Broadhurst goes from zero to hero
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.