Stephen Henry was today crowned a worthy champion at the 2021 Senior Series Final and revealed he only put himself in the frame to win after earning a late spot at one of the eight qualifying events.
The Huddersfield golfer sneaked into the qualifier at Wilmslow in June when extra times were released and it proved to be a real stroke of luck.
Having qualified from the Cheshire venue, Henry then racked up 40 Stableford points on the Bracken course at Woodhall Spa playing off a course handicap of nine to take home the trophy.
His winning tally was enough to see off the challenge from Nick Coleman from Kenilworth and Tankersley Park’s Simon Elliot who both signed for scores of 38 points.
The added bonus for Henry was that playing partner and friend Toni Witeszczak had taken on the driving responsibilities from Yorkshire giving him the opportunity to enjoy a few celebratory drinks!
“It feels special, very special,” admitted Henry.
“I only got in because they managed to book an extra hour’s tee times at Wilmslow so it worked out well.
“We’ve had two fantastic days at Woodhall Spa and I’ll look to play in it next year and tell everyone I know to try and play in it as well.
“Toni – who I played with – won his qualifier at Lindrick which was lucky as he’s now driving me home and I can have a few beers to celebrate!”
In windy and fast running conditions the 58 competitors in the field were faced with a real test on the Bracken – host venue for last week’s Home Internationals.
For Henry, a sure touch around the greens allowed him to keep his score ticking along nicely.
“The greens are hard – if you get on the wrong side then it’s tough,” he confirmed.
“I managed to hole one long putt on the eighth – which is tricky anyway. I went long and left and I thought I’d no chance – but it went in for a three.
“My partners gave me encouragement – no calls of bandit. That might come on the way home.”
Even a touch of arthritis in his ankle couldn’t stop Henry from claiming victory – the stiffness a result of him breaking his leg playing football as a 21-year-old.
Henry – who has played golf for 22 years after previously enjoying squash – said: “This course is flatter than my own at Huddersfield – the home of Yorkshire Golf – and suited me better.
“I have a bit of arthritis and it came back to bite me a bit near the end.”
Photography credit: Leaderboard