Yorkshire golf: Meltham GC’s Jamie Bower is new county champion after victory at Fulford

Meltham's Jamie Bower has won the Yorkshire men's amateur championship (Picture: Chris Stratford).
Meltham's Jamie Bower has won the Yorkshire men's amateur championship (Picture: Chris Stratford).
Have your say

NEW Yorkshire men’s champion Jamie Bower will leave his trophy in the clubhouse at Meltham GC for the next year.

It is his way of thanking the members at his home club for all their encouragement as he lifted his first county title.

York's Julian Taylor went close to defending his Yorkshire crown at Fulford GC (Picture: Chris Stratford).

York's Julian Taylor went close to defending his Yorkshire crown at Fulford GC (Picture: Chris Stratford).

Bower, who a week ago made his England senior bow in the Home Internationals, managed to keep title holder Julian Taylor (York) at bay by just one stroke at Fulford GC.

A semi-finalist at the English men’s amateur championship at Alwoodley GC a few weeks ago, Bower shot rounds of 70 71 70 71 for a six-under-par 282 aggregate.

Taylor threatened to retain his crown with a final round 67, but the Meltham man had just enough in hand.

Bondhay’s Dan Wasteney finished five shots back on one-under 287 (71 70 74 72) with Moortown’s David Houlding level par after carding 72 74 73 69.

“I’m going to leave the trophy at the golf club because I have had a lot of support from people all week,” said Yorkshire county player Bower. “A lot of people have been texting me and messaging me and saying congratulations, so I think it’s the right thing to put it there.”

Bower played alongside Taylor in the final round, which he began with a four-shot lead to the next best placed player, Wasteney, and five over Taylor.

But a poor start by himself and a strong showing from Taylor meant that by the time they stood on the 17th green the gap was down to only one shot.

When York’s Taylor holed a 15ft birdie putt it left Bower facing the prospect of going down the last level pegging with his playing partner.

But he showed his champion’s mettle by following him in from 12ft.

“I was pretty nervous over that putt knowing I had to make it to stay ahead,” said Bower, “but I read it perfectly and it went straight in the cup so it gave me a lot of confidence.

“I think I proved to myself that I can be pretty good under pressure right at the end, which is never a bad quality to have.”

Bower was full of praise for Taylor, who shot a tournament best 67 to close his defence.

“We had a great battle and he came at me with a few birdies,” he reflected. “He played really well this afternoon.

“He kept on getting closer and closer, but I managed to birdie the last two holes, which was a nice way to close to keep my lead.”

Victory meant Bower had gained a measure of revenge having twice fallen at the hands of Taylor when the event was a match play competition.

“Julian has actually been a bit of a nemesis in previous years as he beat me in the quarter-finals once and also in the semi-finals last year, so it was nice to finally get one over on him,” he said. “But he played brilliantly and put up a great fight in defence of his title.”

Bower’s mother, father and uncle run a small family business and have few opportunities to support him on the course.

But his mother took a rare day off on Thursday and was rewarded by seeing her son become Yorkshire champion.

Now it is his turn for a couple of days off.

“I am so tired as I have had only two days off in the last four weeks,” he said. “I’m absolutely exhausted.

“I have a Yorkshire match next weekend which is very important as we have a good chance of winning the [Northern Counties] title.

“I am definitely going to get a lot of rest before that - three or four days and then probably have a couple of days’ practice.”

His coach Alan Thompson, who is based at Heswall, was among the first to contact Bower to congratulate him.

“Alan is the long-game coach for the England A squad and he is also my personal coach,” said the Meltham man.

“I have been with him for about two years now and I have had a bit of a battle on trying to get my long game in shape. He has been a really big influence on that. He’s been fantastic and it’s [his long game] starting to get there now and I owe him a lot.”

Final scores

282: Jamie Bower (Meltham) 70 71 70 71

283: Julian Taylor (York) 70 73 73 67

287: Dan Wasteney (Bondhay) 71 70 74 72

288: David Houlding (Moortown) 72 74 73 69

289: Jack Lampkin (Ilkley) 78 69 69 73, Phil Tomkinson (Moortown) 75 70 71 73

290: Bailey Gill (Lindrick) 81 71 69 69

291: Nathan Fell (Lindrick) 74 72 72 73, James Walker (The Oaks) 74 70 72 75, Ben Firth (Moortown) 70 70 75 76

294: James Cass (Fulford) 75 72 74 73

295: Nicholas Raybould (Beverley & East Riding) 71 74 75 75

297: Martin Brown (Pike Hills) 76 76 73 72, Tom Broxup (Cookridge Hall) 79 72 74 72, David Hague (Malton & Norton) 79 71 75 72

298: Chris Green (Selby) 76 76 75 71, Damon Coulson (Fulford) 77 72 76 73

299: Andy Jones (Moortown) 78 75 73 73, Oliver Smith (Hallamshire) 74 77 75 73, William Adamson (Sandburn Hall) 77 75 72 75, Matthew Raybould (Bridlington) 77 73 72 77, Amardeep Manku (Wike Ridge) 74 72 72 81

300: George Forder (Fulford) 76 75 76 73, Michael Henson (Richmond ) 76 76 72 76

301: Joe Buckley (Harrogate) 78 74 78 71

302: George Muscroft (Otley) 78 74 77 73, Martin Haddock (Wheatley) 76 73 76 77

303: James Ratcliffe (Hull) 75 78 78 72

304: Scott Clegg (Owston Hall) 79 74 73 78, Alex Wiggins (Malton & Norton ) 76 73 74 81

306: Stephen Brennan (Wheatley) 76 76 77 77

307: Julian Wood (Hallamshire) 79 74 79 75, Rob Moore (Fulford) 74 79 78 76

309: Ryan Gray (Driffield) 80 72 79 78

311: Matthew Guest (Wakefield) 78 75 79 79, Dane Bairstow (Bingley St Ives) 76 75 80 80

314: Fergus Barron (Dewsbury & District) 75 76 80 83

315: Edward Battye (Bradley Park) 75 77 82 81

317: William Rushworth (Pannal) 80 73 80 84, Tom Irwin (Alwoodley) 71 79 82 85

320: Simon Irving (Cleckheaton & District) 76 76 82 86