NOBODY was more surprised than Dave McKenna when he won his first golfing major 45 years after taking up the sport.
The 68-year-old from Lees triumphed in the 36-hole Committee Cup at Saddleworth, with his son Dean pushing him close as he was only one shot adrift in third place.
It was a nerve-jangling finish for Dave as he triumphed after a card play-off against Gary Simpson.
Dave, who only joined Saddleworth this year having previously been a member at Stamford, Werneth and Ashton, said: “I shot a nett 72 in the opening round and was six shots behind Gary who I thought was going to murder the competition.
“In the second round at holes 7, 8 and 9 I had three sixes and thought I had blown it with an outward nine of gross 44.
“I played really well on the back nine with a 39 and that won it for me whereas Gary had a bad second round of nett 76.”
Dave admitted to being surprised when he learned he had won.
He continued: “Everyone was saying I had finished second so it was quick a shock to have won.
“I have won club competitions before, but nothing on this scale.”
Dave, who retired after a job as a driver for emergency doctors, explained why he decided to join Saddleworth.
He said: “I went to Portugal with the King Bill Golf Society in February.
“Most of the members are from Saddleworth and we got on so well that I decided to join the club which I have done.”
Dave, who has scored four holes-in-one, had rounds of 72 and 70, off a handicap of 13, for a two-round total of 142 – the same return as Gary Simpson who had 66 and 76 off five.
Dean McKenna was third with 70 and 73 for 143.
The first-round prize went to Stephen Pullen (69-2-67) and second to James Fahey (88-20-68).
Stuart Potts scored a hole-in-one in the second round at the 10th.
Captain’s Invitation produced a win for Nick Kerin and Mark Riley with 47 points in the Stableford.
Runners-up were Alex Jackson and Greg Mathers (46pts) while third were Lee Tilley and Dave Rhodes (45pts) on the card from Ben Simpson and Barry Lewis.
Winners of the Am Am, a betterball Stableford, were John Farrall and Mike Smith, from Hart Common, with 45 points, the same total as runners-up Paul Kirby and Peter Blackburn, of South Leeds.
Third were Tony Hellawell and Peter Garlick from Meltham with 43 points, the same score as Paul Clayton and Dave Short (South Leeds), Alex Jeffrey and Barrie Lees (Saddleworth).
Saddleworth women are through to the third round of the Bell Cup with a 7-0 home victory against Knutsford. They had won at Denton in the opening round.
Pauline Richardson triumphed in first EWGA Medal with a nett 71, one shot clear of runner-up Kath Oldham.
The Ladies Spring Open produced a win for Debra Cockburn, Liz Hinchliffe and Suzy Lacey with 58, the same score as posted by Lynne Kershaw, Janet Thorpe and Chris Pierson.
Clear winner of Mrs Clegg’s Trophy was Maxine Parfitt with 42 points, six clear of runner-up Sue Booth.