Staffordshire’s Andy and Tom Alford are the father and son handicap champions of Europe.
The pair, from Branston Golf Club (pictured), scored a runaway nine-shot victory in the 2017 Sky SPORTS European Father and Son golf championships in the brilliant sunshine of Cadiz in Andalucia, southern Spain.
Andy and Tom – respectively the husband and son of England Golf Board member Carol Alford – were making their debut in the competition, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary and attracts players from across Europe and the US.
The pair made their move on day two over the challenging Seve Ballesteros San Roque New Course, scoring 10-under-par 46 points after Tom shot three-under gross with his own ball. They had a five-shot lead going into the third and final round at 14 under par and Andy birdied the first hole of the Old Course to get them off to a dream start.
After their victory Andy, an eight-handicapper, commented: “I can’t believe it, it all seems like a dream.” Tom, a five handicapper and a member of England Golf’s regional U16 West Midlands Squad, added: “I can’t wait to see us on Sky SPORTS! This is what I want to do – I want to be a Tour professional.”
All four members of the Alford family are keen golfers and members at Branston. Carol is a 19-handicapper and daughter Rachel plays off 10 and works as a golf events organiser at Marriott Breadsall Priory.
The scratch section of the championship was won by Gary and Justin Milliner who became the only pair to ever win three times.
The Milliners, English though resident in Germany, secured their silverware with a score of 15 under par, shooting a consistent five under each day. They were nine clear of the field, which was the biggest winning margin in the scratch category.
On the final day scratch handicapper, Justin, eagled the par-five, 9th and 17th holes and then chipped in for birdie on the 18th to clinch the title in style in front of the Sky SPORTS TV cameras and a delighted crowd of spectators.
A highlights programme will be broadcast by Sky SPORTS on 5 December 2017.