AN AMATEUR golfer from Kenilworth is one step closer to playing with a star of the European Tour after winning a prestigious Bridgestone event on his club’s calendar.
Neil Chatwin won Bridgestone UK tyre division’s DriveGuard Trophy at Kenilworth Golf Club, which has put him on course for a round at the Pro-Am of the British Masters, supported by Sky Sports, in October.
The 11 handicapper, who went down from 12 following his DriveGuard Trophy win, won the medal competition with 67 strokes, which now puts him on a journey to a regional final in June.
This will be followed by a Pro-Am appearance at the Bridgestone Challenge – a Challenge Tour event – at the end of August at Heythrop Park in Oxfordshire.
And if the 46-year-old is part of the winning team at Heythrop, he will then go on to play at the Pro-Am of the British Masters at The Grove in October, where he will play with a household name of the sport.
Neil said he was proud to represent his club and win but he did not turn up with any tactics on the day.
“I just aimed to go round and get it through the 18 holes in as few shots as possible,” said Neil. “Tactics tend to cloud your mind and I didn’t want that.
“I’m proud to lift the trophy at this stage but I know there’s lots of work left to do.”
Bridgestone is embarking on an exciting golf sponsorship quite unique to the UK tyre industry, featuring a European Tour event partnership with the British Masters the resurrection of an English based Challenge Tour tournament and a nationwide amateur competition with nearly 200 other clubs.
Neil’s success represents the ‘grass-roots’ element of Bridgestone’s three-pronged association with golf and he can now look forward to making more memories with the world’s largest tyre manufacturer.
He added: “It’d be great to meet Luke Donald or Iain Poulter in the next round. To watch them play would be fantastic, they’re great players.
“Bridgestone have offered a great opportunity for amateurs to prove themselves on the world stage. It’s difficult to get recognised as an amateur, but this is a perfect chance to do just that.”