Carus Green Golf Club resident and European Senior Tour winner Gary Wolstenholme MBE narrowly missed out on lifting his fourth European Senior Tour title this week at the Acorn Jersey Open, eventually being piped to the post on the third play-off hole by Gordon Manson.
Ping ambassador Gary headed to Jersey after receiving an invitation to play from the events headline sponsors Acorn Jersey. With the warm weather and favourable condition of the golf course, playing fast and firm Gary was in confident mood by the time he got underway on Thursday in his first round as one of the select field of 54 professionals.
An opening round of one under par (71) saw the two time British Amateur Champion in the chasing pack having no luck on the greens, however heading into the second day this was about to change. A scintillating 65 on the second day pushed Gary up the leaderboard and right into contention for the title on eight under par, two shot behind major and home favourite Ian Woosnam.
The final round started amid blustery conditions which suited Gary. Two birdies at the 4th and 7th holes plus and eagle at the 2nd put Gary in the lead however a lost ball and subsequent triple bogey seven at the 9th hole put him back into the pack. Gary showed his mental strength despite his frustration. Further birdies at the 11th and 15th got Gary in the lead once again as Woosnam slipped adrift. However a new contender, Gordon Manson was hot on Gary's heels. A bogey at the par 5 16th hole knocked Gary back into a two way tie with Manson on 10 under with two to play.
Gary finished comfortably with two regulation pars which inevitably meant the event went into a playoff with Gordon Manson, Gary and Woosnam who made a magnificent birdie at the last to secure his spot.
The crowds gathered around the 17th tee as the playoff began but the conclusion wasn’t going to come until the 3rd play-off hole where Gordon Manson holed his birdie putt with Wolstenholme and Woosnam already in the hole for par.
This result meant so much to Gary and now gains him entry into the next event on the European Senior Tour season, the Swiss Senior Open taking place from the 1st July.
Farmfoods ambassador Gary commented: "I’m thrilled with how this week has turned out, with the improvements in my Ping equipment and health after having back problems throughout 2015 I feel ready to compete again and this week proves i can still do it. The first goal was to get into the Swiss event which I have done and now i am looking forward to the rest of the season. Thanks for all those that have supported me as always."
Competing alongside his Champions of Golf manager, Lloyd Bailey in the team Pro-Am event, run in conjunction with the main senior event, team Bailey finished on a grand total of 25 under for three rounds which was good enough for 3rd place overall.