RICH PICK­INGS

Pear­son wins club cham­pi­onship

The Riverine Herald - - SPORT - By An­drew John­ston

A FIRST club cham­pi­onship is a big deal for any golfer.

For the first time, you can say you have played the best golf of any­one at your club.

And ap­proach­ing 20 at­tempts, and hav­ing fin­ished sec­ond a few times, David Pear­son has fi­nally claimed the crown.

Af­ter many years of play­ing on the beau­ti­ful cour­ses of Rich River, this was his mo­ment.

And as he sunk that fi­nal putt, the ela­tion hit.

He may have had to wait a few more mo­ments while his part­ners fin­ished their rounds to share it with the mass of sup­port­ers stand­ing around, but he couldn’t help but let out a cheer from his spot on the green as he sunk that fi­nal putt.

As the round was com­pleted, he was swarmed by those who had stayed around to watch his crown­ing mo­ment.

And from club pro Steve Loader came the news of some more his­tory – Pear­son is the first club cap­tain to ever claim the A grade cham­pi­onship.

It’s an in­cred­i­ble mo­ment for Pear­son, though he wasn’t fo­cused on the ex­tra grav­ity of the sit­u­a­tion.

He was just happy to have his hands on the tro­phy.

‘‘I’m speech­less,’’ he said.

‘‘If it is true that I’m the first club cap­tain to claim the cham­pi­onship, then that’s very spe­cial and I can al­ways claim that. But it’s not the top of my thoughts. I’m more fo­cused on the fact that I am club cham­pion, I fi­nally got there.’’

It’s been a jour­ney that has seen a num­ber of near misses, in­clud­ing hand­ing back the lead in the dy­ing stages a few sea­sons ago.

‘‘I’ve been here be­fore and lost. I was in front with only a few holes to go and I ended up los­ing in a play­off. You very quickly re­alise that you need a lot of luck as well as to play your best golf if you are go­ing to claim the cham­pi­onship.

‘‘To claim this tro­phy means a lot. I don’t put my­self in the same cat­e­gory as some of the pre­vi­ous win­ners, I have a higher hand­i­cap and prob­a­bly don’t play as great a game as they do, but to be with those names now as a club cham­pion here, it truly does mean a great deal to me.’’

There were a lot of ner­vous times on the fi­nal day of com­pe­ti­tion on Sun­day.

Pear­son had to watch as the lead swung be­tween mem­bers of the fi­nal group.

Blair Christie and Dean Ja­cobs both held the lead at stages dur­ing the back nine.

And he had to deal with Steve Levy nip­ping at his heels on the fi­nal holes.

But af­ter a strong tee shot on the fi­nal hole, he walked to­wards the club­house know­ing he was home.

He closed the tour­na­ment out with a 75 to fol­low his two 77s, fin­ish­ing with 229 to beat Levy (231), and Ja­cobs and Christie (232). ‘‘It was truly in­cred­i­ble,’’ he said. ‘‘You play to win a club cham­pi­onship, it’s a dream for you as a golfer.

‘‘I was at the point where I didn’t think I could do it, I thought it was out of reach.

‘‘But I’m here now as cham­pion and it’s an in­cred­i­ble feel­ing, I’m lost for words.’’

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