Knebworth Park golfer Jamie Rutherford claims first EuroPro title

PUBLISHED: 07:02 20 August 2015 | UPDATED: 09:57 20 August 2015

Knebworth Park golfer Jamie Rutherford wins first PGA Europro Tour event Picture: Ian Horrocks/HotelPlanner.com PGA EuroPro Tour

Knebworth Park golfer Jamie Rutherford wins first PGA Europro Tour event Picture: Ian Horrocks/HotelPlanner.com PGA EuroPro Tour

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Knebworth Park golfer Jamie Rutherford claims first EuroPro title

In the midst of a gruelling seven-week schedule encompassing seven PGA EuroPro Tour events with no rest time, the Knebworth Park golfer was not getting the rub of the green and felt a honing session was in order.

Missing the PDC Open in Chart Hills, Ashford, the 23-year-old returned to the circuit last week at Slaley Hall, Northumberland feeling refreshed and it duly paid off, although in bizarre circumstances.

At the the Break90 Championship, the conditions were as soggy as last month’s Scottish Open. A typical northern summer making life difficult for the outdoor community.

With the competition scheduled for three rounds, the final chapter was spectacularly washed out, leaving no leeway for any play.

That prompted tournament directors to call the three nine-under-par pacesetters back for a play-off on the manicured and dredged 15th hole, meaning Rutherford would square off against Teignmouth Golf Club’s Billy Hemstock and Army Golf Club’s Sam Robertshawe.

A pressure cooker situation for some, but having been dogged by an up and down 2015 campaign, Rutherford was embroiled in what he called a win-win situation.

Rutherford told the WHT: “I felt like I had a real chance of winning the event without that rain delay.

“My game had come together and I was feeling confident. However, there seemed to be no opportunity to play that final round.

“At first, the thought of the play-off was nerve-wracking but then I was lucky enough to draw the lot to tee off first every time so I think that put a lot of pressure on the other guys.

“After drawing the hole the first time round, we went back to the start and I was in a bit of trouble off my tee shot. However, I made a long putt to keep myself in the running and that seemed to relax me.

“When Sam was eliminated after the third try on the hole and it was just Billy and I, I played a couple of perfect shots to set up the win and I managed to finish it.

“It was a special win but there is more work to do.”

The victory, his first on the EuroPro Tour, leaves Rutherford on the cusp of the 2015 Order of Merit, with the top five gaining a card for next year’s Challenger Tour, the level above his current standing and one below the main European Tour.

Perfect momentum to mount a charge for the next stage of the golfing circuit.

“Last year was my first on the EuroPro Tour so it was a learning curve,” he said.

“I finished 50th in the Order of Merit, which isn’t great, but something to build on.

“Now with three events to go then the Tour championships, I have a good chance of stepping up to the next level. It would be an important step. I feel my game is there so it’s just about self-belief. This win will certainly increase my confidence.

“If I’m not successful I still have a chance to gain entry into next year’s Challenger event through a European Tour school I will be attending so there is plenty to play for before the season ends.”


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