Farnham golfer Jason Bastable has sealed a fourth-place finish in the World Blind Golf Championships at Milnerton Golf Club in Cape Town, South Africa.
The 51-year-old was hoping to defend his title after being crowned world champion in Italy in 2018, but fellow Englishman John Eakin came out on top.
“To be fair, it was always going to be difficult,” said Bastable.
“I was the champion going out there – to retain the title was always going to be a tough task.
“It was my first defence of the title since winning in Italy.
“The conditions are very different in Cape Town. The greens are different and it’s very windy.
“My short game let me down. The greens are a lot faster there. I usually two-putt, but I was three-putting. In tournaments you can’t get away with that.
“I shot 100 on the first day and 92 on the second day. I was a bit tense on the first day – on the second day I didn’t have anything to lose.
“I didn’t bottle it. My putting and short game dropped shots and I was up against it.
“I’m happy with fourth place. I’ve got to be happy with a top-four finish in the world. I’m also very happy there was another English winner.”
Bastable had left no stone unturned in his preparations for the world championships.
“I went to Johannesburg for a week first to practise and acclimatise,” said Bastable.
“I also played in the two-day South African Open before the world championships, which was very good preparation.”
Bastable has a busy year ahead, with many events returning to the blind golf calendar.
“My season is just starting, and my performance at the world championships gives me confidence heading into the season,” he said.
“I’ve got a good ten to 12 events in the diary. Everything shut down for Covid, but travelling is back for events. There’s the Irish Open, Spanish Open and Swedish Open to look forward to.”
Bastable is a member at Blackmoor Golf Club, and he says the club play a big role in helping him compete on the world stage.
“I would like to thank everyone at Blackmoor for their unwavering support,” he said.
“I can’t thank everyone at the club enough. The professional Stephen Clay is good as gold, as is the manager Simon Burton. The whole club are very welcoming. Doing my training there gives me a solid base to work from.
“Thank you also to my caddy Jed Thurgood, who is a Blackmoor member. He was willing to travel with me and also came for the practise week. He was amazing. It was his first tournament – he’s my eyes on the course. He sets it out. He wants to do more caddying for me.”