Melton Golf Club: Callum crowned club champion after play-off duel

New Melton Golf Club champion Callum Relf with the John Jackson Trophy EMN-150707-175943002
New Melton Golf Club champion Callum Relf with the John Jackson Trophy EMN-150707-175943002
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There was a thrilling finish to the John Jackson Club Championship on Sunday with five competitors in contention for the title going into the back nine.

In one the most exciting finishes in years at Melton Mowbray Golf Club, Callum Relf led after the morning round having shot a five-under handicap level gross 70.

Rob Smith lay second with four-under (gross 71), while five others all carded below handicap scores.

The afternoon competition was a spectacle full of birdies and four players still harboured hopes of the title as they left the 14th green.

In the last group out, Rob Smith and Callum Relf both birdied the par four 12th hole, but Sam Pollard responded brilliantly with birdies of his own at the 14th and 15th to snatch the lead.

As the trio left 16, Callum lay one shot adrift, but birdied the par five 17th to pull level. The pair both shot a par on the last to force a sudden death play-off.

A large group of spectators followed Callum and Sam as they headed up the first. Sam’s second shot landed on the right edge of the green, but Callum’s found the green to give him the chance of a birdie putt.

But two putts proved enough to secure the win as Sam’s chip left him with a long putt and he finished with a bogey five.

Club captain Brendan Boyce said he had witnessed some of the best golf he had ever seen at Melton before presenting the John Jackson Championship Trophy to Callum on the first tee.

The 55 and over aged players taking part were also playing for the Senior Club Championship for the best gross score over 36 holes.

Having secured a five-shot lead in the first round, Guy Rayson won the trophy for the third successive year, equalling runner-up Phil Millward’s record of three senior titles.

Phil was unable to pull back the morning deficit, but retained his second place for both rounds.

* Callum warmed up for Sunday with a top three finish at the midweek medal last Wednesday.

Overall winner Jon Baxter had a tremendous seven-under handicap round of nett 63, while the in-form Jack Griffin shot a nett 66 to take runners-up spot, following up his nett 63 in the previous weekend’s medal. This resulted in Jack’s handicap dropping from 16 to 11 in just six days.

Callum beat Phil Curtis on countback for third place, both having shot a nett 68.

The two’s sweep was shared by Mick Wilson, Matt Catton, Jon Baxter, Kieran Foster, Cameron Young, John Harvey, Tim Mortimer and Callum Relf.