FORMER England Seniors captain Alan Mew’s dream run in the US Senior Amateur Championship was dashed by New Zealand’s Brent Paterson, the reigning Senior Amateur Champion.
Mew, the ex-European Seniors player, who represented England at Senior level from 2014 to 2017, had qualified in 33rd place at Martis Camp Place, in California. He shot a superb second round of 71, on Sunday, having opened up with an 80 to book his place in the matchplay knockout after posting seven-under.
The three-time English Mid-Amateur Champion, who grew up in Trinidad & Tobago, before moving to Hampshire after a spell on the European Tour, was the only player to break par in round two, with that nine-shot improvement in his one-under par 71.
But he never got going after making the last 64 in the matchplay. With both players making bogeys at the first two holes, Paterson won the third, fourth and fifth as Stoneham member Mew made a couple of bogeys – only to hit back with a birdie-three at the short sixth to cut the New Zealander’s lead back to two holes.
But Paterson, who won the R&A Seniors title by five shots from Woburn’s John Kemp, at Woodhall Spa, last month, forged ahead with a birdie at the par-five seventh and winning the eighth, courtesy of another Mew mistake.
With Paterson in the driving seat thanks to a four-hole lead at the turn, Mew needed birdies, but both players took six at the par-five 10th.
The Kiwi made three at the next hole to go five-up, and then drove a dagger into Mew’s heart with an eagle two at the 425-yard 12th.Mew was offering his hand to Paterson after they parred the 13th in fours, leaving the victor to face top seed Todd White in the second round.
Kemp is the only other Englishman in the US Senior Amateur draw after Surrey’s former English Senior Champion Rupert Kellock lost to Scotland’s Ronnie Clark.
Mew travelled to the States having reached the last 16 of the English Seniors’ Amateur Championship, at Luffenham Heath, earlier this month. In July, he defended the French International Seniors title he won in 2022, having also been crowned the Bulgarian Seniors and Italian Seniors Open Amateur Champion last year.
Four-time county Seniors champion reached four men’s finals
MEW captained Hampshire in 2010 and 2011, leading the county to the English County Finals in his first season. That was 24 years after helping them win the English County Championship for the first time in their history, playing alongside a teenage Justin Rose.
In 2019, the four-time Hampshire Senior Champion won the Irish Seniors title having made 33 appearances on the European Tour between 1978 and 1983. He went to play 48 times on the European Seniors Tour between 2003 and 2007, after winning a card at the European Seniors Qualifying School.
Mew, who is now 70, made six top 10s on the Seniors Tour – now called the Legends Tour – before regaining his amateur status for a second time. After returning to the amateur scene in the 1980s, he won the Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Channel Islands Amateur Championship twice in 1987 and 1991.
He also lost in the 1988 final to Steve Richardson, who played in the Ryder Cup final three years later, and again to Stoneham clubmate Darren Henley in 2001, turning pro again at the end of 2002.