The Journal Champion of Champions 2011 - Phil Ridden
PHIL Ridden won The Journal Champion of Champions for the second time in three years yesterday, then issued a vote of thanks to former British Mid Amateur champion Shaun Philipson for his punditry in Saturday morning’s Journal.
By his own high standards the City of Newcastle player was falling just short of his best before a gloriously triumphant weekend. Victory in the Bishop Auckland 36-holer on Saturday was followed by a level par course record of 71 on the Colt at Close House in the Champions.
A season which has also brought him the Lagonda Trophy – a national event won in the past by Close House’s attached Tour pro Lee Westwood plus Luke Donald and Kenneth Ferrie – along with three wins on the Masters North East Series of scratch 36-holers has helped him to almost £4,000 in prize table vouchers, the currency used for rewarding amateurs.
Some inspiration for his latest victory came when he got round to reading his Saturday Journal yesterday morning and discovered Philipson had tipped him to win, Philipson also successfully tipping fourth placed Brancepeth Castle’s Richard Aisbitt for a top five spot in the Champions
“OK, I was pleased with Saturday’s result,” said Ridden. “I shot four under 68 and two under 72 to win the Bishop Auckland Bowl.
“But when somebody like Shaun says you are going to win the Champions, that fills you full of confidence
“As a former British Mid Amateur champion who has won the Champions twice running, Shaun has seen it all and done it all.”
Coincidentally, Ridden received the trophy from Close House captain David Fulton, a former captain of Phillipson’s club, Prudhoe.”
There was a modicum of whingeing from some of the lesser players in the field, a few of them blaming the Colt for some of the horror stories you can view on the scoreboard.
“They must be joking,” said an incredulous Ridden.
“Those fairways were wide open and the fairway on the 13th is 136 yards wide.
“If anything, the Colt Course is too easy.
“What are they complaining about – this is the Champions after all!”