Woburn’s Stephen Jensen completed a wire-to-wire victory in the Logan Trophy at Beau Desert Golf Club in Staffordshire today – and gave fire to his hopes for a career on the Senior Tour.
“I do harbour ambitions to possibly try to turn professional and this gives me the belief that I can play golf under reasonable pressure,” he said, after completing a two-shot win in the English men’s open mid-amateur championship with a 54-hole total of three over par.
“This gives me tremendous confidence and helps me go forward pursuing my possible ambitions.”
When Jensen started the final round on three-under and with a six-shot lead, the championship was his to lose – but that didn’t make it easy. The course has proved a stern test all week and there were plenty of good players aiming to narrow the gap.
“I’ve never been in that position before and I was up against some stellar golfers and I wasn’t sure how I’d react,” he said.
He was tested very quickly. After a good opening par he had a double bogey on the second, while playing partner Gareth Hastie (Royal Lytham & St Annes) birdied the hole. The lead was down to three.
“I had a stern word with myself, told myself to enjoy it and to play Gareth at match play. That’s how I played the rest of the round, tried to beat him or halve with him on every hole and I ground it out.
Jensen’s chipping and putting was excellent, with some great up and downs from swales around the undulating greens. But by his own admission, his driving was tentative. “I think that’s natural round here and with what’s at stake,” he said. “In the end I got the job done – and now I can relax.”
His match play game plan paid quick dividends with a lovely pitch and putt birdie on the fourth which widened his lead to four. It stayed that way until the 12th where he got up and down from behind the green for par to extend the gap to five shots. Then, on the 14th Jensen’s solid par restored his six-shot margin.
It was dented by a bogey on the par five 15th, where he caught a fairway bunker, and a double on the short 16th where he found another bunker before three-putting. But he stood on the final tee with a very comfortable cushion of three shots and played steadily down the hole for his par.
Hastie, who was locked in a battle for second place, birdied the hole to reduce the deficit to two and finish runner-up on his own on five-over, one stroke ahead of Andy Minnikin (Alnmouth, Northumberland) and Geoff Harris (Formby, Lancashire).
Duncan Hodsgon (Burhill, Surrey) was fifth, a further stroke back, and Stephen Creed (Maxstoke Park, Warwickshire) pipped five other players to take sixth prize on eight-over, having returned the low score of the day with his one-under 69.
Now Jensen will turn his attention to qualifying for the Senior Open. “If I can do that I will contemplate turning professional,” said the 51-year-old. He first played golf as a 10-year-old but his ambitions have been on the back burner until recent years. “I sat behind a desk for 30 years making myself and my family secure. Now that’s happened I am fortunate enough to pursue my hobby with vigour,” he said.
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