England Golf: Freeman returns to score dream win

13-handicapper John Freeman wins England Golf senior men's North tournament

Yorkshire’s John Freeman pulled off a dream win in the England Golf senior men’s and women’s North tournament at Harrogate.

Freeman was six points ahead of the field in the men’s handicap event, while Norfolk’s Alex Mournian won the women’s handicap prize by five points – helped by an eagle.

Freeman, a 13-handicapper from Willow Valley in West Yorkshire, confessed he put his heart and soul into winning the tournament, and did so emphatically with a total of 74 points.
‘I told myself you can’t win it in the first round, but you can lose it’ He was motivated by his experience on the previous occasion he entered an event, at Pannal in Yorkshire, and was thwarted by the weather.

He explained: “I had told myself you can’t win it in the first round, but you can lose it, so play nice and steady. I got 37 points and was two or three back, nicely placed – but the second round was totally washed out. It proved to me you can win it in the first round.

“So this time I set my heart on winning it and tried to get a good score in the first round.”

Freeman took up golf when he was in his 30s but had to give up the game for 14 years because of arthritis. A new hip and knee meant he was able to take up golf again when he retired and his aim is a single figure handicap.

Royal Cromer’s Alex Mournian was taking part for the first time, having discovered England Golf events when she, her husband and another couple played in the mixed Club Team championship and reached the national final in Golf Week at Frilford Heath.

Mournian, who is in the RAF, said: “I noticed the poster in the locker room, realised I qualified and thought I’d enter as I come from Yorkshire. It’s been thoroughly enjoyable and the club were fantastic.”

The highlight of the tournament for Mournian was an eagle two on the par four first, in the second round, where she holed her wedge shot.

She said: “The other two ladies had played first and both went through the back of the green, so I was trying to keep the ball short and let it run up to the hole. I had put my club back in my bag when, all of a sudden, the ball disappeared into the hole.

She amassed a total of 67 points, playing off 14 handicap.

The scratch winners also succeeded by big margins. Carol Gibbs (Wellingborough) had 56 points and won by six. while Michael Baker (Chester-le-Street) had 61 and won by four.

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