ninth.

Happily Michael Watson (Wessex Golf Centre) took 11 at the ninth in an opening 84, but his troubles faded when he followed with an impressive 68.

Alex Gardner, the 25-year-old Radyr Golf Club assistant, won his first team pro-am with home club low handicappers Nick Church, Nick Paget and Tom Davies on 30-under-par 254 (127-127). Michael Davies (Woodspring) was runner up on 262 (139-132) with Pete McAnaw, Brendan Barr and Andy Slade followed by Thompson’s trio of Pete Davis, Mike Varndell and Neil Dudden on 264 (132-132).

Carter’s crew of Alistair Hunt, Gerry Koniller and Ian Watson were fourth on 268 (137-131).

North Wilts head professional Graham Laing, who organised the day, and club captain Paul Stevenson made the presentations.

Roger Dunford came within an inch of holing his tee-shot at the sixth hole to win the nearest-the-pin award. Mark Roberts claimed the longest drive prize with a tee-shot of almost 300 yards at the 16th.