James Jankowski's first Jamega win has been accomplished at one of this years most demanding courses, in rather blustery conditions. The Shire London, set out by the great Severiano Ballesteros was this weeks Jamega test for our tournament playing professionals with a prizefund kindly boosted by Jemca Toyota. James played with confidence and flair and was only really challenged in the latter stages by South Winchester winner Lyle Rowe who finished 7 under forcing James to par the difficult 18th to take the Winners Flag.
The Fat Lady finally sings for James Jankowski at The Shire.
James Jankowski finally breasted the tape after a drama packed last three holes to win his first Jamega Pro Golf Tour event at The Shire London by one shot from the South African, Lyle Rowe.
The Seve Ballesteros designed course which consists of 6 par 3’s, 6 par 4’s and 6 par 5’s proved to be a stern test in a strong North Easterly wind on the first day with only eight players bettering the par of 72. James Jankowski headed the list compiling an excellent 5 under par 67 to lead by two from Jordan Smith and David James. Well positioned on his own on 3 under Stewart Mitchell was ready to make a move on day two. Lee Drew, James Ablett, Danny O’reilly and Nick Redfern led the chasing pack on 2 under par and were keen for the start of the second day to try and set a tough target for the leaders to catch.
The forecasted heavy rain for the second day fortunately failed to materialise and we were greeted with an ideal day for scoring. Early drama came in the form of Jordan Smith, who was due to tee off in the leading group on 4 under, having to withdraw with a back problem. South African, Lyle Rowe set the cat amongst the Pidgeons early on by adding a blemish free, seven birdie 65 to his fairly pedestrian level par effort on day one and waited for the leaders to finish to see if his final total of 137 could be the winning score!
The final group, without the unfortunate Jordan Smith, was looking like becoming a procession for James Jankowski, as David James was struggling, seemingly unable to prevent bogeys from infecting his card. Jankowski, on the other hand, was enjoying a birdie fest which culminated with a fantastic Eagle on the 13th to move him on to eleven under par and a four shot lead over clubhouse leader Lyle Rowe.
“Don’t start writing your winners speech until the fat lady sings”. Very relevant advice which Jankowski forgot and by his own admission thought he could “Showboat” in, with a 4 shot lead and enjoy getting his revenge over playing partner David James who beat him in a play-off at The Players Club earlier in the year. He had a gentle reminder on the 16th that the fat lady was just warming up, dropping a shot to now lead by just three.
Meanwhile Lyle Rowe was relaxing in the clubhouse enjoying an unexpected visit from his brother who had flown in from South Africa, continued to hope for a play-off, at least. With the adrenalin pumping through Jankowski’s veins his second shot flew the 17th green, pitched on a down slope and started swimming in the water hazard which actually surrounds the first hole some 20 yards away. With his lead now just one shot, Jankowski knew that he must par the last to win. A tee shot up the right side of the 18th fairway was nudged into the middle, by fate maybe, and ended in perfect position to hit the green from around 130 yards. A solid wedge, followed by a huge sigh of relief saw his ball hit the water surrounded green coming to rest about 25 feet from the cup. A near perfect first putt stopping just 6 inches from the sanctuary of the hole. A now relieved Jankowski tapped in to triumph and savour his first win and his winners cheque for £3,000 plus an additional £300 from the event sponsor Jemca Toyota. Second place Lyle Rowe, receiving a cheque for £2,000 plus an extra £200 from Jemca to take back home to South Africa.
Our thanks to Jemca Toyota for sponsoring the tournament and enhancing the prize fund by £500.
The welcome we received from everyone at The Shire was fantastic with a great course designed by Severiano Ballesteros, the most charismatic golfer the world has ever seen, it is a must for our calendar and highly recommended for all golfers of all standards.
We are at The Warwickshire next week playing The Kings course which is always popular so enter early to secure your place