Yorkshire’s Jones leads as championship showdown looms

Yorkshire’s Richard Jones holds a narrow one-shot lead going into tomorrow’s final round of the English senior men’s championship at Sherwood Forest Golf Club, Nottinghamshire.

He’s on three-under and, with three players just a shot behind, the championship is shaping up for a real showdown.

In total, there’s 17 players within five shots of the lead after a hot, sunny day which was made testing by a tricky breeze.

Today Jones (pictured) felt he struggled as he shot one-over 74 at the championship’s companion course, Coxmoor Golf Club, but it was good enough to lift him into the lead.

“I struggled a little bit today, there was no reason why, but I just couldn’t get going,” he said. But the Rotherham member is shrugging it off and looking forward to tomorrow. “I’m still in the running and hopefully that’s my bad round out of the way!” Jones added.

In the trio chasing him is overnight leader and former champion Ian Attoe, (Worplesdon), who slipped back to two-under after his three-over 74 at Sherwood Forest today.

“I was a bit more nervous today, I didn’t find the fairways as often and my putter wasn’t quite so hot. But I kept myself right in it and I’m very pleased with that,” commented Attoe.

Trevor Gray (Royal Jersey) and Simon Ostrom (Rowlands Castle) joined the tie for second place with scores of two-under 69 and 72 and respectively.

Gray is an experienced senior and the winner of a host of titles but, to his disgust, he missed the cut in last week’s Irish seniors. But, back home to re-pack for this week, he found himself with a free afternoon and took an impromptu lesson with one of the assistant professionals at his club.

“He told me something and it’s worked a treat,” said Gray, who was one of only two players to return the low score of 69 at Sherwood Forest today.

Ostrom, by contrast, is playing his first season of senior golf. He took early retirement and, indulging his passion for golf, has worked hard to get his handicap low enough for championship golf, helped by five months’ practice in Arizona! Today’s round included unwanted visits to a couple of “beautifully placed” fairway bunkers but also five birdies, including two on par threes on the back nine.

Behind them, on one-under, are John Kirkpatrick (Ramside) who has been a model of consistency, and Neil Self (Stand).

Former champion Stephen East (Wike Ridge) joins Tony Holt (Clitheroe) on one-over, while nine players are tied on two-over.

They include Rupert Kellock (Sunningdale) who moved up the leaderboard with his 69 at Sherwood. “This course suits my game, it’s a Colt course and it’s a bit like Sunningdale which makes me feel at home,” he remarked.

He reached the turn in two-under par but showed his grit on the way home. “I lost my swing a bit and had to work to get up and down,” he remarked. “That was the important thing, keeping it together when not hitting the ball out of the middle.”

After today’s second round the field was cut to the top 80 players and ties for the final 18 holes. A total of 81 players qualified with scores of seven-over and better.

Image copyright Leaderboard Photography