16 May 17
Sean Brady won the Galvin Green PGA Assistants’ Championship East qualifier - three years after recovering from skin cancer.
Norwich assistant Brady tied at the top of the leaderboard with Chris Rodgers (Richings Park Golf Club) at Aldwickbury Park Golf Club in Harpenden.
Brady, representing De Vere Dunston Hall, carded a one under par round of 70 along with Rodgers as the duo finished one shot ahead of a four-way tie for second place at the Hertfordshire venue.
But the result came after the second year PGA assistant fought back from health problems.
Brady, 29, has been coached by Sprowston Manor professional Chase Davis in a bid to improve his game this year.
And he will now play in his first Assistants' final, with the £32,000 showpiece event being held at Coxmoor Golf club in Nottinghamshire between August 2-4.
But Brady admits his move into playing professional golf came as a distraction from illness.
“I had a health scare when I had skin cancer on my left leg,” he said.
“Before that, I’d been a night manager in a supermarket so I turned to golf to do something I enjoy for a few years.
“The cancer was cleared within a couple of months, I had an operation, but problems with my left knee made it difficult to play golf for a while.
“But then I thought I would just try to make a go of it.
“Thankfully then I got an assistants’ job at Kings Lynn at the start of my PGA course.
“They let me start there even though I was suffering with my health in the first year and at the start of the second.
“It’s not a problem any more, I was cleared about three and a half years ago.”
But Brady believes working with Norfolk-based Davis has brought his game on enormously.
“Chase is a regular in the East region and his help has been greatly appreciated, he’s a very good coach and player,” he said.
“The best bit of advice he gave me was to accept where the ball finishes, rather than getting myself down, I’ve done that this year and that in itself has helped me.
“I didn't finish last year’s qualifier so to be joint first this time and make the final is a big turnaround.”
Brady needed a strong finish at Aldwickbury Park to take the lead with Rodgers.
He made an eagle at the 16th hole and followed it up with a birdie after a shaky spell that saw him make three bogeys in four holes on the back nine.
“It was timed just right and kick started my round again after a few iffy shots from myself,” said Brady.