Phil Ridden survived a nail-biting finish to win the Logan Trophy.
Phil – a member at the City of Newcastle Golf Club – carded a final round of 75 to lead the field in the 54-hole championship on five over-par (215). From a starting field of 144 players aged over 35, Phil crossed the line to win the English Mid-Amateur Championship by a solitary shot from a chasing group of four players.
Clubmate Andrew Minnikin, Mike Henson (Rockliffe Hall), Simon Richardson (Spalding) and Ian Kenwright (Haydock Park) missed out on a playoff by the smallest of margins over three days of play at Thorpeness Golf Club in Suffolk.
Phil’s victory came only after some drama on the 18th hole. He closed with a double bogey six and then breathed a sigh of relief when his playing partner, Durham’s Mike Henson, missed a six-footer for par to force a playoff.
For Phil, it was a poignant moment when he lifted a trophy gifted in 1988 by the late George Logan, a stalwart of golf in the north east and a former English Golf Union president, who passed away in 2020.
Phil said: “George is well-known back home in Northumberland and is a bit of legend in the north east so it’s definitely coming home this time. I’d like to dedicate this to George’s memory.”
Phil – who held the lead after both 18 and 36 holes – started the day with a three-shot advantage over playing partner Mike. Following a run of three bogeys from the fifth hole, a birdie at the ninth gave him a two-shot lead. Through 16 holes there was only one shot in it as Mike refused to give up the fight.
But thanks to a steadying birdie three at the penultimate hole, Phil stood on the 18th tee at three over-par and held a two-shot cushion. The clubhouse lead was six-over par, meaning it was a straight fight between the two men in the final group. Phil opted to take iron off the tee and then laid up short of the green. A wayward wedge approach shot then landed in a greenside bunker. With Mike on the green in two it all came down to a putting contest. While Phil two-putted for a six, Mike raced his birdie effort past the hole and then missed the return which would have forced a playoff.
Phil added: “It was hard work today. The putter definitely wasn’t as warm, which made it a bit more interesting, but I’m over the moon to get over the line. I didn’t know what was going on down the last – I knew I was two ahead of Mike and that’s all I knew. I thought I’d chip my way down and make a five and hope he doesn’t make three – but if he does it’s a good three on the last. I didn’t manage to pull it off, but it was an easy six in the end! I’m delighted to win.”