It’s a Big Colegate Smile

Jack Colegate with Jamega at Essendon Park 2017Jack Colgate fought tooth and nail to win his first Jamega Pro Golf Tour event with a hard earned 8 under par total of 138, afterleading wire to wire.

Early on the first day four players scored impressive 6 under par 66’s to establish a 2-stroke lead over the chasing pack.

Marco Penge (Goodwood GC), Max Smith (Foxhills), Tom Shadbolt (Brockett Hall) and Jack Colegate (Rochester and Chobham), all put together solid rounds, each compiled in various ways.

Penge Birdied the last 4 holes, Smith with a Birdie fest over the front nine, Shadbolt with 3 under on both nines and Colgate with 8 Birdies and 2 Bogeys.

Within striking distance of the leaders were four players on 4 under par, Alasdair Dalgleish, Josh Loughrey, David Dixon and last week’s winner, James Ruebotham, looking to do the double.

On the second day the players were going to have the added incentive of playing for an increased Prize Fund, with a first prize of £3,500 and 19 players, plus ties getting paid.

The eventual winner, Colegate got to 9 under par after nine holes of the second round, with Penge losing ground, dropping back to 5 under par.

Smith was having a much better time of it arriving at the start of the back nine on 11 under and a comfortable lead over the other contenders but there were dramatic changes ahead.

Jamie Rutherford and Liam Robinson playing together, spurred each other on and they eventually each posted a 7 under par total which the way things were going with the leaders was potentially a play-off score.

Next in was Colegate, who held it together on the run in, with his only blemish, a bogey on the thirteenth but it was still good enough to give him the clubhouse lead on 8 under par.

With the news that Smith was having all sorts of problems on the run in, made Colegate’s 8 under par total look very promising indeed.

Whilst Smith was dealing with his demons, Penge and Rutherford were making a charge to catch Colegate but despite their efforts they were both to fall one shot shy of forcing a play-off and a slightly shocked Colegate was delighted to be the winner of the £3,500 first prize.

It has been a pleasure to run an event with such a high-class field playing over one of the premiere courses in the South East, Essendon (New).

A Walk in The Park for Ruebotham

James Ruebotham with Jamega Pro Golf Tour at Maxstoke Park 2018
James Ruebotham congratulated by Maxstoke Park Lady Captain, Elaine Partridge
You could feel the excitement in the air at Maxstoke Park as the first Jamega Pro Golf Tour Tournament got underway promptly at 8 am.

Scoring, on the first day, was very strong with some 31 players scoring par or better over this par 71 layout that was playing longer than normal due to the very wet winter the course had to endure.

At the top of the heap after the days play drew to a close was Mannings Heath’s Tom Hayward with a fine 5 under par 66 and for Hayward it was just reward for all his hard work and the fact that he had continued to play competitive golf throughout the winter.

James Ruebotham, Luke Johnson and Sweden’s Otto Bonning lay a shot behind Hayward and no less than 6 more players were a shot further back on 3 under the card, so the second day would be no walk in the park for Hayward.

The final day proved to be full of drama right up to the end, with at one stage Hayward looking comfortable, leading on 7 under par after 27 holes from Mark Laskey on 5 under and by 4 from Ruebotham, in the group ahead, on 3 under.

Hayward maintained that lead with pars at the next 2 holes until Ruebotham birdied the twelfth to get within 3 shots of Hayward.

Then Hayward bogeys Thirteen, then Fourteen and suddenly Ruebotham birdies the fifteenth to draw level, then Hayward responded and made a birdie 2 on the Sixteenth to take a one-shot lead.

While all this was going on Laskey saw his chance evaporate with a triple bogey on the seventeenth to drop back to one under par and out of the race.

Hayward then proceeds to double bogey the Seventeenth to gift Ruebotham, who made bogey, a level playing field with one hole to play.

Ruebotham makes a telling birdie at the last, for a 5 under par total and then waits for Hayward to finish in the final group.

Unfortunately, Hayward failed to make the necessary birdie to tie Ruebotham and force a play-off, eventually making an expensive bogey to slip back into a tie for second place.

Maxstoke Park pulled out all the stops to make the course playable after one of the wettest winters in recent times and our deserved thanks go out to all the green staff who made it possible to play the tournament.

Abbott in Seventh Heaven

Jamie Moul and Jamie Abbott with Jamega at Old Fold Manor 2017
Jamie Moul (left), with play-off victor, Jamie Abbott
Jamie Abbott signed off his Jamega Tour season with a seventh win after a lengthy play-off against his fellow Stoke by Nayland based professional Jamie Moul.

It was a chilly and very breezy day that dawned for the last event of 2017 and scoring was not going to be easy, so patience was to be a key element in the players quest for victory.

It was a returning Scott Fallon who jointly led with James Willis after the first day with both players scoring 4 under par with, two shots further back on 2 under par, the trio of Ben Smith, Tom Dolan and Jamie Moul.

The highlight of the first day was when the eventual runner-up, Moul, holed out in one on the par 3 fourteenth for a “Brucie Bonus” of £100.

Abbott, the eventual winner, was on level par and would have his work cut out to catch the leaders who had a wealth of experience between them.

The final day, although similar to the first was less windy and with the bright sunshine bringing out the autumn colours of the leaves it was a fitting backdrop to an exciting day’s play over the Harry Colt designed Old Fold Manor.

On a strange afternoon where no one seemed to be taking control of the tournament with the leaders either treading water or going backwards, all except for the ever-consistent Jamie Abbott, who shot the best round of the day to set the clubhouse target at 4 under par.

The news from the course was, that only Moul could catch Abbott now, as the overnight leaders dropped out of contention and coming to the last Moul, on 4 under, needed either to birdie the hole in order to win, or par it to tie and force a play-off.

The birdie putt just missed and a simple tap-in meant that that the pair were headed for a sudden death play-off over the first and second holes.

To cut a long story short, it was after both players missed several real opportunities for birdies to clinch the deal, it was the relentless Jamie Abbott who finally emerged victorious just as the light was failing.

Another battle was going to be decided at this, the final leg of the last Order of Merit, where the winner would enjoy a Free 2017/2018 season on the Portugal Pro Golf Tour worth in excess of £6,000 in entry fees.

With several players in with a chance to win the fourth Order of Merit, it was eventually Jamie Moul who came up on the rails from nowhere and pipped both Louis Hirst and Marcus Sewell for the coveted prize by just 10 points.

Old Fold Manor is a traditional style golf club that offers fairly priced food and beverage, which can be enjoyed after a game of golf on the picturesque parkland course just north of London near to Barnet.

We now sign off the Jamega Tour season until next April, but don’t despair because there is the Portugal Pro Tour starting on the 21st of November so it makes sense to combine winter practice with competitive golf in the warmth of Portugal.

Our heartfelt thanks go out to all the players who have competed with us, the wonderful Pat Pearce, from Dream Flight, who has helped us on numerous occasions and not forgetting all the greens staff and clubhouse staff who have made us feel very welcome and provided excellent courses to play on over the season.

See you all next year.