Germany’s Jorg Paulus snatched a one-shot win in the Logan Trophy in a dramatic finale at Brokenhurst Manor in Hampshire.
He surged to victory with two stunning holes, while an 18th hole disaster befell Martin Young, the long-time leader from the host club.
Paulus had counted himself out of the English men’s open mid-amateur championship after 15 holes, when he trailed Young by three. But he transformed his fortunes with an eagle on 16 and a birdie on 17.
Despite a three-putt on 18 – where he chased another birdie too aggressively – he returned a third round 68 and set a championship target of one-under par.
Behind him on the course, Young had battled to see off a number of challengers and, after a birdie on 16 and a great par save on 17, he reached the 18th tee at two-under. But, he thought he needed a birdie to win and, going for it, he tugged his tee shot left into an ugly lie in deep rough.
The large crowd of spectators watched in silence as the ball firstly refused to come out of the rough and then went in a bunker. Young eventually left the green with a double bogey six, a championship total of level par – and facing up to the end of his dream of regaining the title at his home club. “I tried my best,” he said.
Young, who was the 2006 champion, dropped into a share of second place with Woburn’s John Kemp, who won the Logan in 2013. He birdied the 18th for 68 today, having moved steadily up the leaderboard throughout the championship.
Paulus watched the drama unfold on the 18th and commented afterwards: “I wasn’t in the hunt after the 15th green. I was one-over for the tournament and I knew Martin was two-under. I didn’t really think about it and then I made a magnificent putt on the 16th and hit a magnificent 6 iron to the 17th.
“It was my time, my luck. It’s not often you get a combination of those shots at that stage in a tournament.”
Paulus, a business consultant who belongs to four clubs in Scotland including Golspie, has played in the Logan on three previous occasions but has never figured. The difference, he reveals, is gymnastics.
He’s been exercising on a Gyrotonic machine for the past eight months and he stood to demonstrate how he can now touch his toes. “My body was not flexible, but the difference now is that I can bend,” he said. “I have always played a lot of golf, always practised and had a swing coach but this has really helped to make a difference. My swing is much more stable and I have barely been in the rough during the championship.”
His next aim is to add to his collection of golf courses played. “I will not die before I have played 1000 courses,” he said. “Right now I have played 444, tomorrow and on Wednesday I will play three new ones at Woburn.”
Fourth place in the championship was shared by David Cook (Parkstone) and Ajay Patel (Royal Wimbledon) who both challenged strongly in the final round. Patel started birdie, eagle to move into the lead but fell back in the middle of his round before finishing strongly. Cook, meanwhile, was two-under going out and signed for 69. The 2011 Logan winner, Neill Williams (Walton Heath), was sixth on two over.
Image © Leaderboard Photography
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