FORMER TEACHER PAUL TOP OF THE CLASS AT ABERDOVEY

Former teacher Paul Bloomfield came top the class at the Welsh Seniors at Aberdovey, coming through a play-off to win the title.

Bloomfield, from Cardiff and a former PE teacher at Bishop of Llandaff school, won the play-off against Glamorganshire's Brian Rigby after thinking he had missed out and putting his clubs back in the car to prepare for the presentation.

"I knew I was behind the leading players at the start of the last round, so when I had a 77 I thought that was it," said the 64-year-old, now retired and based at the Kingdown club near Bath having been a member of Whitchurch in Cardiff.

"I crossed the railway track at Aberdovey and put my clubs back in the car when someone shouted to say I was in a play-off, so I put my stuff back on and came back to play.

"I had a good first round when Aberdovey was the most benign I have ever known it in seven visits there, the greens were rolling beautifully and I love the course - I think it is one of the best to play anywhere.

"In perfect conditions it inspires you to play well and I did play good golf in the first round. It was still benign conditions in the second round, but I did not play so well, then in the third round the wind blew - it felt stronger that the 24mph predicted by the weather forecasters.

"In the play-off then, I hit a perfect drive and Brian was unlucky to go into the bunker, he went for the green and caught the lip and I ended up having three putts for it.

"This win is right up there for me, I have never won a Welsh title before. I came close when I was younger, reaching the semi-final and quarter-finals in the Welsh Amateur years ago.

"I also won the Glamorganshire county championship a couple of times when the likes of Stephen Dodd and Phil Price were still amateurs, so those were the highlights of my career before this."

Next up for the new Welsh Seniors champion is the Welsh Seniors Open at Maesdu at the end of the month, while as a Wales Seniors international he is also looking forward to the British Seniors at Sunningdale later in the summer.

Rigby was second after a third round 80, while Kingsley Evans of Vale of Llangollen and Jeffrey Thomas of Royal Porthcawl finished in joint third place one shot further back.

"There were contrasting conditions at Aberdovey so the top players had to make the most of the sunshine and then hold things together when it got tougher and the wind blew," said Golf Union of Wales championships manager David Wilson.

"Congratulations to Paul for managing to do just that as the event went into a play-off.

"Aberdovey was in fantastic condition for the event, it was both a pleasure for the competitors to play and a challenge. Our thanks go to all involved for helping us to put on such a successful championship."