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Gary pipped at the post in Jersey

NORTH West-based professional Gary Wolstenholme MBE, narrowly missed out on lifting his fourth European Senior Tour title when he finished second at the Acorn Jersey Open, eventually being pipped to the post on the third play-off hole by Austrian Gordon Manson.

Carus Green Golf Club pro and Ping ambassador, Wolstenholme, headed to Jersey after receiving an invitation to play from the event’s headline sponsors, Acorn Jersey.

An opening round of one under par (71) saw the two-time British Amateur Champion in the chasing pack. However, a scintillating 65 on the second day pushed him up the leaderboard and into contention for the title on eight under par, two shots behind major and home favourite, Ian Woosnam.

The final round started amid blustery conditions, which suited Wolstenholme. Two birdies at the fourth and seventh holes plus an eagle at the second put him in the lead; however, a lost ball and subsequent triple bogey seven at the ninth hole put him back into the pack.

He showed his mental strength despite his frustration. Further birdies at the 11th and 15th saw him in the lead once again, as Woosnam slipped adrift. However, a new contender, Manson, was hot on Wolstenholme’s heels, who bogeyed the 16th hole to be in a two-way tie with Manson on 10 under with two to play.

Wolstenholme finished with two regulation pars, which inevitably meant the event went into a playoff with Manson, Wolstenholme and Woosnam who made a magnificent birdie at the last to secure his spot.

The crowds gathered around the 17th tee as the playoff began, but the conclusion wasn’t going to come until the third play-off hole where Manson holed his birdie putt with Wolstenholme and Woosnam already in the hole for par.

Despite missing out on top spot, his tied second finish gained him entry into this month’s Swiss Senior Open.

Farmfoods ambassador Wolstenholme commented: “I’m thrilled with how the week has turned out. With the improvements in my equipment and health after having back problems throughout 2015, I feel ready to compete again and this week proves I can still do it.

“The first goal was to get into the Swiss event which I have done and now I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. Thanks for all those that have supported me as always.”