Golf: Guelpa wins first Island title
- Former junior champion wins first senior crown at La Moye.
- Guelpa makes up for 2014 final loss with 2&1 victory.
ALEX GUELPA won the Acorn Jersey Amateur Golf Championship for the first time on Sunday thanks to a 2&1 defeat of Jason Stokes at La Moye.
Having lost a hotly contested final at the hands of Gavin O'Neill in 2014, Guelpa showed ample determination throughout the weekend, and his fortunes took a turn in the right direction as he overcame the 2013 Island junior champion in testing conditions.
2011: Trevor Gray
2012: Matthew Parkman
2013: Matthew Parkman
2014: Gavin O'Neill
2015: Alex Guelpa
A blustery La Moye prevented a repeat of the straight-shooting final of 12 months ago, but with defending champ O'Neill knocked out in the semi-finals by Stokes (2&1), a debut senior title was to be awarded regardless of the outcome.
After creeping into the final with a 20th-hole semi-final victory against Jeremy Phillips, Guelpa made up for last year's disappointment with a solid display yesterday afternoon against his junior opponent.
Playing on his home course, Stokes was slow to re-discover the form that led him to BGGA Orlando Open glory last month, and he could only watch on as his Royal Jersey rival steadily edged ahead.
Guelpa nudged himself 5-up ahead of the 13th after a period of mistake-free golf, but the tie was far from over.
Stokes brought the deficit down to four as the duo approached the 15th, and he was back to within two on the 16th green as Guelpa began to wobble. The 2003 junior champion held his nerve on the 17th though – as he did in 2014, when he sunk a monstrous 60-footer – and following a 'pure' six-foot putt the NatWest Island Games reserve was left beaming as he booked himself a place in the Channel Island final.
Alex Guelpa: "I have good omens on the 17th ... it was great to hit a pure putt in the middle of the hole."
'I was really pleased to get over the line after last year, and after a good fight-back by Jason,' said Guelpa.
'I wasn't really making any mistakes and was 5-up with six to play, but then I don't know what happened – shots just started going off line and putts didn't drop.
'It's nice to go one better than last year and I'm looking forward to my first Channel Island final.'
Guelpa will play Guernsey champion Bobby Eggo for the 2015 CI honours at La Moye on 21 June.
[gallery title= "GALLERY: 2015 Jersey Amateur Golf Championship final"]
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