Jermine Takes Seniors TitlePosted on: 09 June 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves
Welshman John Jermine has been crowned English Seniors Golf champion after a thrilling finale at Wildernesse Golf Club.
John Jermine became the first Welshman to lift the English Men’s Seniors Amateur Golf Championship after a thrilling climax in Sevenoaks.
The 63-year-old fired a closing 74 at Wildnernesse Golf Club to finish on 220, six over par and a stroke ahead of Scot Donald McCart.
Defending champion David Lane finished tied third along with former winner Doug Arnold and fellow Englishman Chris Reynolds as the Championship came to a nail-biting finale.
1) John Jermine (+6)
2) Donald McCart (+7)
3-) Doug Arnold(+8)
3-) Chris Reynolds (+8)
3-) David Lane (+8)
6) Peter Hedges (+9)
Born and bred in Cardiff, Jermine couldn’t hide his delight at claiming the title from a field of 240, saying: “I’m in complete shock, I can’t quite believe it.
“I’ve been playing golf for years and years and never ever expected to win this.
“It makes golf worth playing and I’m more excited now than when I was a little boy.
“It’s a wonderful course and an absolute pleasure to play here and it’s just a wonderful feeling to win.”
Jermine went into the final round sharing the lead with Arnold and Rod Crisp just a shot ahead of three others including Lane.
As the rain began to hit the picturesque course, most of Jermine’s rivals were starting to shed shots whilst the Welshman kept a steady head, playing par golf and edging into a narrow lead.
Reaching the final three holes, Jermine’s game threatened to unravel as he hit three bogeys in as many holes, threatening his chances of success.
But he stayed on top of the leaderboard as rival challengers failed to overcome the pressure.
The tournament highlight came at the par-five 18th as Jermine, sharing the lead with Wildernesse member and former England international Peter Hedges, playing ahead, was on seven over par and a playoff looked likely.
But ex-Walker Cup man Hedges, who knows every inch of his home club course, inexplicably took seven down the last.
After his approach to the 489-yard hole finished in sand, he failed to get the ball out at the first attempt and his fourth shot flew over the green.
From there he took three more strokes and a second successive 76 finishing on 223 and sixth place.
However, all was not over as Jermine cut his drive at 18 deep into the trees but found his ball in the clear from where he chipped out then fired a seven-iron to a foot and holed for a winning birdie.
Jermine hit the Championship crowning shot without the knowledge that Scottish seniors international Donald McCart had hit the only sub-par round of the tournament to finish on 221.
“I got very lucky on the last,” says Jermine.
“It was a one-in-a-hundred shot and if I’d known Donald had hit a round like that I’d have never chanced it.
“It was very risky but sometimes your gambles pay off. I was lucky whilst Peter Hedges was unlucky – it really could have gone either way.
“I was lucky enough to get the ball through the trees but I recalled Paul Ashwell, the England coach saying to me: ‘only play a shot that you think you can play twice’.
“I think the rain added to the tension. Although we’re all seniors now we were all out to win and it was a very competitive tournament.
“I could have nailed things a little earlier, I had quite a few ups and downs but it all came right in the end.”
Overall Champion - John Jermine
Category A winner (age group 55-59) - Chris Reynolds
Category B winner (60-64) - Doug Arnold
Category C winner (65-69) - David Lane
Category D winner (70+) - Brian Berney
Reynolds finished bogey-birdie-bogey-birdie for 75 and a final score of 222 as three-times winner Arnold was fighting back the pain to finish with 76 and Lane had two bogeys at the 15th and 17th to see his hopes of a fourth title disappear.
Defending champion Lane paid tribute to Jermine’s bravery after blowing his own chances of success.
“I’m not sure John would have been so brave at the 18th if he’d known Donald McCart had done so well in the third round,” says Lane.
“But you have to hand it to him; he kept his nerve while the rest of us failed.
“He’s had a superb tournament and kept his consistency from day one. He’s playing Championship winning golf throughout and more than deserves to take the title.”
The leading players from the Championship are now likely to be selected to represent England in the annual Seniors Home Internationals in August.
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