The 21st running of the annual Examiner Overseas Golf Challenge turned into a bountiful bonanza for Bingley golfer Peter Wright.

The 78-year-old St Ives member not only walked off with the coveted Challenge Salver with 106 points, but also scooped the Betterball prize, along with his partner David Makin from Outlane.

And to complete a remarkable hat trick, 28-handicapper Wright – who became the oldest-ever winner of the Challenge – also formed part of the three-member winning ‘Team of the Week.’

“It was all a bit of a surprise really,” said Wright, adding: “It’s the first time I’ve ever won anything like this.

“In fact, I went on a similar trip to Turkey in March, and actually finished last. So I’m delighted to win the Examiner tournament.

“I think the courses we played (Santana twice and Santa Maria) certainly suited my game, as there were quite a lot of flat holes and not too much playing up and down hills, which is where I tend to struggle.”

That said, Wright didn’t struggle too much at the demanding El Chaparral course, when along with 17-handicapper Makin, he came home with 41 points to edge out his own wife, Sheila Wright, and her partner Robin Hanson (Woodhall Hills) on a back nine countback.

Examiner Challenge 2013: left to right: runner-up Jack Thewlis, winner Peter Wright, David Lockwood, Linda Randerson, first lady, and Robin Hanson, third.
Examiner Challenge 2013: left to right: runner-up Jack Thewlis, winner Peter Wright, David Lockwood, Linda Randerson, first lady, and Robin Hanson, third.
 

And to cap a great week for Bingley St Ives members, Linda Randerson took the Ladies prize (she finished sixth overall) and helped Wright and Bradley Park’s Eddie Doherty to the ‘Team of the Week’ award.

There were other successes for Huddersfield-based golfers on the trip, organised by Paul Hanson, of Hanson Travel.

Meltham duo Jack Thewlis and Tony Haigh won the Team Stableford event, alongside Maureen Dore from Shipley Beckfoot, coming home with 83 points, ahead of Makin, Bob Randerson and Elland’s David Lockwood.

Fifteen-handicapper Thewlis was also to push Wright hard all the way in the main event, finishing just one point back (105) after carding consistent scores of 36, 35 and 34.

Robin Hanson (14) was leading after the opening round at Santana Golf Club, with a fine 38 to put him one clear of Bob Randerson, and two ahead of Thewlis and Lockwood, each on 36, with eventual winner Wright hovering just behind on 35.

But it was the second round where Wright took a firm grip on the competition, when he claimed five nett birdies, and two nett eagles on the way to a stunning haul of 40 points at the delightful Santa Maria Golf and Country Club, near Marbella.

Thewlis (35) and Hanson (32) were still in the shooting match, but the deficit turned out to be too much to make up in the last round, despite Wright managing only 31 on the second trip round Santana.

Examiner Challenge

1 Peter Wright (Bingley St Ives, 28) 106 points. 2 Jack Thewlis (Meltham, 15) 105pts. 3 Robin Hanson (Woodhall Hills, 14) 104pts. 4 Bob Randerson (Bingley St Ives, 15) 100pts. 5 Brian Wilson (Branshaw, 14) 94pts. 6 Linda Randerson (Bingley St Ives, 11) 93. 7 Tony Haigh (Meltham, 17) 89pts. 8 David Lockwood (Elland, 26) 89pts. 9 Tommy Ward (Longley Park, 14) 85pts. 10 Eddie Doherty (Bradley Park, 12) 83pts.