07 Jul 17
Amateur Jack Marsh (left) with professional partner Scott Godfrey.
Bournemouth amateur Jack Marsh reaped the rewards for months of practice by clinching a place in Lombard Trophy Final.
Marsh stepped up his game last winter and has brought his handicap down from 27 to 22 in the space of a few months after working with his Ferndown Golf Club professional Scott Godfrey since January.
The pair teamed up at Parkstone Golf Club to put their efforts to the test. And the Dorset duo showed it had paid off in style as they posted a stunning 11 under par round of 61 to book their place in the Portugal final.
But it was a close fought contest, and a strong finish, which saw them end with four successive birdies, was key to victory as they pipped Andrew Windsor and Michael Bessant (Knighton Heath Golf Club) and Andy Beal and Peter Tryhorn (Salisbury & South Wilts Golf Club) by just one shot.
Marsh and Godfrey will now head to the Algarve for the £41,000, Coca-Cola and Pestana Resorts, supported National Pro-Am grand final which will be played at the Vila Sol resort between September 21-22.
“I’ve put in a lot of hard work with Scott over the winter, and it’s starting to pay off now. So it’s entirely thanks to him that I got the chance to play in the regional final,” said 25-year-old operations analyst Marsh.
“But I’ve always been in between a few different sports, and I decided over the winter it was time to take my more seriously. Scott’s a great coach and the benefits are there now with handicap tumbling now. It’s only in the last couple of years that I’ve started to play frequently.
“As for getting to the Lombard Trophy Final, I don’t know what to say. It’s a pinnacle for amateur players. It doesn’t come any bigger and I’m excited to be going to Portugal.”
Marsh was unfamiliar with the Parkstone course but Godfrey knew it well.
“It was my first round there so Scott was a big help to me having played it a few times, he was able to help me round,” added Marsh.
“We ended up in a bit of a match play scenario with the Broadstone guys we were playing with and that helped us finish quite strongly.
“Scott said 10 under par would be the benchmark so it was great to get to 11 under par.”
Godfrey praised Marsh’s contribution to the victory which saw the pair eight under par after the first seven holes.
“My partner did most of the damage, on the front nine he had seven pars and with shot on each of those holes - there was also a nett eagle on the sixth hole, we were flying at that point,” said the Ferndown PGA professional.
“Then he came back towards the end with the shot of the day on the 15th hole hitting five wood to within about two feet of the hole. He was without doubt the star of the show, held his nerve knowing the prize that was at stake.
“If I’d come off the course at 10 under par, I would’ve thought that would be good enough.”