Gary Wolstenholme MBE was the most successful British amateur of the modern era before he turned professional to pursue a career on the European Seniors Tour.
He made his debut at Woburn earlier this year and won his first Seniors Tour tournament in only his second start at the Casa Serena Open to secure his card for 2011.
Wolstenholme will be writing an exclusive blog for Today's Golfer, and his first entry focusses on his preparation for the new season and his third-place finish at the Australian Senior Open last weekend.
What a Crazy Year!
This year has been eventful in the world of golf for so many reasons. Ryder Cup, Tiger Woods and the rise of G-Mac! From a personal point of view the Senior scene has opened a new chapter in my life and I am looking forward to 2011 where I hope to progress further…
Boonchu Ruangkit has set the tour on fire this year. As a rookie, to achieve what he has is incredible, winning four times this year and subsequently securing the Order of Merit is a great story.
After spending the majority of the year on the EuroPro Tour where I won at Stoke-By-Nayland in July, I had a magnificent opportunity to play at the Travis Perkins Senior Masters at Woburn. What happened next was beyond my wildest expectations - coming third in a field containing Sam Torrance and Ian Woosnam was amazing and secured the biggest cheque of my life!
Then what happened was unbelievable as the third place finish enabled me to play at the Casa Serena Open in the Czech Republic where I led from the start to finish securing an even bigger cheque but more importantly playing rights on the Senior Tour for the next two years! I have also released my autobiography, ‘The Long and Short of It’ which was a real achievement for me.
Australian Senior Open - 2011 Senior Tour
What a great start to the 2011 season! Although there are elements of my game which are still very much work in progress a third place finish is just the start I needed for the year ahead. My congratulations go to Peter Senior who comfortably won with a three-shot lead and Sandy Lyle who played well to secure second place.
My first round didn’t go to plan with the greens extremely grainy I had to adapt my game and slow it down to an extent; I enjoyed the second round and shot a 68 to put myself into contention for the final day. Unfortunately I couldn’t quite keep up with Sandy on the Sunday to try and climb a place but I am happy with third spot and 20,000 Euros.
The field in Japan this week is a tough one especially with Sir Nick Faldo playing, maybe he will rekindle the form that saw him win five Majors! With a hefty pot to play for everyone will be keen to make a decent start. Check my blog out next week to find out how it will all pan out.
» The Long and the Short of It - The Autobiography of Britain’s Greatest Amateur Golfer by Gary Wolstenholme is published by John Blake Publishing and available to buy at selected Waterstones Book Stores and on Amazon.