Wolstenholme earns second dream ticket to Augusta

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Gary Wolstenholme's second British Amateur Championship win at the age of 42 should give heart not only to golf's older generation, but also those for whom long driving is something they only do in their car.

Twelve years after his first victory at Ganton, the Yorkshire course where he is now certain to add to his four Walker Cup caps against the Americans in September, Wolstenholme beat the young Swiss player Raphaël De Sousa six and five in yesterday's 36-hole final.

The win puts the man who beat Tiger Woods in the 1995 Walker Cup triumph at Porthcawl into next month's Open at Sandwich and next year's Masters at Augusta. On his only previous trip there in 1992, he led after going to the turn in 33 in his first round - playing with Arnold Palmer.

"For the last 10 years this has been my ambition and it will take a while to sink in," he said. "It's like someone who wants to go to the moon and can see it every night, but can't quite get there. I know what winning this is worth - it's so valuable. I wanted to win it again so much and put a lot of effort in."

Wolstenholme makes up for lack of huge length with almost unbelievable accuracy with every club in his bag and how well it has served him. He is the only Britain and Ireland player ever to appear on three winning Walker Cup sides and he also helped them capture the world amateur team title in Chile 1998.

His latest achievement has been applauded not just in amateur circles, but also on the European tour, on which his late father Guy played.

Lancashire's Paul Eales said yesterday at the British Masters: "Troon is a big course and to go and beat these young guys on it, playing two rounds a day at his age, is a great effort. You can't keep an old dog down, can you?"