Bourne golf ace Darrel Cross got a taste of the big time last Monday as he won the coveted William Hunt Trilby Tour singles trophy.
The 40-year-old Spalding Golf Club member, who works at the Spa shop on Knight Street in Pinchbeck, won four matchplay showdowns en-route to glory at Rockcliffe House in Northumberland.
With the Sky Sports cameras filming at the national amateur event, former Bourne Town footballer Cross admitted his victory felt like he’d hit the big time.
He said: “I don’t think I’ll ever beat this. It was the first time I’d played in a competition like this and to win it is amazing.
“It was incredible and I think it’s as close as I’ll ever get to replicating what happens to a professional sportsman.”
The 14 handicapper won five regional matches to make it through to the final. But he played a practice round on Sunday at the Rockcliffe course and admitted to being a little nervous.
However, he woke up a different player on the day of the final and the nerves were gone.
Cross won three six-hole knockout rounds to reach the final, beating one of the big favourites for the final in his second match.
He then faced a four-hour wait before the three-hole play-off final, but spent some of that time on the driving range with son Toby.
In the final he won the first hole, before losing the second to set up a ‘winner takes all’ finale.
After talking to his dad and caddy Keith, Cross drove long into a patch of rough to give himself the best chance of getting a good shot onto the green.
His opponent hit two trees on his way to the green and by the time the pair were putting for the trophy, Cross was just a few inches out and in the lead – meaning his opponent gave him the hole and the match.
On his final hole success, Cross added: “He was shaking my hand, my wife and son we’re running on to the green, my mum was in tears and I thought ‘why’s everyone crying’. It was all a bit surreal.
“Within about ten seconds they had a podium out and there was a big crowd around.
“William Hunt gave a speech and was presenting the trophy to me.
“In that second game I probably played the best six holes of golf in my life.”
Anybody wanting to relive Cross’ William Hunt Trilby Tour final win will have to wait until December 10, when Sky Sports will televise the event. The programme will get under way at 7pm.