GOLF: Gareth Hastie and Liam Ball win exciting Bolton Golf Championship semi-finals

GOLF: Gareth Hastie and Liam Ball win exciting Bolton Golf Championship semi-finals

Liam Ball won an epic semi-final against Mark Millhouse

Gareth Hastie will be looking for his third successive title on Thursday evening

First published in Sport The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , head of sport

GARETH Hastie will be going for a fifth Bolton Golf Championship title on Thursday evening – his third in a row – after beating Matt Buckley 2&1 in Wednesday night’s semi-final.

The Bolton Golf Club player will meet Liam Ball who won an epic semi-final against Mark Millhouse.

Hastie went behind on the second hole in his semi-final but was one up after the sixth.

Old Links player Buckley birdied the seventh to level the score, but Hastie went ahead again with a birdie at the 10th, and an eagle at the 13th put him two holes ahead in the matchplay competition.

Buckley won the 15th but Hastie restored his two-shot lead at the 16th, and a half at the 17th won him the tie.

There was real drama in the other match where Ball, of Turton Golf Club, looked dead and buried when he was three behind at the ninth hole.

But an incredible turnaround saw him win the next five holes to go two up against a stunned Millhouse.

The Bolton Golf Club player reduced the deficit to one with a birdie at the 15th. Another birdie at the 17th levelled the score, and when they halved the 18th it went to extra holes.

Still they could not be separated in the sudden-death holes. It took four holes to finally produce a winner when Millhouse drove into the trees and could not recover.

If Hastie wins tonight’s final at Chorley, 4.50pm start, he will join Howard Broadbent in second place in the all-time winners’ list with five titles.

They will still be well behind the leader – the legendary Jack Taylor whose 10 titles many believe is unlikely to ever be surpassed.

Ball will be going for his second title, having won it in 2010.

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