TWO heart-warming tales involving up and coming English players dominated the weekend’s results, with Danny Willett and Melissa Reid both overcoming recent troubles to record landmark wins.
I was delighted to see former world amateur No1 Willett earn his first European Tour victory after several near misses and some injury problems, which had interrupted his rise.
The 24-year-old had racked up 19 top 10 finishes and several runner-up spots, so to finally land the BMW International Open in Cologne on Sunday was fantastic for him.
I’ve kept my eye on his progress as my former caddie used to caddie for him, and I’ve admired his game because he is aggressive. I like the way he plays, it’s great to see him break through and I could see it being the first of many titles.
I remember my first win and how much of a boost that was. What it does is teach you that you can handle the pressure and pull through it, and in this case, that you can handle a play-off, which is even harder for your first one. Willett has broken a lot of barriers.
Congratulations are also due to Alan Dunbar, the Northern Irishman who won the British Amateur Championship at Troon on Saturday, and to Australian Marc Leishman, who earned his maiden PGA Tour win with a great closing 62 in Connecticut on Sunday evening.
But the other triumph that really deserves attention this week is that of Reid, who won the Prague Masters in her first event back since the recent tragic loss of her mother.
It’s a terribly sad and poignant episode and she must have had mixed emotions to say the least, but the performance was a tremendous credit to Reid, a popular figure on the Ladies European Tour.
Sam Torrance OBE is a multiple Ryder Cup-winning golfer and media commentator. He has won 21 European Tour titles in a career spanning 40 years and famously sank the putt that clinched victory for Europe in the 1985 Ryder Cup. He also captained Europe to glory in 2002. Follow him on Twitter @torrancesam