Yorkshire golf: Jamie Bower steered impressive course at Amateur despite errant driving

YORKSHIRE champion Jamie Bower heads for the prestigious Brabazon Trophy at the London Club this week buoyed by having reached the last 16 of the Amateur championship despite waging a battle with his swing.

Jamie Bower after his victory in the Southern Cape Open in South Africa.

His driving, such a key element of his hugely successful start to the year when he won two tournaments in South Africa while touring as part of an England Golf squad, has been a problem for a while since returning to these shores.

However, it is testament to both the rest of his game and the Meltham man’s strong mental outlook that he was able not only to qualify for the match play stage of the Amateur championship, but also win two matches before falling to Scottish Walker Cup player Ewen Ferguson.

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“I was fighting my swing all week, and I have done for a while, so I was really pleased to get that far,” said Bower.

“I’ve been struggling off the tee, mainly with shots going right as well as the occasional one left.

“But I had a good couple of hours practice on Saturday and a good solid practice day (yesterday) so hopefully my long game will be in better shape for the Brabazon.”

Bower shot a one-under-par 70 in his first qualifying round last week, at Royal Porthcawl, that was made up of 17 pars and one birdie.

The bland statistics suggested he had enjoyed a consistent day’s golf, but masked the fact that his driver was misbehaving.

“I didn’t really have too many birdie chances,” reflected, the England international, who has risen from outside the top 100 last year to a place at No 38 in the world amateur rankings.

“I was hitting greens, but was leaving the ball a long way from the hole.

“When I did get in trouble in the rough, I managed to get out and then get up and down for pars.

“It was a very scratchy, scrambling round, which is not what the scorecard suggests.”

Bower’s England international team-mate Scott Gregory won the Amateur championship at Royal Porthcawl on Saturday.

The 21-year-old from Hampshire beat Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre 2&1 in the 36-hole final.