Midland Order of Merit: Shifnal Ox

BULLISH EFFORT: Jenson Forrester with the Shifnal Ox trophy, the opening Midlands Order of Merit competition of the season

Jenson storms back to claim Shifnall opener

MIDLANDS: Monday, May 17th

Highly-talented junior Jenson Forrester overcame a torrid couple of early holes to claim the opening Midlands Order of Merit event at Shifnal.

The 17-year-old Walsall GC star, who won the Midlands Closed Championship last year, had back-to-back double bogeys at the end of his front nine in his first round but stormed back in brilliant style and fittingly closed out the victory with a superb birdie at the first play-off hole.

Jenson hit his approach to five feet and holed the putt while his opponent – Richard Wale (The Leicstershire) – could not match him from 20 feet.

The duo finished the 36-hole event on one under which left them three clear of Telford’s James Showell.

For the teenager a birdie at his 10th hole – he started on ten – got things going. The hole before he three-putted from four feet to leave himself four over par. He also birdied four and six to leave himself three back of Wales at the halfway stage but it was all to play for. He was one of eight players within three shots of the lead at that stage.

In the afternoon the Staffordshire teenager birdied the first two and lipped out for further birdies at three and four to maintain the momentum. He would also birdie 15 but a bogey at the penultimate hole meant he finished level with the Leicestershire man.

The best round of the afternoon came from Worcestershire’s Nathan Slater (Bewdley Pines). His 68 saw him shoot up into eighth overall.

Leading scores (par 71)
1) Jenson Forrester (-3, Walsall GC) 72, 69, 141 (P/O)
2) Richard Wale (-5, The Leicestershire) 69, 72, 141
3) James Showell (-3, Telford) 71, 72, 143
4) Daniel Bardsley (-2, Moor Hall) 71, 73, 144
5) Chris Crane (-1, South Staffs) 75, 70, 145
6) Nick Evans (1, Shewsbury) 73, 72, 145
7) Thomas Kerr (-1 Shrewsbury) 71, 74, 145
8) Nathan Slater (-2, Bewdley Pines) 78, 68, 146
9) Jake Ball (0, Woodhall Spa) 72, 74, 146
10) Ian Jenner (-1,Shifnal) 74, 73, 147
UP AND RUNNING: Jenson Forrester tees off