James Allan took another crucial step up the ladder of success as a professional golfer with a convincing win at Magnolia Park yesterday, where he shot an amazing 8 under par on the final day.
Allan, who had a very successful amateur career that included tying for 45th place in the 2016 Dubai Desert Classic alongside another Jamega Tour graduate Andrew “Beef” Johnston.
Allan, who is sponsored, amongst others, by “Burts Homemade Potato Chips” put in a crisp performance for the 2 days of the tournament, with a steady, if, unspectacular first round of level par 73 that saw him sit two shots behind the first round leaders, Michael Joy and last week’s winner Liam Crawford.
A shot further back from Joy and Crawford on one under par, came the very experienced former European Tour player, Tom Whitehouse, Craig Ainsley and P.G.A Portugal’s Jay Taylor.
On the second day the heavy overnight rain had taken some of the fire out of the course and this was apparent in the lower scores that were achieved by several players who had shot in the Eighties on day one, improving with scores in the sixties.
Most notable improvement came from Gareth Blease who after stumbling to an error strewn 10 over par 83 on the first day bounced back with a spectacular 4 under par 69 on the second.
Daniel “DJ” Bennett also made a dramatic improvement in his overall position adding a 5 under par 68 to his first round 7 over par 80 to finish tied for 12th place.
Allan, meanwhile was gradually getting a strangle hold on the tournament with a 5 under par front nine that gave him a 3 shot advantage over his nearest rivals with 9 holes to play.
With the leading groups all on the back nine holes, which are normally crucial, it seemed that Allan was enjoying a walk in the park as all his main challengers gradually faded away and after enjoying a rest with a few mundane pars, Allan executed the Coup de Gras with 3 birdies in 4 holes to reach 8 under par for the round and the tournament.
As he mounted the eighteenth tee, Allan now enjoyed a 4 shot lead over the field and you could almost hear the Fat Lady warming up in the distance to signify that it was indeed, all over.
Only a major blunder could have prevented Allan from taking his first win, as his nearest challenger, Liam Crawford, was four shots back and in the end a solid par from Allan meant Crawford had to be content with a second place finish.
This tournament seems to have a habit of producing spectacular final rounds, like last year when Rhys Enoch skipped around Magnolia Park in an amazing 10 under par 63, albeit in much softer conditions.
A continuing number of talented players are realising that “cutting their teeth” on The Jamega Pro Golf Tour gives them the experience and knowledge to progress further in the game and join the likes of Tyrell Hatton and Andrew Johnston, who both earned their first professional wins on the tour.
Magnolia Park offers the golfer everything they could wish for from a championship golf course and a very comfortable hotel which is attached to the welcoming clubhouse that serves up appetizing food for you to enjoy after the round.