MUIRFIELD, SCOTLAND (August 14, 2005) -- Daniel Perrett from Clevedon, Somerset became the third man in the short history of the British Mid-Amateur Championship to retain the title when he beat Steve Sansome (Birstall) by one hole in the 18-hole final at Muirfield.
Perrett, a 26-year-old accountant, followed in the footsteps of Gary Wolstenholme (1995-96) and John Kemp (2002-2003), coming from behind with a grandstand finish to snatch the title from the grasp of 39-year-old Sansome, the English Mid-Amateur title-holder.
One down with three to play, Perrett squared the match at the short 16th where his opponent was bunkered over the green. Then he went one up by downing a 15ft putt for a birdie 4 at the long 17th. It was the first time he had led since the fifth hole.
"It was a scrappy final. Neither of us played as well as we probably did to get to the last stage and I seemed to be behind for most of the match," said Perrett. "But my girl friend and caddie, Karen, kept encouraging me, telling me not to give up, to keep trying my hardest. And that's what I did. I just hung on as best I could. Steve three-putted the 14th when I could have gone two down and he got a bad break when he was bunkered at the short 16th.
"I was surprised to win this championship last year. I am doubly surprised to have done it again but it's been a privilege to play over a links of the quality of Muirfield. I feel honoured to have won a championship here."
Sansome, who will defend the Logan Trophy for the English Mid-Amateur Championship at Delamere Forest later this week, was philosophical about his defeat. "It was the first time I had played in the British so it's been a great experience, especially over a course like Muirfield," he said.
"I probably played my best golf on Saturday when I was something like eight under par in winning twice. I certainly wasn't under par in the final although, to be honest, I felt I was playing better golf than Daniel for a good part of the match. But I didn't putt as well as I had in the morning semi-final."
Sansome won the first hole with a par four but bogeyed the next to be pulled back to level.
Perrett's par 5 at the long fifth was good enough to see him go one up but he bogeyed the next for Sansome to draw level again.
At the 508-yard ninth, Sansome raised his game with an eagle three. While Perrett was well short in two after a moderate drive, Sansome hit an iron second pin high on the green. Perrett couldn't hole his 15-foot putt for a birdie. Sansome, with two putts for it, holed for an eagle from 10ft to go one up.
The nip-and-tuck nature of the final continued with Perrett squaring the match at the 10th. After two halves, Sansome got a birdie at the short 13th to go one up for a third time, but he three-putted the 14th to let Perrett escape with a half in five.
Perrett squared the match with a par at the short 16th and went one up for the first time since the fifth by holing a 15ft putt at the long 17th. At the 18th, Sansome, who had never played the hole in the match-play stages, drove into a bunker. He splashed out and hit a splendid iron 20 feet over the flagstick. Perrett, just off the green in two shots, played a great little chip to within four feet. Sansome hit the hole with his putt but the ball stayed out. Perrett missed his putt for a par but a half in five was enough for him to keep the title.