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Jevon Roberts feeling vindicated by Match Play success

Maiden victory: Jevon Roberts who was crowned men’s champion at the Bermuda Match Play Championships for the first time on Sunday (Photograph by Glenn Tucker)

Jevon Roberts achieved a sense of vindication as well as a title after being crowned men’s champion at the Bermuda Match Play Championships at Port Royal Golf Course.

Roberts scooped the men’s title after overcoming Matt Gorrell by one hole in the tournament’s conclusion on Sunday, holding his nerve to sink a 20-foot putt for par on the 18th hole.

While winning the tournament for a first time brought a great sense of pride for Roberts, he also felt vindicated after returning to Port Royal and tasting victory in the wake of a “disappointing” outing at the Bermuda Championship local qualifier event — he finished seventeenth at 14 over par to miss out on one of three spots for the PGA Tour event.

“I feel ecstatic about winning the event,” he said. “I lost the final back in 2015 and so this was the first time I’ve won the tournament. I’ve been on a massive high since. To have my name on the trophy is a great feeling.

“I was also disappointed with my performance at the Bermuda Championship qualifier. To return to Port Royal and win this event feels like a sense of personal vindication for all my hard work over the past few months.”

“I felt like I was playing well throughout the event and to be able to come through and clinch the victory against a really good field of players was great.”

Having beaten Bermuda Stroke Play champion Eric West en route to the final, his match with Gorrell was all square after 16 holes, with Roberts going one up on the 17th with a par.

With victory well within his grip, Roberts made matters a little nervy for himself as a wayward tee shot and an equally wayward approach shot to the last put him in a difficult spot over the back of the green.

However, Roberts held his nerve, showing his pedigree with an impressive flop shot, and after Gorrell missed out on a birdie to force an extra hole, nailed a 20ft par putt to take the title.

“My local course knowledge really helped out at crucial times, particularly in pressure moments,” the Port Royal member conceded.

“On the 18th, I underestimated the wind and it put me in a difficult position. However, I’ve been down there a bunch of times, so I knew it wasn’t unreasonable to be able to get out of there and still make par.

“It was a tough approach downhill on to the green but I hit a great shot and then it was all down to the putt from 20 feet or so. I knew I had to make it or it would be another hole; which was the last thing I wanted.

“Thankfully, I had made that sort of putt before, so I had an idea of what I needed to do. I’d been putting well all week and so I just focused on the speed; if I got that right, I had a good idea of what the putt would do.

“I felt I got the speed right and at about six feet out I knew it was going in. Once it dropped in, I let out a big shout of relief and excitement.”

While Roberts’s confidence of winning grew as the tournament progressed, he admitted he never took anything for granted, especially within a strong field of players and shocks along the way. That included defending champion Jarryd Dillas being eliminated in the quarter-finals by Bryce Gorrell, nephew of Matt.

“I felt confident about being competitive, but at no point did I get ahead of myself,” Roberts added. “I’m not the sort of player to think I’m going to win after the first day, for instance, but as the tournament went on, I had a lot of confidence.

“The guys involved were all strong players and, although I might not have been the favourite, just because you are the best on paper going into a tournament isn’t a guarantee you’ll win it. That’s the thing with golf.

“I was able to remain pretty steady throughout the event and to come out as champion was fantastic.”

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Published November 19, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated November 18, 2020 at 1:32 pm)

Jevon Roberts feeling vindicated by Match Play success

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