Final hole birdie sees Bedford ace John finally win Mid Amateur title
SIR EDWARD ELGAR was a Worcestershire Golf Club member more than a century ago and gained inspiration for much of his composing by walking in the nearby Malvern Hills.
John Kemp found the inspiration to compose his own piece of history over the splendid, undulating course to complete his set of mid amateur titles with the Logan Trophy after a dramatic finish.
The 45-year-old from Bedford carded a closing 72 for a one-stroke win over playing partner Paul Williams from Lancashire and local man Paul Scarrett.
Kemp came into the event with three British Mid Amateur titles but was lacking the English crown despite two runners-up spots.
“I’m chuffed to bits,” he said after collecting the trophy. “I made hard work of it with a bogey at the 16th when I hit a 6-iron into a bush. I left it in there, got it out with my third shot then took three more for a bogey.
“It put me under pressure because I knew I needed a birdie at the last to win and I managed to do it with that ten-footer.”
On a scorching day in the shadow of the Malvern Hills, for most of the time it seemed a two-horse race between Kemp and Williams but, when Scarrett posted a 70 to set the target at one-under, there was little room for error.
Both Kemp and Williams went out in 34 but the Lancastrian faltered with three bogeys in five holes, while Kemp dropped a shot at the 11th.
They were tied again when Kemp took his six at 16 and they came to the par-4 last with still a shot between them. Both found the green in regulation with Williams some 30 feet from the pin and Kemp around ten feet away.
Williams coolly drained his for a three, which meant he, Scarrett and Kemp were level on one-under, and it looked then like a sudden death
play-off. However, Kemp was not to be denied and although his ball seemed to hesitate on the edge of the cup, it dropped in.
“That was a great way to finish,” added Kemp. “It’s the sort of situation that tests you and I’m glad I passed that test.”
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