A BIRDIE at the 36th and final hole proved pivotal as Mike Shaw landed a major, Mr President’s Prize at Crompton and Royton.
It enabled the 38-year-old divisional manager for a Manchester recruitment firm to post a one-shot margin of victory that he dedicated to the memory of his mother Carole who died in June.
Mike, whose success was his ninth major at the High Barn club, said: “I hit a three wood and wedge to about 15 feet.
“My playing partner Alistair Cameron told me if I sank it, I may have a chance of victory.
“Being a low handicapper is tough as usually somebody with a high one posts a low score to win majors.”
Though Mike has won nine majors, this success was special as it was his first win in Mr President’s Prize.
“When I joined the club as a 16-year-old the first competition I won was the president’s competition for the juniors so it was nice to finally win the president’s for the seniors,” he explained.
Mike shot two nett rounds of 68 for a two-round total of 136 which was one clear of Dion Norbury with 68 and 69 for 137. Third was Stephen Nadin with 68 and 70 for 138.
The first-round prize went to Glyn Broady (76-10-66) from John Kerrigan (85-18-67) while the second-round honours went to Graham Corren (73-11-62) from Chris Roberts (86-19-67).
The best gross score was Gary Melling’s 142 that comprised 69 and 73.
What was even more memorable for Mike was his victory saw him achieve a scratch handicap for the first time in 22 years at Crompton and Royton.
And there is every chance Mike could add to his total in the remainder of the season.
He has to play off against Martin Barnes for the honour of becoming club champion.
In the rearranged event on Sunday, September 16 – the initial event on August 26 was washed out – Mike had two gross rounds of 72 for 144 in further wet weather. Mark’s 144 comprised 70 and 74.
Mike is also in the final of the club’s scratch knockout when Jack Barnes stands between him and another major.
It was through his grandparents Eric and Hilda Shaw that he took up sport as Mike explained: “In my school holidays I would spend six weeks with my grandparents who played golf at Houldsworth.
“I would go along and hit the odd shot before starting playing pitch and putt at Tandle Hill.
“My parents said why didn’t I have a go on a proper course which is how I came to join Crompton and Royton – the best thing I ever did.”
Mike has attributed the birth of his son Sonny two years ago as helping him become a better player.
He said: “When Sonny arrived I was playing off two, but since he was born I have not had as much time to practise.
“I am more relaxed and when I hit a bad shot, I view it as simply a bad shot. I am far more patient and relaxed than I used to be.”