England and Wales (North) Region
15 Aug 16
Garry Houston concedes that his chance of resurrecting his European Tour career is probably no longer a viable proposition.
"I've not given up all hope but I have to be realistic because at 45 a lot of players hit the ball almost twice as far as me," he said as prepared to defend the Leeds Cup at Moor Allerton on August 24-25.
"The thought of travelling and competing with a younger age group does not appeal to me and many of my pals I grew up with, such as Phil Archer and Neil Cheetham, don't do it anymore. Maybe in a year or two I might start looking to play at senior level.”
Houston has been struggling with tennis elbow, which has restricted his playing, but he has been "doing a bit of everything" at his club Carden Park from teaching, caddy mastering and marshalling.
"It's kept my mind busy but I've also managed my practice time and with three events to play, I could still qualify for the PGA Play-Offs again which was my target at the start of the season. I finished fourth in the PGA North Region Championship at Carus Green in June so I've already picked up some points."
Houston won the Leeds Cup for the first time at Oulton Hall in 2012.
And if he prevails at Moor Allerton he will join a select band of players who have their names etched on professional golf's oldest trophy on three or more occasions since its inception in 1902 when the legendary Harry Vardon won.
There are five other past winners in the field including former Huddersfield professional Paul Carman who won in 1992, Phil Archer (Birchwood) 2000; Jonathan Cheetham (unatt) 2003; John Wells (Beverley) 2007; and David Smith (Swinton Park) 2011.
Meanwhile, there will be a curtain-raising pro-am on August 23.
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