England’s Trevor Foster lifted the Seniors’ Amateur Championship at Royal Porthcawl when a closing one-over-par 73 sealed a nine shot win over runner-up Randy Haag.
Finishing on an eight-under-par total of 208, Foster was the only man in the field to finish under par on the sun-baked links which provided a tough and fair challenge for the world’s elite senior amateurs.
Foster’s stunning opening round 63 put the Lancashire player seven strokes clear of the field and it proved to be a lead that would not threatened over the next two rounds.
In the final round, Foster (Accrington & District) parred the first three holes before he dropped a shot at the short fourth when his tee shot landed in a grassy swale to the right front of the green and he couldn’t get up and down.
He missed a birdie chance at the long fifth when he was just short of the green in two, then he had two putts from long range at the next two holes to make par. Foster was unable to take advantage of further birdie opportunities spanning four holes from the 8th before one finally came at the long 12th with a driver and a rescue club to the front apron and two putts from 50ft.
A regulation par at the 13th was followed by dropped strokes at the 14th and 15th. He parred the 16th then got a stroke back at the 17th with a drive and a 5-iron to just off the green, holing his birdie putt from eight feet. He finished in style in front of a sizeable crowd at the 18th, skirting the bunker with his second before sending his first putt stone dead from off the left apron.
Afterwards Foster commented: “It was hard today and I couldn’t sink a putt until I got my first birdie at the 12th. I had so many putts shave the hole and I dropped a couple of shots on 14 and 15. I thought that with my experience I can’t blow this. It was a bit easier coming in because I knew it was mine.”
He went on: “The people I’ve got to really thank are Bill Bromilow, who caddied for me this week. He could have played in this himself, but said ‘I can’t win it, but I know you can, so I’d rather be on the bag for you’. He’s been a rock all week.
“Ryan Done, the professional at Heysham, who was my caddy in The Open at Royal Lytham when I played in it 30 years ago. He turned pro and has coached me for the last three years and I think I’m playing as good a golf as I’ve ever played.
“Martin Wild, who I played with 100 times for Lancashire, is my biggest supporter who helps me more than anything and made me believe in myself. Any my wife Debbie, who turned up unexpectedly last night after a six hour drive down from Lancashire. She’s supported me throughout my career.”
Haag shot a closing 72 to move from a share of sixth place to finish alone in second on a one-over-par total of 217 and his fellow American Gene Elliott slipped from second to third with a closing 75 for a total of 218, two-over-par.
Five players shared fourth place on a three-over-par total of 219: Ian Attoe (75-73-71) from Worplesdon, the reigning English senior champion, Richard Latham (73-72-74) from Woodhall Spa, Scot Ken Gallacher (70-73-76) from East Kilbride and two Americans Matthew Sughrue (73-72-74) and Chip Lutz (72-72-75).
Paul Simson (76-72-73), like Lutz a three-time former winner of the title, took the over 65s prize and a share of eleventh place on 221.
Full results can be found here
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