Ex-pro Sam conquers nerves to take club championship title

Reporter:

Colin Channon

Sam Roberts celebrated getting his amateur status back after spending time as a professional in the best possible way – by winning his club championship.

Sam, 26, worked as an assistant pro at Oswestry and then Llanymynech as he pursued his dream of making it in the tough professional ranks.

Eventually, though, he decided the life wasn’t for him, and applied to retain his amateur status.

Once that was done, and playing off his new amateur handicap of scratch, he was free to compete in club tournaments again.

And rounds of 74 and 73 in the club championship were enough to win the silverware by a single shot from Dave Griffiths.

“I hadn’t played very much so this was a great tournament to win – even though I nearly blew it!” said Sam.

“Dave finished about an hour before me, so I knew what I needed to do to win. I was four shots in front with five to play but then had a string of bogeys – the pressure really got to me.

“My dad Edward and younger brother Lloyd had both won the championship before and I really wanted to do it – and I birdied the 18th to win it by a shot, which was nice.”

Sam specialised in coaching when he was a professional after realising just how high the standard was. “When I was younger all I wanted to be was a professional golfer but there’s a lot of competition out there,” he said.

“I found I didn’t have enough time to play or practice to get the standard I wanted, so I didn’t do as well as I would have liked in competitions.

“When I sat back and thought about it, I realised what I liked doing best was playing – so I applied to get my amateur status back and joined the family business in meat and poultry wholesalers.

“Now I have time to play and to go out in the evenings and practise.”

And Sam has his sights set on trying to get back into the top-class amateur set-up. “I represented the county when I was 18 and I’d like to try to do that again,” he said.

“Obviously this year I haven’t played in any of the county competitions, which you have to do to get noticed, but maybe next year I can do that and we’ll see where that takes me.

“I have been playing well recently and if that carries on I’m hoping my handicap will get to plus-one – I’m almost there.”

Email:

colin.channon@nwn.co.uk

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