Banton hopes to shake Zacharias Cup curse at Crompton and Royton

A 28-YEAR wait is finally over as Dave Banton has finally won a golfing major at Crompton and Royton.

The 67-year-old from Shaw lifted the Zacharias Cup as he finally got his hands on a piece of silverware.

Crompton and Royton Cricket Clubhouse

“It’s been a life’s ambition to win a major, and I have finally achieved it,” he explained.

“There’s a story at the club that anybody who wins the Zacharias Cup never lands another major.

“That doesn’t bother me as I have won one, though it would be nice to prove the story wrong.”

Dave pointed out there had been a couple of previous near misses after losing play offs for majors, including the Zacharias Cup.

“I don’t like play offs after what happened before so it was nice to win it outright,” he explained.

Dave shot 74-10-64 to finish three shots clear of Barry McLoughlin (81-14-67) who was second on the card from Eddie Gordon (79-12-67).

The lowest gross score was 72 by Andrew Simpson.

Looking back on his winning round, Dave reflected: “There is a saying you drive for show and putt for dough.

“My driving was not good, but my putting was bang on. There were two 30 putters for pars, including the difficult par 17th which is the third most difficult hole on the course.

“When that putt went in, one of my playing partners turned to me and said he thought it would be my day.”

Dave, who is a retired NatWest bank employee, only took up golf seriously at the age of 40.

He explained: “I used to play football and squash and love playing sport – a legacy is two duff knees.

“I was looking to join a golf club and Crompton and Royton had a membership deal. They reduced their fees, and that is how it began.

“I thoroughly enjoy the game and it is a great little club to be part of.”

MARTYN Buckley, a late convert to golf, has won a major at Crompton and Royton less than 18 months after joining the club.

The 53-year-old warehouse manager was victorious in President’s Day, a 36-hole tournament.

Martyn, playing off 15, had nett rounds of 66 and 68 for a two-round total of 134 to finish two shots clear of Steve Barrett (66 and 70 for 136). Third was Andrew Hilldrup (68 and 69 for 137).

It was a special moment as Martyn explained: “When I joined the club I looked at the names on the boards showing major winners, and it is something to aspire to.

“And I was escatic to win and feel very lucky, indeed fortunate, to do so.”

Martyn added there was a “wobble” midway through the second round when he thought he had blown his chances of victory.

“I had a six on a par three and had a bad few holes before recovering, but overall I played steadily.”

Martyn was four-under-par for the opening round and two under for the second as he finished six-under-par nett.

Martyn, who in his younger days was a keen amateur footballer for Royton Town, only took up golf about three years ago.

And now down to a handicap of 13, Martyn said: “I love my golf which is my main pastime.”

A further recent major winner was Eric Frier who triumphed in the Veterans’ Trophy.

He had a winning return of 81-15-66 to finish ahead of Stephen Ashurst (86-19-67) and Iain Heggie (85-17-68).

A subsidiary medal, for those aged under 55 years, saw Jordan Abbott (75-9-66) take top spot on the card from Glyn Broady (77-11-66).

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