Everyone likes to make a quick impression on a new career and Richard Latham (Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire) has certainly done that after joining the senior ranks by finishing top of the Titleist/FootJoy England Golf Seniors Order of Merit at the first attempt.
Latham (image copyright Leaderboard Photography), who turned 55 in May, made an instant impact by winning the English Seniors Championship three weeks later and he followed that by taking the Scottish Seniors Open.
So it was surprising that he topped the Merit list with 90 points, 13 more than Andrew Stracey (Denham, BB&O) with Richard Partridge (Wildernesse, Kent) third on 58.5.
“I’m delighted to have won the Order of Merit in my first year as a senior,” said Latham. “I’m told that my points tally is a record and I didn’t play that many events, just four.
“I didn’t expect to finish top as I can’t play in every event because of my work. But when you win twice and finish second in another it clocks up the points.”
Having spent a lifetime in amateur golf, Latham knew he had to prepare for life among the seniors so he began his preparations two years ago under the guidance of England Golf coach David Ridley.
“We didn’t just work on my swing but on everything including the mental side. I can’t thank David enough for all the help he gave me,” added Latham.
The former Hertfordshire and Lincolnshire stalwart’s success earned him a place in the England senior squad for the European Senior Team Championships, where he finished leading individual, and the Senior Home Internationals in which he lost just one of his five games.
Stracey’s points came from victory in the Welsh Seniors Open, third place in the English Seniors and fifth in the Irish Seniors while he was also capped for the European Seniors and Home Internationals.
Partridge, another newcomer to the senior scene this year, finished runner-up to Latham in the Scottish Seniors, fifth in the English Seniors, and 11th in the British Seniors before also being capped by England for the European and Home Internationals.