Meet the man who beat new Masters golf champion Danny Willett.
He’s Andy Shaw from Bradley Hall Golf Club and he now holds the proud record of having toppled a major winner.
Shaw was playing for the Halifax-Huddersfield Union team against the Sheffield Union at Abbeydale back in June 2004.
Willett was 16 at the time and Shaw 22, both off scratch handicap.
Rotherham Golf Club member Willett – who won the Masters green jacket at Augusta by three strokes last weekend – had won his foursomes match 2up in the morning, playing alongside Michael Hempstock against Chris Mear and Steve Martin.
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But he wasn’t as sharp as Shaw, now 34, in the afternoon. Shaw won 1up, but Sheffield Union did win the match 21-15.
“I remember having a birdie two on the par-three last to win the match,” said Rastrick-based Shaw, who works for the British Heart Foundation at their head office in Leeds.
“Most of the match is a bit vague, but I do remember that two on the last to beat him.
“I can’t say I’ve been dining out on it for the last 12 years or anything like that, and when I’ve mentioned it jokingly a few times over the years when Danny has been doing well on Tour, people haven’t been bothered!
“I wouldn’t fancy my chances of beating him now, but I did have a bet on him in the Masters, so I was delighted when he won.”
Shaw and Willett have trodden different golfing paths in the last decade but they do have one thing in common – they are both new dads.
Willett returned home from the US to wife Nicole and new-born son Zachariah, while Shaw and wife Faye have a six-month-old son Sebastian.
“I have known about Danny down the years because not long after he played against us in the Union match, he won the Yorkshire Amateur before going on to college in the United States,” said Shaw, who has been a member at Bradley Hall for 25 years and also played at Huddersfield Golf Club.
“He also won the English Amateur and played in the Walker Cup, so his name was always there, and it wasn’t long after that he turned professional.
“You always keep an eye on the Yorkshire golfers, so it’s great for the county game, especially with Matthew Fitzpatrick also finishing in the top 10 at the Masters and Chris Hanson now being on the European Tour from our area.”
Shaw is still a member of the Halifax-Huddersfield Union squad – he plays off scratch, having previously been down to plus two – while Willett can look forward to the Ryder Cup having become the first British player to win the Masters since Sir Nick Faldo 20 years ago.
That Union match back in 2004 is still fresh in the memory of Mear, the former Meltham member now at Halifax Ogden.
Mear, who was Union team manager from 2006 to 2012, lost two down to Hempstock and Willett.
“I was Union president at the time and I remember Danny teed off with me in our match,” said Mear, who won the Seniors Championship in 2013 and 2014.
“We came to a par three one down, I’m not sure which hole it was, and I remember him hitting very close to go two up.
“Even then you could see the lad had talent and was a good player.
“He was quiet, because he was only young, but he could certainly play.
“You remember the name, of course, and when I’ve seen him on TV and in tournaments I’ve said ‘I played against him’.
“Now he’s Masters champion it’s absolutely brilliant for the Yorkshire game.”