Wales: Senior Open Championship

Welsh Seniors Open champion Martin Galway

Hole in one and first national crown for Martin

WALES: Saturday June 26th

Former England Seniors international Martin Galway bagged a hole in one on his way to winning his first national title in the Welsh Open Seniors Championship at Tenby.

The East Sussex National member aced the 17th in the first round of the 54-hole strokeplay event as he opened with a superb, four-under-par 68.

He followed it up with a pair of 74s to finish three shots clear of Southport & Ainsdale’s Paul Bagshaw as English players dominated on the South Wales coast.

His ace came on the back of a brilliant run of scoring on the stiff links test. He played the last eight holes in six under par to end the day one ahead.

“Tenby is a great course but there is disaster lurking everywhere which explains the scoring,” said the 63-year-old two-time West of England Seniors champion.

“And stood on the 11th tee on two over par I really didn’t see my back nine coming.”

Martin birdied 11, 13, 14 and 16 before teeing off on 17 with an 8 iron.

He added: “As it was in the air I actually said ‘I can’t hit it any better than that’. The green slopes from front to back and the pin was at the front. Had it not gone in it would have gone 25 feet past.”

Incredibly that was the second hole in one the former Sussex county champion witnessed on the Wednesday. At the sixth his playing partner Richard Norton (Beverley & ER) hit the ‘perfect’ 54 degree wedge and ball spun back into the hole.

The East Yorkshire player was the only other competitor in the 141-strong field to break 70 in round one and the next day, North Wilts’ Simon Dymoke recorded the round of the day (69) to jump into second, three behind Martin, who used his experience playing with the successful Sussex Seniors side to guide him to glory.

“The last three years the Sussex team have reached the county finals and I was thinking how well I concentrated during those competitions,” said Martin. “I also think after everything that has happened with Covid, I have thought more about the fact I haven’t got that long left in terms of being able to compete.”

His final round started with an excellent birdie to settle any nerves but it was his three at the perilous, par four ninth which really gave him the confidence to think he could do it.

“Nine is a really tough hole. It is a dogleg right and I didn’t hit a very good drive. The pin was front left and in that position the flag looks like it was on a pimple. And If you miss anywhere it can be horrible so anywhere on the green would have done. I was never trying to put it to six feet but I did and then holed the putt and that’s when I thought ‘I can really do this.”

With no live scoring he had no idea re the state of play and when he reached the 18th green in two his friend Charlie Banks (Stanton-on-the-Wolds) held up four fingers.

“When he did that I thought I needed a four to win it. But he was able to explain that I was four ahead before I took the putt.”

Martin got down in three to claim the impressive trophy and also victory in the 60-64 agegroup category while the runner-up’s closing 69 was the best of the day also and also gave him first place in 55-59s. 

The other agegroup winners were Worthing’s Douglas Cameron (65-69) and Fleetwood’s Glynn Rees (70+).

Top 10 scores (par 72)
1) Martin Galway (East Sussex National) 68, 74, 74, 216 (level)
2) Paul Bagshaw (Southport & Ainsdale) 72, 78, 69, 219 (+3)
3= Stephen East (Leeds Golf Centre) 75, 72, 74, 221 (+5)
3= Stephen Creed (Stratford-on-Avon) 72, 76, 73, 221 (+5)
3= Cameron Douglas (Worthing) 72, 73, 76, 221 (+5)
6= Phill Evans (Royal Jersey) 78, 74, 70, 222 (+6)
6= Simon Dymoke (North Wilts) 76, 69, 77, 222 (+6)
6= Jeff Bearman (Orsett) 73, 75, 74, 222 (+6)
6= Rupert Kellock (Sunningdale)  71, 77, 74, 222 (+6)
10= Philip Rees (Llanwern) 76, 75, 72, 223 (+7)
10= Tim Aggett (Warren (Devon)) 71, 78, 74, 223 (+7)
For full scores click here