Devon’s John Smith scores Senior Series victory

2018 Senior Series winner John Smith

Devon’s John Smith transformed his golfing fortunes in the space of 24 hours to win the national final of England Golf’s Senior Series.

John, from Great Torrington Golf Club in north Devon, claimed the title at England Golf Week at Frilford Heath Golf Club in Oxfordshire.

He scored 38 stableford points on the Red course to beat a mixed field of over 60 players from all over the country, who had qualified through regional competitions.

The runners-up were on 37 points were Malcolm Gregg (Hallamshire, Yorkshire) and Jayne Fletcher (Whittington Heath, Staffordshire).

“I am very surprised and extremely delighted,” said John. “I played yesterday in the practice round and the casual observer would probably have thought I hadn’t played before. I was absolutely awful.

“Today I gave myself a bit of a talking to and went out to see if I could do better – and my putting was outrageous! I had only about 25 putts.”

John, 73, has held a single figure handicap for the last 50 years, arrived at Frilford playing off seven – and is looking forward to a cut to six after today’s performance.

“My claim to fame is that I once came second in the Austrian seniors and won the Slovenian seniors,” he commented.

John was playing in the Senior Series for the first time. It offers six regional competitions, with the best players at each qualifying for the final at Golf Week. John paid £47.50 for his entry for the Torquay qualifier and described it as

“The best value on the planet if you get through to the final!

“We’ve had two rounds at Frilford, overnight accommodation, dinner with wine and lunch when we finished today. It’s amazing value for money!”

England Golf Week is a five-day festival of handicap golf, featuring a host of finals of team and individual events.

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