June 15, 2018.
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Exiled Welshman Colin Jones showed lighting can strike twice after the storm has passed, winning his second Welsh Seniors title in a similar way to the first.
He won at Aberdovey two years after winning his first Welsh closed title there, thanks to an eagle 3 on the Par 5 15th, just as in 2016, coming into the tournament with confidence on the back of winning the Sussex Seniors a fortnight before, also just like 2016.
There was a storm overnight before the final round and the dark clouds seemed to be gathering for 57-year-old Jones as he fell down the leaderboard after holding a one shot lead overnight.
Five bogies in the first 12 holes seemed to have put paid to his chances of winning, but finishing three under in the last four holes, thanks largely to that eagle, meant he pipped Phillip Sutton of Dunstable Downs by one shot.
“I didn’t play particularly well for the first 12 holes,” admitted Jones, a retired banker from Sussex whose family came from Abergavenny.
“One of my playing partners, Phillip, had taken over the lead, but somehow I played the last four holes in three under to pip him – goodness knows where that came from.
“I feel I nicked it off him, it was just one of those things, Phil was very, very unlucky not to win.
“I have no idea what changed. On the par 5 15th I hit a driver and 4 iron to four feet for an eagle, which bizarrely I did two years ago when I won this for the first time so I suppose that brought back some good memories.
“I had a little bit of luck and a couple of good shots, but it was a very, very strange day for me and I feel quite numb about it.
“Winning two years ago did give me confidence, you have the knowledge that you have been there before and done it before which does help a bit.
“I knew I was playing quite well going into it, a fortnight ago I won the Sussex Seniors and then played well in the English Open.”
Jones was full of praise for the way the event was run and the challenge Aberdovey provided, coping with the changing weather conditions.
“A storm passed through overnight before the final day, it was dry but blustery, so tournament organiser David Wilson had made sure some tees were pushed forward and the greens were a little slower so the balls wouldn’t be blown around.
“I love Aberdovey, it is a great course, a very, very good links course and it is always a pleasure to play in these Welsh events because they are so well run.
“I live in Sussex but my family are from Abergavenny and I made the decision to play in Welsh closed events in my 20’s. That locks me into playing Welsh senior events now, but I would not consider anything else anyway.
“I have played in the last two Home Internationals and hopefully this win will get me into the reckoning again.”
Wales golf championships manager David Wilson added, “Congratulations to Colin on an impressive comeback, just when it looked as though his chances might have gone.
“Aberdovey was a tremendous venue for the championship, a really good test for the players which was adaptable depending on the different weather conditions. It was also in great condition and received a lot of praise from the players.”
Picture captions: Colin Jones with the Welsh Seniors trophy, the Aberdovey captain Lindsay Parry is in the jacket and tie, and the other player on the right is runner up Philip Sutton.