David Niven played his way to a five-shot win in the English Senior Men’s County Champion of Champions tournament at Woodhall Spa.
He was one shot off the lead after opening with a level-par 73 - posted in teeming rain - and added a steady 74 on the Hotchkin Course to complete his victory march.
Niven, from Newbury &Crookham (BB&O), said: “I’m absolutely delighted. I was BB&O junior champion at 16 and I don’t know what happened in the intervening 43 years! But it’s so nice to come back as a county champion and to win this prestigious tournament.”
The runner-up was Steven Rooney of Orsett who returned a pair of 76s for a six-over total, finishing one ahead of Staffordshire’s Robert Aston, Trevor Gray of Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Channel Islands, and Lancashire’s Tony Holt.
This was Niven’s first appearance in the tournament, having been runner-up in his county championship three times before taking this year’s title in a play-off.
After the first round he was one shot behind an injured Nigel Chesters of Shropshire& Herefordshire (Hawkstone Park) and tied with Gray.
In the final round, while Niven played steadily, a dramatic challenge was launched by English senior champion Richard Latham of Lincolnshire, who was playing on his home course. He got to three-under after 11 and briefly took the lead before his charge fizzled out.
Niven, meanwhile, reached the turn at one-over, dropped shots at the next two holes, but played the rest in two-under, with the help of an eagle on the long 14th, to seal the title.
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