MARK HATTON has a bet to thank for his victory in the President’s Prize, a major at Saddleworth Golf Club.
The 55-year-old from Springhead used £300 of his winnings to buy a new M2 driver.
“I drove like Rory McIlroy rather than Rory McGrath, and that was one of the reasons why I won,” he explained.
Mark, who had net rounds of 65 and 68 off his six handicap for a two-round total of 133, explained how the bet came about.
He said: “The USA PGA championship is usually played after the President’s Prize, but this year was before it because of the Olympic Games.
“I opened an account with Coral and was given £20 free bet which I put on Jimmy Walker, who won at 150-1, and Brooks Koataa who was third and won nearly £500 so decided to treat myself to a new driver.
“Had it not been for the Olympics changing when the PGA was played, I would not have had the bet and bought the driver that made such a difference to my play.”
Mark added that this is his second major at Saddleworth, the other one in 1997 when the Committee Cup was won in the same year as his daughter Holly was born.
He also had a six-year break from golf due to work and family commitments.
Mark added: “I only went back last year off the handicap of six that I had when I stopped playing. And to win a major playing off the same handicap was pleasing.
“It is great to be back as I missed playing as well as my friends. It also took me 12 months to learn how to play in medal competitions again.”
Mark was two shots clear off six-handicapper Simon Fancy who had 67 and 68 for 135 while in third place was Stephen Pullen with 68 and 68 off his four handicap for 136.
Knockout glory was achieved by three Saddleworth players at the end of season-long events.
Mick Harrington won the Wharmton Trophy, the singles knockout, defeating Ben Simpson 4 and 3 in the final.
And the pairs title went to Peter Norbury and Steve Wild who beat Marcus Wray and Tony Isaacs at the last hole.
Winner of the J W Holt Trophy was Richard Hughes with a score of 73-6-67.
Runner-up was Les Beevers (82-13-69) on the card from third-placed Alan Squires (69-0-69) and Mark Orme (71-2-69).
The Schofield Shield, an aggregate Stableford, was won by Andy Dunster and Kevin Bradbury with 75 points.
Captain’s Charity Day, which raised more than £1,500 for The Heart Foundation, the captain’s charity, saw Neil Mooney and Dave Chapman record a runaway victory with 48 points in the Stableford to walk away with the captain’s charity putter.
Runners-up were Giacomo Cavallino and Alan Ramsden with 44 points on the card from Andy Dunster and Charles Nicholson, who were third, and Allan Entwistle and Nick Edwards. Fifth were captain Ken Barnes and vice-captain Dean Jagger with 43 points.
Shot of the day went to Entwistle who holes out from 150 yards at the 17th while the Top Gun Trophy for the longest drive went to Simon Fancy at 275 yards.
The ladies had their own competition as part of the event, and that was won by Fiona Heston.
The monthly medal was won by Bryn Parfitt with a score of 76-8-68 on the card from runner-up Nigel Hughes (73-5-68) and third-placed Warren Mundy (80-12-68).
Malcolm Stott won a singles Stableford with 45 points, finishing well clear of second-placed Stephen Appleby with 39 and Damien Cudlip with 37.
And a further Stableford produced a narrow win for Mike Taylor with 39 points, one ahead of Alan Ramsden, Steve Wild and Les Beevers.
Saddleworth have a number of special membership offers still available.
The first 20 men to sign up before Christmas will be charged a heavily discounted £500.
There are 50 per cent discounts on intermediate memberships taken out before Christmas for the 18/20 years, 20/25, 25/30 and 30/35 categories.
Juniors under the age of 18 are still entitled to free membership.