1 June 2012:
Squires shoots 69 to win third Seniors title
Alan Squires is still the English Seniors champion. He turned the event on its head with a closing round of one-over-par 69 at Aldeburgh, a testing course to say the least, to win the title for the third successive year, the first man to achieve such a feat.
Having started the day seven strokes back, in the end he signed for 221, to win by three from England seniors team-mate Chris Reynolds and by four from the rest of the field.
“This is unbelievable,” said the man from Oldham (image © Tom Ward). “When I walked off the final green last evening at Thorpeness having taken a double-bogey, I said to myself, ‘Well, you can’t win it every year’.
“But I spent an hour on the practice range to sort myself out and after playing six holes today at level par, I felt I still had a chance.
“Even then, there were a lot of good players ahead of me and I thought someone would find a good score to win.
“But I have achieved something. I love this event and to win three times in a lifetime is something. To be the first man to win it three times in a row is special.”
Few could have visualised such a turnaround. There were 12 players ahead of the Lancastrian at the start of the final round, but while most went backwards, Squires held his nerve and played the round of his life with two birdies and just three bogeys.
It may have been the first day of June but the weather didn’t reflect that. Overcast conditions backed by a cold wind on an already testing course were not the best ingredients for these over 55 golfers.
Consequently, shots were spilled with alarming regularity, which led to a string of high scores not in keeping with these accomplished players.
Douglas Cameron led by one going into the final day, but he faltered to an 80, while John Baldwin, a shot behind, could do no better than 79.
The best return of those ahead of Squires at the start was Andrew Stracey’s 73, but that only earned him a share of third on 225.
Cameron, the English Seniors County champion, said: “I just don’t know what happened. I had a shank on the first and I just wasn’t in gear. I was four over for the front nine, then the three-putts started creeping in. It was just one of those days.”
Reynolds, the champion before Squires began his winning run, said: “I had two birdies all week, which is testimony to the toughness of Aldeburgh and Thorpeness. It was a disappointing day for me. I didn’t drive the ball well and didn’t hole any putts. Alan deserved to win after shooting 69 around here.”
So ended another thrilling week for the seniors but spare a thought for Martin Farmer from North Hants. He signed for 74 which included a quadruple-bogey eight on the last after he lost a ball off his drive when disturbed on his backswing by a shout from an adjacent hole.
A par for a 70 would have seen him finish in second place but he took it in his stride. “It was the only fairway I missed,” he said. “If the shout had been five seconds earlier or five seconds later it would have been fine.”
For more information, final scores and photos visit the England Golf website.