Golf: Forest Park's Michael Hildred holds his nerve to scoop top York Union trophy

Mike Hildred celebrates winning the York Union of Golf Clubs Seniors Championship

Mike Hildred celebrates winning the York Union of Golf Clubs Seniors Championship

First published in Sport Gazette & Herald: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter

A DEADLY putter saw Michael Hildred win the York Union of Golf Clubs Seniors Championship.

The 12-handicapper, who has been a member at Forest Park Golf Club for nearly two years, shot 37 stableford points to win the prestigious competition at Scarthingwell GC, near Tadcaster.

It was enough to give him victory by a solitary digit but not before he’d had to endure a long wait to have his victory confirmed as more than 100 competitors tackled the 6,631 yard parkland track.

“The course was in really good condition,” said Hildred, who lives in York. “The rough was about knee high and, if you went in, you lost your ball. They told us before we went out, ‘if you go in the rough, play a provisional’.

“Fortunately, I didn’t go in the rough. I kept it on the fairway. I’d just got a new driver. I used to have a fade and it has straightened me up a little bit.

“I’ve only had it a couple of months. My putting was spot on, too. Within probably six or seven feet, I didn’t miss a putt. I sank every one. The guys I was playing with were joking with me on the greens ‘you might as well pick up. We’ll give it to you because we know you are going to sink it.”

Hildred continued: “We were playing off the white tees and it is quite a long course from those.

It was quite windy so some of the holes were into quite a stiff breeze. It was difficult to get it on or near the green in two.

“I thought I’d played well.”

Hildred was still surprised to be in the frame for the title, though, and was delighted when he learned he had taken the trophy.

He added: “The lads who I was playing with said I would be close with that score. I was sure someone would come in with 40 points. It was quite a strong field.

“I came in and went straight on to the top of the leaderboard and there were quite a lot to come in.

“The people taking the scores said I didn’t have to hang around but I would have to come back if I was in the prizes.

“It was a real-time update on the internet so I came home, had some lunch, pottered about, took the puppy for a walk and when I went back and switched on the computer, I was still at the top. I thought ‘this is incredible’.

“About 5.20pm, I double checked and I was still at the top. I went back and I’d won it. I am absolutely thrilled. I couldn’t believe it. It’s a nice trophy which I am hopefully going to put in the cabinet at Forest Park.

“When my wife saw it she said ‘you’re not keeping that in the house’.

“It is quite an honour to be the York Union of Golf Clubs’ senior golf champion.

“It is beyond my wildest dreams really and it is a nice feather in the cap for the club. It puts them on the map.”

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