STEVE HARRINGTON’S third Captain’s Prize win at Saddleworth Golf Club was extra special.
It is only nine months since the 51-year-old from Greenfield returned to the sport after an eight-year break.
“I had been a member more than 30 years but had a young family and wasn’t playing as often as I would like so decided to jack it in,” he said.
But watching last year’s Ryder Cup rekindled Harrington’s interest.
He explained: “I woke up one morning shortly after the Ryder Cup and decided to play again.
“I borrowed some clubs off my friend Andrew Laverty, the Rochdale professional, and went to the driving range at Grains Bar where I also played some pitch and putt.
“And four weeks later I had rejoined Saddleworth after enquiring if they had any vacancies.”
Harrington hit top form with a two-round score of nett 137 following rounds of 74-5-69 and 73-5-68.
He finished two clear of Duncan Jackson (71 and 68 for 139) and three in front of third-placed Nigel Hughes (69 and 71 for 140).
“From a golfing perspective it was simply two steady rounds, though I putted well,” he said.
Harrington, who works in IT, returned to golf with a handicap of six and that has now been reduced to four which is where he was when he quit the game.
This was Harrington’s 10th major, though the first for almost a decade. He has won Captain’s Prize and the club championship three times apiece, the Ladcastle Trophy, President’s Prize and Wharmton.
“I just need Vice Captain’s Prize to complete wins in all the majors,” he said.
The first-round winner was Howard Johnson with 70 and second round went to Alan Ramsden with 68.
John Barnes scored a hole in one at the 15th, a 177-yard par three. He used a five iron and described it as a “proper shot”.
In the Ladies’ Invitation, Kath Oldham (Saddleworth) and Fran Kralev (Lymm) were the victors with 39 points in the Stableford.
Runners up were Jenny Knight (Saddleworth) and Brenda Keaney (Crompton and Royton) with 36.