MELTHAM’S Jamie Bower was forced to pass on attempting to add the County Champion of Champions title to the Yorkshire crown he won last month.
Bower has been suffering from a ‘wear-and-tear’ wrist injury after a busy summer which has seen him make his senior international bow for England in the Home Internationals.
He had hoped to compete on Sunday at Woodhall Spa in England Golf’s event open to county champions from throughout the country.
However, he decided it was better to continue his rehabilitation process with just a few holes of practice golf rather than 36 competitive holes in Lincolnshire.
“My wrist is almost there, but I just didn’t want to slow down my recovery,” said Bower, a semi-finalist at the English men’s amateur championship just prior to his Yorkshire title triumph.
“No one likes sitting around, but it’s for the best.
“I’m back playing a few holes, hitting a few woods, too, so it’s not far off back to normal.”
Cumbria’s Will Bowe won the English Men’s County Champion of Champions title at his ninth attempt, scoring five under par over 36 holes at Woodhall Spa.
“Finally,” he said, after holing a knee-knocking three footer for par on the 18th hole on the Hotchkin course to win by a shot with scores of 70 71.
The 32-year-old has just won his county championship for the ninth time and has played in the Champion of Champions event on every occasion.
“I am very proud to win it, over the moon,” said Bowe, who is the second Cumbrian to take the title. He follows the 1977 champion Mike Walls who, like Bowe, represented Workington.
View video interview with Yorkshire champion Jamie Bower by clicking HERE
Bowe’s win broke a logjam at the top of the leaderboard, which at one point in the closing stages saw four players tied at the top. He made his crucial move when he birdied 16 and 17, but then had a long wait on the 18th tee.
“My knees were knocking then,” he laughed. “Everything goes through your mind and I’d just had two birdies and I wanted to get going.”
Bowe knew it was close over the closing holes, but just followed his game plan to “keep plodding along and give myself chances. I didn’t know if I had done enough but I knew five under would be round about the mark.”
Behind him, Lancashire’s Ian Kenwright (Haydock Park) won the tussle for second place, beating Cambridgeshire’s James Reeson (Brampton Park) on countback after they finished on four under.
Cornwall’s Conor Wilson (Perranporth) was fourth on three under, while Norfolk’s Simon Clark (Gt Yarmouth & Caister) was fifth on two under, having led the field after 27 holes.
Kenwright, who will represent Lancashire at men’s County Finals, enjoyed getting in the mix.
“Win or lose it’s been a good weekend,” he said. He birdied the 17th to keep his challenge alive, while Reeson, who was making his second appearance in the event, staked his claim with a great up and down for birdie from a greenside bunker on the 18th.