Late en­trant Beekie scoops Se­nior Open

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Sport - by JAMES WEST­GATE james.west­gate@jpress.co.uk

WHAT do the Dan­ish foot­ball team, Croa­t­ian ten­nis star Go­ran Ivani­se­vic and Peter­bor­ough Mil­ton’s Ray Beekie all have in com­mon?

It’s prob­a­bly not a ques­tion you will hear in too many pub quizzes but by win­ning Mil­ton’s Se­nior Open last Thurs­day, Beekie joined a se­lect list of sport’s great ‘johnny come latelys’.

Just like Den­mark win­ning Euro 92 af­ter a sur­prise late call-up and Ivani­se­vic’s fa­mous wild­card tri­umph at Wim­ble­don in 2001, the Northamp­ton­shire county star stole the glory de­spite only en­ter­ing the event at the last minute.

Beekie had been re­lax­ing at Mil­ton’s 19th hole af­ter a midweek medal when his arm was twisted af­ter a late can­cel­la­tion left a gap in the field.

And hav­ing de­cided to play, Beekie made sure he filled that gap with a blis­ter­ing per­for­mance to take the ti­tle with 39 stable­ford points.

He said: “I had no in­ten­tion of en­ter­ing but when I was told that some­one had dropped out I de­cided to make up the num­bers but it turned out to be a good de­ci­sion in the end. I am not even a mem­ber of the se­nior sec­tion at Mil­ton as I still play off six but it proved to be a good de­ci­sion.

“I think I hit about 14 greens and only three-putted a cou­ple of times for a gross 74 so I was pleased with the way I played and of course de­lighted to win such a pres­ti­gious event ”

Not that the 69-year-old is any stranger to the win­ner’s en­clo­sure.

Dur­ing a glit­ter­ing ca­reer in the am­a­teur game, Beekie has won plenty of sil­ver­ware in­clud­ing the Northamp­ton­shire county ti­tle and the Peter­bor­ough Mil­ton club cham­pi­onship.

But hav­ing over­come can­cer in re­cent years and now suf­fer­ing from the ef­fects of arthri­tis, Mil­ton’s new Se­nior Open cham­pion has to pick and choose care­fully when and where he plays these days.

“I only tend to play once a week these days but still play se­nior county golf which is a lot of fun,” he added.

“The arthri­tis is a bit of a prob­lem and it re­duces how much I can play but it won’t stop me.

“I have en­tered a few other Opens and a few of us from Mil­ton are head­ing up to Gran­town-on-Spey for a tour­na­ment which should be a lot of fun and hope­fully I can keep my good form go­ing for that one.”

While Beekie took top spot in the 150-strong event, two of the other top hand­i­cap prizes were claimed by play­ers from Stoke Rochford and Scraptoft, prov­ing just how wide the ap­peal of this com­pe­ti­tion was.

Se­nior cap­tain and for­mer Open win­ner, David Long­worth, said: “Once again we had a won­der­ful event which was at­tended by play­ers from far and wide which just goes to show how pop­u­lar it is.”

“The stan­dard of play was also of the high­est or­der and I would like to thank ev­ery­one who took part but the biggest thank-you must go to Ian and Pauline Clu­low who worked so hard to put it all to­gether. Their help was in­valu­able and they did a won­der­ful job.”

RAR­ING TO GO: Pic­tured at the start of the Se­nior Open at Mil­ton (above) are from the left, Bill Black, David Long­woirth and Pete Glover. (METP-03-06-10AS002)

CHAM­PION:

Win­ner Ray Beekie (left) is pre­sented with the Mil­ton Se­nior Open tro­phy by se­nior men’s cap­tain David Long­worth.

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