Opens: North of England Men’s Strokeplay

BIG WIN: Jack Brooks (The Mere) with the North of England Strokeplay trophy

Jack enters world’s top 100 after blowing away field at Seaton Carew

OPENS: Friday October 1st

FORMAT: 72-hole strokeplay

Jack Brooks climbed into the top 100 in the Scratch Players World Amateur Rankings after defying the “brutal” weather conditions and a strong field in the North of England Strokeplay Championship at Seaton Carew last night.

The England squad player won by four shots thanks to a superb display in the wind and squally showers. That the 30-year-old was three under par for his final 36 holes was testament to his abilities.

The Mere-based player has been hugely consistent all season but his first victory in the showpiece end-of-season competition has sent him up to 95th in the world, making him the fifth highest GB&I player in the standings.

At the County Durham venue, Jack was pleased that all the work he has put in to change the way he hits the ball paid dividends.

“I have worked really hard on controlling ball flight for course and situations like this,” said Jack.

“Most of our top competitions are played on links courses so I have adapted my game for links golf.

“And I hit some really good shots in the wind. It was a question of one swing at a time.”

Going into the final day – with 36 holes being played yesterday after the cut – the Bolton-based player was three behind Jack McPhail (Southport and Ainsdale) but 18 holes later was two ahead of the Lancastrian thanks to a superb 69, which was only one shot off the lowest round of the competition.

“In the afternoon my game plan was to shoot level par,” added The Mere player. “The greens were brilliant but they didn’t cut them overnight because of the high winds. Putting conditions were really tough with the ball moving all over the place.

“Plus the pins were in hard places so there was no hiding place from it so it was nice to keep going and get over the line.”

In the afternoon, despite starting with a bogey for the fourth round in succession, the soon-to-be champion took full control with three birdies in a row starting at the third.

After an excellent two-putt par at the second, he almost aced the par three next and then holed a couple of 15 footers at the fourth and the fifth.

He did drop shots at the eighth and 10th but at the very next hole stuck his approach to five feet and made no mistake with the putt.

Two holes later he grabbed another birdie. A stunning up and down out of the bunker at the par five gave him a five-shot lead over the fast-finishing Andrew Minnikin (City Of Newcastle). Jack had a 50-yard shot out of the sand and knocked in the putt for a four.

He did bogey 17 but by then the challengers had been blown away.

“The finish at Seaton Carew is really tough,” added Jack.

“It was good to make some pars there. It was only on the final green that I knew the situation.”

His closing 70 left him one over par overall with recent England Golf Champion of Champions Minnikin in second while three players finished a shot further back on six over. They included Kings Hill’s Jacob Kelso, who closed with a 68 having been five under thru 13.

Leading scores (par 71)
1) Jack Brooks (The Mere) 73, 73, 69, 70, 285 (+1)
2) Andrew Minnikin (City of Newcastle) 75, 74, 69, 71, 289 (+5)
3) Jacob Kelso (Kings Hill) 71, 77, 74, 68, 290 (+6)
4) James Claridge (Enville) 69, 75, 75, 71, 290 (+6)
5) Martin McCririck (South Shields) 72, 75, 71, 72, 290 (+6)
6) Harley Smith (Rayleigh) 76, 70, 76, 69, 291 (+7)
7) Jordan Boulton (Hollinwell) 71, 69, 71, 72, 293 (+9)
8) Jack McPhail (Southport and Ainsdale) 71, 72, 74, 76, 293 (+9)
9) Cameron Wallace (Cleveland) 72, 77, 74, 71, 294 (+10)
10) Max Berrisford (Shipley) 75, 75, 73, 72, 295 (+11)
For all the scores click here