England and Wales (North) Region
06 Dec 18
PGA professional Kevin Jackson thought he would never play again following a career-threatening injury.
He was recovering from surgery which had failed to repair nerve damage in his left forearm and wrist and left him wearing a wire cage to support a drooping hand.
But six years on, he is celebrating his first win since got back into the swing.
Jackson, accepting an invitation as a late replacement in the NE-NW PGA Portugal Pro-am, defied all the odds to end the week a winner.
The Ramside-based professional shot a four round total of 11-under-par to prevail by six shots from runner-up Philip Waugh, from of Cumbria club Brampton.
Jackson capped victory with a six-under par final round at Palmeres Golf Club, Lagos.
He said: “It was an emotional week for me. I knew I was in with a chance of winning after my third round. I went for a walk on the beach and just said to myself ‘have courage, make it happen,’ and I played great golf in the last round.”
The 46-year-old only missed four fairways in 72 holes and revealed he’d taught himself to play differently after three surgeries on his forearm.
“I’ve had to adapt and learn to play within myself because I don’t have anywhere near the power I once had in my left hand, wrist and arm. It has helped me apply my coaching knowledge and figure out a new way of getting it round in good scores,” he explained.
Jackson finished ahead of a strong field that included serial winners Mark Ridley, Simon Robinson and PGA Cup player Michael Nesbitt.
Tom Flowers, NE-NW PGA secretary, said: "I was delighted to see Kevin win. He’s a lovely person and has come through great adversity to achieve this. He is a proven winner, on and off the golf course and is popular with his fellow professionals. Kevin is a great example to everyone to never give up.”
Jackson runs KRJ Golf Coaching and coaches at Ramside and Wearside golf clubs, working with players of all ability levels.
This year he launched a new junior coaching programme of competitive events based at Wearside’s nine-hole academy course.
More than 50 junior golfers, aged from five to 16, took part. He is also lead coach to the Durham Sixth Form Centre golf academy programme.