Routley makes a final bid – again!

MARTIN Routley is out to prove lightning can strike twice by claiming his place in a second golfing final in three years.

MATTHEW TURNOCK

MATTHEW TURNOCK

The Mottram Hall member has qualified to play in the regional final of the Lombard Trophy, Europe’s largest pro-am, at Dunham Forest on Thursday.

The six handicapper, who worked for Astra Zeneca for 20 years before becoming a househusband, will tee up at the Cheshire venue alongside his PGA professional Matthew Turnock.

The event comes 18 months after he met two-time Major champion and Ryder Cup legend Jose Maria Olazabal during the final of amateur championship the Nespresso Trophy, where Routley played and finished second.

Should Routley, 45, succeed in his latest conquest he will claim a place in the £80,000 grand final on September 1-2 over the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles, the venue for Europe’s memorable Ryder Cup triumph last year.

“If I could get into the final at Gleneagles it really would be my number one golfing experience,” he enthused.

“Even though my wife is Scottish I’ve never had the chance to go before.

“I’ve heard so many good things about the place, the resort’s supposed to be really nice and I’ve heard the course is extremely difficult.

“It was brilliant to find out I had qualified, to be honest it was really tight and I ended up winning it on the back nine.

“If I could qualify for the final it would be a great way to follow up on the Nespresso Trophy, where I had a couple of nights in Spain and even dined with Olazabal at a Michelin starred restaurant.

“It was the best weekend ever and Olazabal was so accommodating, you couldn’t meet a nicer guy. It just topped it all off to play so well and finish second.”

Routley has played golf for the last 30 years, ever since taking up the sport at 15 with a group of friends at their local course

“I learnt to play at Prestbury Golf Club and just got completely hooked,” he admitted.

“I’ve played ever since, although I did have to calm it down for a couple of years when we had our two children.

“They’re a bit older now though so I’m playing as much as ever, and I only recently had my handicap cut from eight to six.

“I love my golf now as much as I’ve ever done.”

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