31 Jul 17
Amateur Matt Ford (right) with professional partner Warwick Stevens.
Nuneaton amateur Matt Ford showed he was the king of swing on the course as well as off it as he reached the Lombard Trophy Final in Portugal.
Ford is a world-acclaimed big band singer in the style of Frank Sinatra who has performed on television and at major venues such as the Albert Hall and Birmingham’s Symphony Hall.
And he did it his way at Enville Golf Course near Stourbridge to win the Lombard Trophy regional final with Bramcote Waters Golf Course PGA professional Warwick Stevens.
The Warwickshire pair carded a 10 under par round of 62 to win by one shot ahead of Craig Fletcher and Paul Shirt of Wolverhampton’s Oxley Park Golf Club.
Now Stevens and Ford will hope the best is yet to come as they head to Portugal for the £41,000, Coca-Cola and Pestana Resorts supported, National Pro-Am grand final which will be played at the Vila Sol resort in the Algarve between September 21-22.
Thirteen handicapper Ford has been playing golf for nine years at Bramcote Waters and admitted it is a far cry from his stage persona.
“I’ve always played at Bramcote and took up golf after playing Sunday League football for years,” he said. “And when I couldn’t be bothered with that any more I started playing golf, and so did my son who was about four at the time. I thought it’d be a nice thing to do together,” explained the 44-year-old.
“I’ve been singing for about 20 years now, the day after this competition I was off to Austria to do an open air festival with an orchestra.
“I sing with orchestras such as the CBSO, the John Wilson orchestra the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Halle, anyone who’ll pay me basically!
“At Enville, we were relaxed about it and took it in our stride. I played better than I have for a long time, I was really pleased. I birdied the sixth with my current pro, and Nick, my former pro at Bramcote Water, watching!”
The duo were six under par after the front nine and kept up their momentum to top the leaderboard.
And it rounded off a busy period for Stevens who has just become a part-owner of Bramcote Waters.
“I’m now a golf pro/owner. The previous owner is Nic Gilks who’s a PGA tournament referee, has retired and me and his son decided to carry it on and take it over - that was on July 1st,” he explained.
“So as a bit of advertising I thought I’d go and win the Lombard Trophy qualifier! It’s been a massive month and this couldn’t have come at a better time.”