Woburn’s Steve Jensen shot two-under par 68 to take the first round lead in the Logan Trophy at Beau Desert Golf Club in Staffordshire.
He was the only competitor to beat par in the first round of the English men’s open mid-amateur championship, as the demanding heathland course kept its defences firmly in place with fiery fairways and undulating greens.
“I fought hard to keep the score going,” he said – revealing that he was motivated by the sight of his name at the top of the on-course leaderboards.
He’d enjoyed the experience once before, when he was leading after the first 15 holes of final qualifying for the European senior tour … but it didn’t last.
“This time I was determined to stay there, that was my motivation, to keep looking at my name,” he laughed. “That was my mind set.”
Jensen (pictured top) worked for his score: “This is a very, very unforgiving golf course, anything which is not on line, whether it’s a putt or a drive or an iron shot, is severely punished. It’s very bouncy out there, it’s like playing links golf,” he said.
“But I didn’t make any fatal errors and I putted well,” he remarked. “The greens are very difficult but I got the pace.”
Jensen, a past club champion at Woburn, started and finished with a birdie and managed to add four more during the round, alongside four bogeys.
He holds a two shot lead over the field. Matt Wilcox (North Hants) is his closest challenger with his round of level par 70, which also included six birdies. Anthony Harwood (Blackburn) lies third on one-over while Andrew Francis (Bearsted) is a further stroke back. Behind them is a group of 10 players on 73 with a further 11 on 74.
Defending champion Jorg Paulus is nursing a bad back which makes him loth to hit out and he returned an opening 81. However, he noted that Beau Desert is the 492nd course he has played, as he works his way towards his target of 1000. In the year since he won the championship he has added 48 to his tally.
The most spectacular shot of the day was played by Tony Lord of Northamptonshire County who had a hole-in-one on the 167-yard third. It was his sixth ace, all scored in competition.
He used a seven-iron – and almost repeated the feat with the same club on the short 16th where the ball stopped within three inches of the cup. Lord returned 75 for the round remarking: “It’s a beautiful golf course, lovely, but it’s a tough test.”
Images copyright Leaderboard Photography