It was a case of third time lucky for Lancashire’s Geoff Harris when he won the English Men’s Open Mid-Amateur Stroke Play Championship at The Leicestershire Golf Club.
The 37-year-old, England’s Golf Coast Manager from Formby, finished third at Beau Desert in 2017 and second to Nick Day last year at Long Ashton but this time he finally got his hands on the Logan Trophy after closing with a three under par 67 to pip last year’s winner by a single shot on five-under par 205.
Harris started the final round level with Day after opening rounds of 68 and 70 but immediately went ahead with a birdie on the second where he hit an 8-iron into four feet. He dropped a shot with a three-putt at the fourth but then birdied the 10th, 12th and 13th before finishing his round with five straight pars.
“I must admit I’m more relieved that anything else,” said the new champion, who won once on the PGA EuroPro Tour back in 2004 before being reinstated as an amateur. “After finishing third at Beau Desert two years ago, and then a distant second to Nick last year at Long Ashton, I was beginning to wonder if my chance had gone.
“I played very nicely. The golf course is in fantastic condition but it is pretty firm and fast so you have to be careful where you hit it.
“I just tried to keep in the play as best as I could and see if I could get a couple of putts to drop. I only hit one driver today and it worked very nicely. I’m delighted to get my name on a trophy as prestigious as this one.”
39-year-old Day, from Henbury Golf Club in Gloucestershire, made left-hander Harris work all the way before finally relinquishing the title he won by nine shots 12 months before. He went into the last round tied with Harris and Pleasington’s Calum Metcalfe after two opening rounds of 69 and went on to birdie both the fourth and the sixth before 12 consecutive pars from the seventh saw him post a 68 which left him one shot behind the winner on four under par 206.
David Cook, from Parkstone Golf Club in Dorset, also fired a closing 68 to finish alone in third place on 207 while Metcalfe added a 70 to the course record 65 he carded in the second round to secure fourth place one shot further behind.
American William Smith and Oliver Willson from Longcliffe both closed with level par rounds of 70 to finish fifth and sixth respectively while Blankney’s Craig Toyne dropped back to eighth place with a final round of 74.
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