David Wood will never forget the way he won the recent Foremost Championship at the MacDonald Portal Hotel and Golf Club in Cheshire.
Indeed the manner he achieved his victory was so bizarre that it might have come straight out of the script of the Happy Gilmore Hollywood blockbuster that was all the rage back in the 1990s.
The head professional at St Cleres Hall Golf Club in Essex came to the 18th hole at Portal needing a birdie three to tie clubhouse leaders Nick Ludwell (Selby) and Nick Horrocks (StaddonHeights) and got the first part of the job done when he hit his drive straight down the middle of the fairway. However his 4-iron approach bounded through the green and looked destined for trouble before it rebounded off a scoreboard and bounced back into the hole for a winning eagle two.
Wood’s wonder shot gave him a two under par 71 and a one stroke advantage over Ludwell and Horrocks but even then the drama was not over because minutes later Walmley Golf Club’s Steve Carter arrived on the 18th needing to hole a long putt birdie putt across the green to tie Wood on two under par.
For a long time it looked like Carter’s putt might drop but it stayed above ground to confirm Wood’s victory and to consign Carter to share of second place with Ludwell and Horrocks on one under par 72. Simon Lynn and Guy Shoesmith shared fifth place on level par 73, while Gareth Jones, Darren Pearce, Michael Raj , Paul Stoller and Gary Stubbinton all posted scores of 74 to finish in a tie for seventh place.
All eleven competitors earned automatic places in the Foremost team to for the annual Ashworth Cup to be played at the Celtic Manor Resort on July 30-31.
“It was an incredible way to win the tournament,” conceded Wood whose victory was worth £1000. “Like a lot of club pros I haven’t played a lot of golf this season so my main goal was just to try to get into the Ashworth Cup team.
“I wasn’t aware of the exact situation but I knew a couple of players were under par because I could see a couple of red numbers on the leaderboard so I decided to go for the shot in case I had a chance.
“I had 175 yards uphill and into the wind. My first thought was to hit 5-iron but I went with the 4 to make sure I got it up onto top tier of the green and just hit it a little bit too well.
“I couldn’t see exactly what happened but I heard a loud crash when the ball hit the leaderboard and then realised the group of people around the green were clapping.
“It was a huge break for me but I’m quite happy to take it because we all get more than our fair share of bad breaks as well.”
Foremost Golf Group www.foremostgolf.com