Move over Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson because the new world left-handed champion is a teenager from Perth.
Nineteen-year-old John Boulton ensured he would have something to boast about for life after blitzing the field at the 25th World Association of Left-Handed Golfers’ Championships in Melbourne last week.
And while Phil and Bubba probably didn’t get the memo to play – and join a field of 214 lefties from 17 different countries – Boulton stood head and shoulder above the rest after winning by a remarkable 20 shots.
The scratch golfer, who works in the Pro Shop at the Western Australian Golf Club, admitted the size of the win had stunned even himself as he fired a four-round total of five-under on some of Melbourne’s most celebrated Sandbelt courses.
“That was definitely a bit of a shock. It was my lowest four-round score by about eight or nine shots,” he told GolfWA.
“I kind of blitzed it really – it was a bit of a shock to me.
“My lowest previous round was five-under and my lowest four-round total was four-over. Playing it in five-under was not what I was expecting, especially playing it blind as well.
— Woodlands Golf Club (@woodlandsgc) October 24, 2017
“They were courses that I’ve never ever played before. I had plenty of tee shots where you’re looking at the fairway and thinking: ‘I’m not sure where this is going to go’.
“You just hit a two-iron down there and hope for the best and luckily enough it was the middle of the fairway.
“I’m not someone to brag but it is nice when some of the members come into the Pro Shop and mention that I’m a world champion in my own little way.”
Boulton’s highlight was a second-round 67 at Woodlands Golf Club, which he followed with a 69 at The National, to ensure he went into the final round with an 18-shot advantage.
But even with that sizeable cushion Boulton admitted to feeling nervous – which was not helped by some good-natured sledging from his playing partners during the final round.
“I was the most nervous before the last round purely because I had a lot of people say: ‘You wouldn’t want to be the guy that chokes from 18 shots up’,” he joked.
“And that was a couple of the guys who were in the same group as me trying to put me off during the last day!
“A couple of my mates back home, who don’t play much golf, were the same having a laugh.
“A couple of the boys knew, especially in my younger years, that I was prone to the big choke so it was definitely good to prove that wrong. I was pretty happy with that to be honest.”
Silencing those doubts in his mind was more than adequate consolation after finding out that he could not bring home the major trophy back to Perth – because a previous winner had stolen it.
“Funnily enough they used to have a perpetual trophy that you took home and kept for eight months and then you sent it back,” he said.
“One winner took it home and hasn’t returned it. That was about five or six years ago.
“They still haven’t tracked him down yet.”
Boulton might yet get another prize too, adding: “I’ve been off scratch for a little while now but I think – and I’m just waiting for all the scores to go through to Golf Link – that I’ll be plus one after that.
“It’ll be the first time I’ve been plus one. I really want them to go through to find out.”
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