Broad­hurst goes from zero to hero

Nuneaton Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE -

PAUL Broad­hurst went from an “em­bar­rass­ing 24-hand­i­cap hacker” on his home­town course in Ather­stone to PGA Tour Cham­pi­ons event win­ner in Amer­ica in a roller­coaster nine days of golf.

Plagued by a back in­jury but drawn into the Ather­stone Golf Club ProAm by the guilt of let­ting oth­ers down, the for­mer Ry­der Cup golfer put his tee-off shot from the first out-of-bounds be­fore a throng of 40 dis­be­liev­ing mem­bers watch­ing their most fa­mous son.

The 53-year-old re­cov­ered from a three-over par start through two holes to win his lo­cal tour­na­ment – be­fore hop­ping aboard a plane bound for Michi­gan to win the Ally Chal­lenge in the Great Lakes State a lit­tle over a week later.

“It’s been full on,” said Broad­hurst. “In my first week off I did ab­so­lutely noth­ing. I didn’t even pick up a golf club.

“I started back play­ing and pulled a mus­cle in my back.

“I played the Ather­stone ProAm on the Fri­day and gen­uinely didn’t think I was go­ing to be able to play. I was strug­gling big time.

“I was a 24-hand­i­cap hacker out there. I was three over af­ter two holes.

“I put it out of bounds on the first in front of 40 mem­bers which was em­bar­rass­ing!

“I tried to get a re­place­ment for the ProAm but no­body could re­place me so I had to play.

“I ended up win­ning. It was a bit of a mir­a­cle to be hon­est. I ended up shoot­ing three un­der.”

Buoyed by the win, Broad­hurst flew across the At­lantic to re­join the elite of se­niors golf along­side Bern­hard Langer, Tom Lehman and Colin Mont­gomerie.

A first round 67 at War­wick Hills Golf Club put Broad­hurst in con­tention be­fore back­ing it up with a 68 and a fi­nal round 66 to fin­ish 15 un­der for the tour­na­ment and win by two strokes ahead of Amer­i­can Brandt Jobe.

It was Broad­hurst’s third win in Amer­ica this year, adding a fur­ther $300,000 to a prize pot that is near­ing $1.5 mil­lion for the sea­son af­ter pre­vi­ous suc­cesses in the KitchenAid Se­nior PGA Cham­pi­onship and Bass Pro Shops Le­gends of Golf.

“It’s the first time I’ve won three times in the year and the bank bal­ance is de­cent,” said Broad­hurst, who has now won eight events since turn­ing 50 in 2016.

“What I’ve won this year out­strips my best year in Europe on the main tour. Which is im­por­tant as you never know how long you can go on for.

“I am pleased. It was a hard win. It was a tough win.

“I wouldn’t say a lot of the wins I’ve had have been easy, they’ve not been easy. The last few I’ve won by a few shots.

“All down the straight I was un­der pres­sure. I wasn’t hit­ting it 100 per cent. I wasn’t hit­ting it badly. There was a cou­ple of poor shots I had to re­cover from. It wasn’t un­til the last hole when I birdied it I could feel like, phew I’ve won!”

Hav­ing par­tic­i­pated in 18 events this sea­son, Broad­hurst lies sixth in the Charles Sch­wab Cup money list, just $299,864 be­hind cur­rent rank­ings leader Miguel An­gel Jiménez.

Broad­hurst’s next chance of glory comes at the San­ford In­ter­na­tional in South Dakota this week be­fore re­turn­ing to Peb­ble Beach at the end of September – the venue where Broad­hurst won his first event in Amer­ica two years ago.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.