Former BMW PGA champ Simon holds off Davis to seal victory at West Essex
By Chris Johnston
Simon Khan gave himself a birthday present to remember after winning the London Open at West Essex Golf Club.
The European Tour star, 44, fired a second-round 68 to finish at two-under alongside Chase Davis of Marriot Sprowston Manor, who recorded back-to-back rounds of 69.
That forced a sudden-death play-off starting on the par-4 17th where Khan - the 2010 BMW PGA champion at Wentworth - sealed the deal.
“It’s nice to win,” said Khan. “Any win at any level, whether it’s this or a European Tour event, it’s the same feelings. It doesn’t change.
“I probably felt as nervous in that play-off as I did winning at Wentworth or winning the Wales Open in a play-off with Paul Casey. It’s a good thing. You’ve got to learn how to deal with it. Playing well and winning at any level is tough.”
Making the win extra special for Khan was the fact that he did his PGA training at nearby Theydon Bois, only lives ten minutes down the road.
“I grew up playing at Chingford, literally down the road,” he added. “I used to caddie up here and would come up and play whenever I could. This is my area, really. It was nice to have a few people walking round and seeing some old faces.”
The last two seasons have seen Khan regularly sidelined with injury problems but his victory at West Essex and a recent tied-15th finish in the BMW PGA Championship suggest he is returning to top form.
“The old feelings are coming back a little bit,” he added. “These two rounds, I started driving the ball a lot better and my long stuff was a lot better. I can hopefully take that forward now into the rest of the year on tour.”
Meanwhile, his fellow Essex professional - and former European Tour ace - Rob Coles finished tied third for the second successive Order of Merit event. He and James Scade of Ingrebourne Links were the only other two players to break par.