DAVID Shacklady won his second Staysure Tour title as a six-under par final round 66 sealed the outcome of The Sinclair Invitational, at Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel and Country Club.
The Lancastrian carded a bogey-free final round to reach 11-under and win on home soil by one shot ahead of Austria’s Markus Brier and two shots ahead of close friend Paul Streeter, who finished third on nine-under.
It could have been very different for Shacklady as he saw a short birdie putt slide by on the 72nd hole to miss out on taking what would have been – at the time – the outright lead.
But a triple bogey eight on the penultimate hole for co-leader Phillip Price meant the Welshman dropped back into the pack and victory was confirmed for the 2018 VTB Russian Open Golf Championship (Senior) winner.
“I can’t tell you what it means,” 52-year-old Shacklady said. “To win one title was amazing and I know it’s a cliché, but people say you validate it by winning another – and this season has gradually improved for me.
“I felt exactly the same as I did the first time. I felt as calm as I did in Russia and I genuinely became focused on just trying to win and post the lowest number. It’s nice to be able to repeat it.
“I played very well. I have been playing well prior to getting here this week, but you never know if you’re going to continue it.
“I knew I had a good chance on the back nine but then to be honest, the little one at the last for birdie, I thought that was going to mean I was in a play-off or maybe lose by one.
“I knew I was hitting it well and I knew I was going to give myself chances but I got on a nice run, in a nice frame of mind and I kept doing what my coach has been telling me and it worked out beautifully.”
The 52-year-old was joined at Ware’s Hanbury Manor, in Hertfordshire, by his wife and three children.
Shacklady was overjoyed to provide them with the perfect conclusion to the week, having been disappointed to bogey the final hole to miss the cut by a single shot the last time his family attended a tournament at The Senior Open, at Royal Lytham & St Annes.
“My family were there at Lytham when I bogeyed the last to miss the cut and they were all devasted I wasn’t there at the weekend, as I was,” the Ormskirk-based pro said.
“You just have to pick yourself up and go again. There are far more lows in golf than highs – there always have been and there always will be.
“I’m back out again next year and that’s all I want. I want to play, and play, and play and I wouldn’t trade this – being out here on this Tour – for anything in the world. It’s incredible.”
The 2018 Qualifying School graduate was typically humble in victory and offered some kind words to Price, whose triple bogey on the 71st hole was only the second time he dropped shots all week.
“We were stood at the last when Phil was coming in and he was signing autographs as he was coming off,” he said. “That says everything you need to know about Phil Price.
“He’s one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet and a class act with it. It is horrible that it’s gone that way but he will be the first one to come and shake my hand and say ‘well done’.
“He’s a gentleman and a good friend as well,” added Shacklady who qualified to play in the 2007 Open at Carnoustie and played seven times on the European Tour between 1999 and 2008.
Despite that triple bogey costing him a shot at victory, Price finished in fourth place on eight-under, which means he leapfrogs Paul Broadhurst and Bernhard Langer to take top spot on the Order of Merit
Shacklady’s victory sees him climb seven places into fifth position.