Doug Cameron is the new English senior men’s amateur champion, claiming the title after a rollercoaster final round and a three-man play-off at Saunton Golf Club, Devon.
He saw off the challenge of former winner Stephen East and championship low-scorer Michael Jarvis after they both tangled with a bunker on the first extra hole.
It’s his first major senior title and, after his third place in Ireland a few weeks ago, he will achieve his great dream of returning to the England senior side. “It feels great to win, it’s fantastic,” he said.
But Cameron, from Henley Golf Club, (image © Leaderboard Photography) knew he had earned his crown the hard way, bluntly describing his three-over par final round as a “car crash.”
It certainly didn’t start that way. He had looked in total control as he went out in two-under par and worked his way to a comfortable four-shot lead as he approached the closing holes.
But a bad drive on 14 triggered a run of five dropped shots over three holes. “I was playing really nicely, it was very solid and I felt comfortable, but then I hit a bad tee shot on 14,” he said. At the same time Gloucestershire’s Jarvis and Yorkshire’s East were both doing all they could to further close the gap.
Jarvis (The Players Club) followed his game plan of aggressive play and was rewarded with a three-under 68, which made up a seven shot deficit. He set the clubhouse target on four-over par, which was matched when East (Leeds Golf Centre) ground out his round of level par 71.
He had a chance to move into the outright lead on 18 but his birdie putt finished a couple of inches short of the hole.
Behind them, Cameron was regrouping with a birdie two on 17 which gave him a one-shot lead as he approached the final hole. But his tee shot flew right into a bank of rough and he was forced to lay up about 70 yards short and his bogey dropped him into the three-way tie.
However, he has an excellent play-off record and, despite a tee shot which drifted right onto an uphill lie, he held his nerve to reach the green in three and then rolled a long putt up to the hole-side. “I’m just delighted to win, it doesn’t get better than this, on a fabulous golf course,” he said.
Former European senior champion Clive Jones, who is based in France, took fourth place after his final round of two-under 69 moved him to five-over. The 69 was matched by Tim Whittaker (Beaconsfield) who was fifth alongside Gary Byrne (Clitheroe) and senior international David Niven (Newbury & Crookham) on six-over par.
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