James versus James in Players Club playoff
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The Players Club just off the M4 near Bristol is always a popular venue and it proved so again with our largest field of the year filling the fairways in bright sunshine.
Always a joy to play but not easy to score on The Players would be a tough test and set a challenging examination for the golfers.
With the first bleary eyed 2 ball setting off at 7am the start of a very long day was underway but it was not long before under par scorecards began to appear.
James Jankowski set the bar at 2 under par with a splendid round of 68 however this was bettered within a few groups by David James who blazed round in a jaw dropping 5 under par 65.
James scored a 65 in his final round last year so for his last two rounds at this far from easy golf course he was 10 under par.
Gary King came within a shot of catching James carding a fine 4 under par 66 but then a gap appeared on the leader board as these two opened up a lead over the chasing pack.
Michael Bush, Andrew Johnston, Michael Lowe, James Webber and Paul Maddy joined Jankowski on 2 under par to keep the leaders looking over their shoulders.
Even though there was very little of the normal wind blowing on the second day the final round jitters were going to play their part in an exciting finale.
No jitters for Asian Tour player Nick Redfern though who scored a magnificent 4 under par 66 to lead the tournament at 3 under par.
Matt Ford dashed Redferns hopes of winning by carding a 3 under 67 which when added to his first round 69 gave him a final score of 4 under 136.
Andrew Johnston joined Ford almost immediately adding another 2 under par 68 to sit with Ford hoping to emerge victorious.
Coming down the stretch James Jankowski and David James were ahead of the pack now at 5 under and 6 under par respectively with just the last hole to play.
Playing his approach first David James leaked his shot into the right hand greenside bunker. Jankowski next to play bombed the flag with a great shot to within 10 feet for an obvious birdie chance.
Under pressure now James splashed out onto the fringe leaving him a chance from 15 feet which would force Jankowski to hole his putt to tie.
James missed by inches and tapped in to finish the tournament at 5 under par and leave Jankowski to study his 10 footer to win.
Sliding agonisingly by the hole the ball failed to comply with Jankowski’s wishes and so we had our first play-off of the year.
The play-off was to be sudden death over the 18th and 14th holes, the first extra hole completed in very solid pars, so onto the 14th. Two excellent drives, David James hits his approach pin high 15 feet right of the flag quickly followed by an arrow straight wedge finishing just 5 feet short, advantage Jankowski but only until James, obviously aware that he probably needed his putt to stay in the game, rammed his 15 footer into the back of the hole, pressure now back on Jankowski and after just a few moments deliberation, painfully slipped his putt passed the cup, playoff over!
David James’s very first Jamega win picking up the 1st Place cheque for £6000. James Jankowski obviously disappointed with losing the playoff, soon smiling when clutching his second place cheque for £3000.
The Players Club was in great condition with superb greens and as always the hospitality was excellent.
Our event at Wharton Park next week on the 17th-18th May is a virtually full and with membership of the tour swelling daily we would again ask you to get your entries in as early as possible for the events you wish to play in or you may be disappointed.