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GOLF: Johns swing into action on world stage
MANOR House golfer John Woodward is getting ready to jet off for the round of a lifetime tomorrow morning after making it to the grand finals of the prestigious League to Dubai competition.
The 58-year-old amateur, who is a two handicapper and has been a member of the Castle Combe club for 14 years, has reached the final of the pairs competition alongside partner Gary Prescott, who plays off 12, and will tee off on three world-class courses in the Middle East.
After competing in four league fixtures against other pairs and triumphing at a regional play-off at Wokefield Park in Berkshire, Woodward is looking forward to playing in the sunshine on the Wadi by Faldo Course at the Emirates Golf Club, the Dubai Creek Golf Club and the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates. And it all cost him less than the price of a round at his local club.
“It was my partner, Gary, who found out about the competition and it did sound a bit too good to be true at first because it only cost us £25 each to enter,” said Woodward, who lives in Bristol and works as a painter and decorator.
“We wanted to go for it and we managed to win our league games, which were two at home and two away, and get through to the regional final.
“On our way there, Gary was pretty nervous but we had to concentrate on our game and in the end, we won that.
“Golf is my sport. I’ve played on the PGA Catalunya, and at places like Wentworth and some of the top courses in Scotland too.
“Someone asked me what the prize was for this competition but I said that even if I come back with just a few golf balls, that would be enough because getting the chance to play in Dubai is like a prize for me.”
The Road to Dubai grand finals begin on Friday and continue until January 17.
Meanwhile, Goatacre’s John O’Dea has also been chasing sunnier climes, having now clinched a place in the finals of the Volvo World Golf Challenge in Durban, South Africa.
O’Dea, 74, a member of North Wilts and Bowood golf clubs, teed off at the famous Zimbali Golf Course for a chance to brush shoulders with the pros tomorrow at the Volvo Golf Champions event on the European Tour.
“I’m the oldest one here by a long way but it’s very exciting. Some of the world’s bigget players like Padraig Harrington and Ernie Els are here,” he said.