Jerome Foster has capped a thrilling year’s golf at his home club, The Shire London, by becoming only the second amateur in history to win a Jamega Pro Golf Tour event.
Over two days in late September Foster shot 68-69 (-7) to take the year’s penultimate Jamega Tour title by two shots from Ryan Boyns, Sam Forgan and 2017’s Jamega Order Of Merit winner Jamie Abbott.
Using his local knowledge of the 7,028 yard Seve Ballesteros Masters Course at The Shire London, Foster played almost flawless golf to take the tournament, with ten birdies and only three bogeys over the 36 holes. Standing over a three-footer for par at the 18th on the final day, Foster thought he had to make the putt to secure a playoff place against Abbott, not realising that the latter had double-bogeyed the final hole to slip two shots back.
When the putt dropped, Foster was surprised hear the words “You’ve won” as he was embraced by his caddy – who was his father, Winston.
After lifting his first trophy in a professional golf tournament, the 22-year old Sports Science graduate from Hull University felt a rush of satisfaction: “I’ve played in Open Qualifying for two years running, and finished T12 in last year’s Jamega tournament at The Shire London, but nothing comes close to the feeling of winning. I’ve worked hard on my game this summer, and everything came together. It feels great, as an amateur just starting out, to beat the pros.”
One-handicap Foster, who has been a member at The Shire London for two years, has become tough to beat at his home club, successfully defending his Men’s Club Championship title in July, and repeating the feat in this year’s Scratch Matchplay championship at the club.
The next challenge comes in November, when he heads to the Algarve to compete in The Portugal Pro Golf Tour – having gained free entry to each Tour event as his prize for winning The Shire London leg of this year’s Jamega Tour.
Jamega Pro Golf Tour Tournament Director Tony Jones said: “This was a massive achievement for an amateur youngster competing against a very strong professional field. He showed superb strength of character, and Jerome will receive a very warm welcome back should he enter future Jamega Tour events.”
Foster plans to compete as an amateur in at least six professional events in Portugal this winter, getting in some warm weather training along the way, before returning to the UK to focus on the amateur golf circuit. “If my form is good coming out of Portugal” he said, “I will enjoy testing myself in some of the UK’s most iconic and prestigious amateur golf events in 2018.”
The Shire London’s Ceri Menai-Davis said: “Jerome is a Club Champion to be proud of. He sets a great example to all young golfers: he practises until the sun sets, and conducts himself with honour and respect for his fellow golfers at all times. It has been a pleasure to witness his progress in the sport, and we are delighted at the way in which he represents the golf club.”