Long-time friends enjoy long-overdue triumph at Tewkesbury Park

Long-time friends enjoy long-overdue triumph at Tewkesbury Park

06/08/2021

Graham Laing and Steve Cook crowned a 45-year friendship by winning the PGA Super 60s Championship in dramatic circumstances at Tewkesbury Park Golf Club.

Not that Laing, the head PGA Professional at North Wiltshire Golf Club, was aware of the significance of the 20-foot putt his amateur partner faced on the final hole on the Deerpark Course at the Gloucestershire resort. Neither was Cook.

“That was just as well,” said the 13-handicapper after coolly propelling the ball into its target for a tournament-clinching nett birdie.

“If I’d known what holing or missing the putt meant I would have been a bag of nerves and probably missed it!”

In the event, Cook’s successful putt meant the duo amassed 87 points from two rounds in the Stableford betterball format event and won it by a single point.

Moreover, according to Laing (above), it was typical of Cook’s contribution to the partnership during the second round.

“Steve played out of his skin today,” he said. “Like him I didn’t realise what holing that putt meant but, given the way he played, I’m not surprised he did.

“What is surprising is the fact that we won. We’ve been friends for 45 years and playing golf together all that time but we’ve never won anything before.”

As well as lauding his partner, Laing, a finalist in the 2019 SkyCaddie Pro-Captain Challenge, was fulsome in his praise for the venue.

He added: “The last time I played here was in a pro-am shortly after the course opened in the 1970s.

“Let’s say I wasn’t tempted to return back then but I am now. The course has really grown up, is in great condition and it’s clear a huge amount of work has gone into it.”

Cook’s pièce de résistance on the 18th signalled disappointment for Nic Gilks, a PGA pro and owner of Bramcote Waters Golf Course, Warwickshire, and his brother Andrew, a member at The Warwickshire Golf Club.

They finished on 86 points tied second with the Smiths – Martin, a PGA pro at Hartley Wintney Golf Club, Hampshire, and Brian, a member of Mendip Golf Club, Somerset.

Superb 70s winners: Michael Steadman (centre) flanked by his amateur partner Bruce Chadwick (right) and Tristan Crew, MBE,PGA

By contrast it was celebration time for Michael Steadman, a PGA pro and former European Tour player who represented Great Britain and Ireland in two PGA matches and coaches at Swingrite Golf Centre, Taunton, and Bruce Chadwick, a member at Taunton & Pickeridge Golf Club.

They racked up 77 points to win the Superb 70s, the competition for players aged 70 or over that runs in tandem with the PGA Super 60s Championship.

CLICK HERE for a full list of scores

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