KEITH Mayall’s debut major win at Crompton and Royton Golf Club came as a complete surprise.
It was not until the following day that the 56-year-old semi-retired heating engineer learned about his success as he thought it was simply a routine club medal competition.
Keith added it was also a timely lift as in the early hours of the morning after his victory he was rushed into A&E at Royal Oldham Hospital with a kidney stone.
“I received a telephone call the next morning to say I had won so that cheered me up,” he said.
Keith said his round of 81-16-65 was the best 18 holes of his life, and he says it could have been even better.
He explained: “After I had an eight on the 12th hole I thought it was over so far as winning was concerned and relaxed.
“I also had a few putts that just missed but everybody can say that about their round.”
Keith posted a couple of birdies and, importantly, a par at the last proved crucial as he won by only one shot.
It has been a remarkable 12 months for Keith who has seen his handicap cut from 22 to 13.
Keith, who in in only his fourth year playing golf, admitted his successes have been unexpected.
He continued: “When I started out, I had a handicap of 24 and it was my ambition to get down to 18.
“I never imagined winning a major as the course is so hard.”
Keith, who lives in Chadderton, turned to golf after a ruptured Achilles tendon ended his rugby playing days aged 48.
He played as a wing forward for Ashton RUFC and second row forward in rugby league for Waterhead Warriors.
The Vice Captain’s Prize results:
First division: Anthony Shimelt 76-9-67, Mark Barrett 71-4-67.
Second division: Keith Mayall 81-16-65, Anthony Sutherland (81-12-69).
Division three: Alan Barrott 87-21-66, Stephen Mills 87-18-69.
Other scores: Geoff Boyle 76-8-68, Justin Smyth 76-7-69, Stephen Nadin 85-16-69.
Steven Barrett (73-6-67) won the first division in a medal from Ryan O’Leary (73-5-68) and Matthew Barlow (75-7-68).
Joe Ryder (78-11-67) won the second division from runner-up Gary Lamont (81-13-68) while in division three the clear winner was Alex Hopkinson (79-18-61) from second-placed John Hankin (87-19-68).
A midweek medal saw Jack Bottomley-Clift (68-4-64) win division one from runner-up James Booth (75-6-69).
Gary Lamont (75-12-63) headed division two from nearest challenger Jonathan Jones (78-12-66) while the one-two in division three were Paul Winchester (87-21-66) and Leon Shaw (88-20-68).
A further three division medal saw James Leonard (74-7-67) triumph in the first from Jordan Flint (74-4-70), Barry Chadderton (79-12-67) took top spot in the second from John Brame (80-11-69) while in the third the leading two were Lee Griffin (85-18-67) and Michael Challen (90-22-68).
A midweek two division medal saw Mark Pickering (74-5-69) edge out Tony Costello (77-8-69) for top spot while in the second Jeffrey Gates (88-18-70) edged out Carl Winstanley (87-17-70).
John Borthwick scored 38 points in a Stableford to win the first division on the card from John Norbury.
In the second division, Damian Harrison (36 pts) was the victory from Mike Healey 35.
Mark Davis scored 42 points to claim victory in the first division of a Stableford from Rob Riley who had 38 points.
Richard Flynn (37pts) took top spot in division two on the card from Keith Mayall while in division three Mark Whitehead (42) was victorious from Ian Heggie (39).