Yorkshire ace holds off Davis to win English Men’s Strokeplay Championship at London Golf Club
By ECG Newsdesk
England’s Jamie Bower claimed a narrow victory in the Brabazon Trophy at the London Golf Club and then beamed: “This is the biggest win of my life by an absolute mile.”
The Yorkshireman shot a two-under-par round of 70 to finish on 12-under, pipping long-time leader Cameron Davis, whose title challenge fizzled out with a three-putt on the final hole.
In truth, the final round of the English Men’s Strokeplay Championship had it all: brilliant shots, missed opportunities, upsets, nail-biting tension, and a dramatic suspension of play when the leaders, locked at 12-under, were both on the 18th green and waiting to putt.
A violent thunderstorm forced the last group off the course and, when they returned, Bower two-putted for par and the win, as Australia’s Cameron Davis missed a short one which would have taken the title battle into a play-off.
Ryan Lumsden of Royal Wimbledon, meanwhile, parred the last to claim third place on ten-under and to win the Henriques Salver for the best score by a player under the age of 20. Ben Hutchinson of Howley Hall was also a trophy winner, capturing the Scrutton Jug for the best combined score in the Berkshire and Brabazon Trophies.
Bower’s victory was watched by his grandparents, Tony and Jean, and his girlfriend Olivia Stephenson and, afterwards, he could barely contain his delight.
“This is the biggest win of my life by an absolute mile,” he said. “It means everything, I can’t express it, I’m just delighted.
“I feel really bad for Cameron, too. He played really well and it was awful for that to happen on the 18th. No-one wants to see that and you would rather win it by holing a putt.”
Davis had led the championship for the first three rounds and was two ahead going into the final round. After two holes, however, Bower had closed the gap and he went ahead after holing a 20-footer on the fourth.
He immediately handed back the advantage when his second to the long fifth found the water guarding the green and he walked off with a double-bogey to Davis’ birdie.
Bower edged ahead again on the short 11th before Davis caught him with a birdie on 12. They stayed tied for the lead until the 16th when Bower racked up a bogey after finding deep rough off the tee.
Undaunted, he produced his shot of the round, firing the ball to within two feet of the pin on the short 17th for his sixth birdie of the day.
This pegged back Davis once again going down the last, where Bower ultimately prevailed.
The win marked a triumphant return to top form for Bower, who claimed two victories in an early-season tour of South Africa. Since then, by his own admission, his performances had been ‘very average’ but he has worked successfully with his swing coach, Alan Thompson of Heswall. “He has been absolutely instrumental,” noted Bower.
Gian-Marco Petrozzi of Trenthamshot the lowest round of the tournament - a seven-under 65 on the final day - to finish fourth on nine-under, with Bath’s Jamie Li on eight-under and Ben Hutchinson of Howley Hall a further shot adrift.
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